If there’s one thing we know, is that parents need to be prepared with things to do on rainy days… on the rare occasion that it actually rains for more than a day here in Southern California. Either that or be prepared to deal with restless kids who are constantly “bored” because they have “nothing to do” (any of that sound familiar?). We put together this list of 25 things to do on rainy days to help you get through these days. If you have any other ideas – we’d love to hear them!!! Just leave them in the comments below. Enjoy!
1. Write a thank you letter to a teacher or staff member
Teachers and staff members love to get letters… and letters of appreciation are even better! Have the kids decorate the letters with stickers and stamps, or even with colorful markers! Just don’t forget to deliver them.
2. Play loteria
Loteria continues to be a family favorite going on generations now (and did you know that we have Loteria Nights at school too?). Rainy days are perfect for this game, brew a few cups of Chocolate Abuelita and you’re good to go!
3. Visit the Library
Our local library is a great place to stop and visit. Libraries like the Santa Ana library or City of Orange library have a dedicated spots just for kids!
4. Go on a Treasure Hunt
Put together a treasure hunt using items you have at home. Give each child a bucket for the items and a handmade map that will lead them as they go. Also a great time to practice their reading in Spanish!
5. Make some music
Get creative and put together your own band… or play along to some Mariachi music in the background.
6. Clean out the bookshelves
This one may not sound as fun as the other activity ideas, but by cleaning out the bookshelves, it’ll make way for new books! Take the books you want to donate to the school library – or leave them in the cubbies by the back entrance! It’s a great way to give back to the school and its students.
7. Plan a movie night
Cozy up with some popcorn and treats and watch a movie you’ve been wanting to see for a while… or if you’re up for a different experience, play the kids’ favorite movie in Spanish… without subtitles!
8. Make compliment cards for kids
Kids love to receive compliments or words of encouragement – and sometimes it means even more coming from their peers! Take index cards and cut them in half. Have your kid(s) write simple statements like, “have a great day!” or “you’re awesome!” Have them put the cards in the backpack so they can distribute out to other kids.
9. Build a blankets and pillows fort
Build a little fort using blankets and pillows – or just stuff them under the kitchen table and throw some books in there too. A nice cozy spot is great for snuggling up with a new book.
10. Make origami hats and animals
Pick up some newspaper, grocery ads or printer paper and make some origami hats and animals! This site has a great list of origami shapes that are easy enough for beginners to create.
11. Create an extra large diorama
Kids have been making dioramas for years… but you get to take it to another level by making it extra large!!! Take a large cardboard, tilt it and build a large scale diorama of a town… or a scene in a movie… or really, anything. Go wild with the theme and have the kids bring in their toys and stuffed animals into the scene.
12. Play “tiendita”
Everyone remembers this old favorite! Set up a tiny market with empty cartons, cans and packets of food. It’s also a great way to practice their math (you know… when they go to check out). Don’t forget the reusable bags!
13. Establish a newsletter
Why wait until the end of the year for a family newsletter? Print out some pictures and write out a few sentences to go with the picture. Lay it out on paper and you have your first newsletter! Add fun events that happened recently, milestones, maybe a puzzle? Jokes are also popular, as are comic strips. The possibilities are endless!
14. Bake cupcakes
You know how you always say you’re going to bake… and then it doesn’t happen because life gets in the way? Today is the day!!! Let the kids go crazy on decorating the cupcakes once they’re ready. Maybe even using both marshmallows AND sprinkles?!!
15. Get a jump start on AR reading
AR reading is something that our older students have to do – why not get a head start by squeezing in one AR book on a rainy day? It’ll be one less thing for them to do during the week!
16. Have an indoor picnic
Prepare some simple sandwiches and cut them in fun shapes with cookie cutters. Put them on a tray and lay out a picnic blanket in the living room. Invite some stuffed animals to lunch with you and talk make up a story to go with the picnic.
17. Building something with LEGOs
Choose a theme and put something together using LEGOs… or have each person be in charge of a particular feature like transportation, buildings, etcetera and put together a town.
18. Make-your-own characters
THIS is the reason we keep old magazines… to have kids practice their scissor skills! Kids can cut out pictures of hair, heads, legs, shoes, arms, and so on, and then put piece them together on a piece of paper. Each character is different! Take it a step further and make these characters super heroes by assigning them super powers.
19. Make a new playlist and dance the day away
Did you many music apps allow you to create free playlists? Have everyone choose their favorite tunes and add them to one playlist… then it’s time to stand up and dance!!! Try out some old dance moves, or create your own for a fun afternoon.
20. Go on a scavenger hunt
Similar to a treasure hunt, but the scavenger hunt can be done with a phone or tablet! Write out a list of things and have the kid(s) go out and look for them. Something like: five balls, dress shoes, three turtles, etcetera.
21. Go through old photo albums
Remember that photo album that you have in your home filled with pictures of years past? Take it out and go through it! Share your family stories so you can ensure they get passed down for generations to come.
22. Measure rainfall
This one is a big hit because it makes it so we want it to rain more. You can measure rainfall with a large jar or similar sized bowls. Collect the rain water and measure it on an hourly basis. Track it on a chart and you’ll have a reading of how much rain actually fell on that day! Another fun activity is to take two containers and see which one fills up first. A little friendly competition.
23. Play dress-up
We all have clothes that we don’t wear anymore… young kids will love wearing them and seeing how they look in them. Add some jewelry and accessories and let their imaginations run wild.
24. Put together a scrapbook
You’ll need cardstock paper, glue sticks (or glue dots), stickers, and photos to put together a scrapbook. Have them write down captions to go with their pictures, maybe even a memento from that time, then hole punch the papers down the side. Tie it together with yarn, or use grommets to keep it together.
25. Set up an indoor campground
Set up a tent indoors, or use the dining table fort from earlier in the list, and set up a campground. A little picnic will do great for when you’re hungry, and a deck of cards is perfect to pass the time. Cook up some s’mores on the stove (or in the microwave) and enjoy a camp favorite!
We hope these ideas will help you keep your kids, and you, occupied on rainy days.