15 Simple Rainy Day Activities for those Stir Crazy Days

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How’s the weather where you live? Here we’ve had a week of yucky, rainy weather, with at least 5 more days of rain coming in the forecast.

Without some interference from me, my cooped up children become tingling rods of energy- voices too loud, steps too hard and fast, and irritable. They run out of patience with indoor rules and with each other too. By day two of rainy weather I better step in with some activity suggestions to divert their attention and to release some of that energy in acceptable ways.

15 Simple Rainy Day Activities. (Mostly) no mess ideas for rainy days. Cooped up kids driving you crazy? Here are 15 ideas that don't take much effort from Mom that will keep the kids happily occupied all afternoon!
© famveldman / Dollar Photo Club

Today I’m sharing our favorite rainy day activities that don’t require much Mom prep and (with a few exceptions) make little mess.

Play games –

Rainy days are such a great time to have game afternoons. Pull out your favorite board games and card games for an afternoon of fun! We love this book for card game ideas.


Perfect for kids of all ages. Older kids usually love read aloud too. Cuddle up on the couch and start a chapter book, or pull out all of your child’s favorite picture books and re-read them together. And, if you’ve never read a chapter book aloud to your younger children, give it a try. Some of my children have listened to whole chapter books aloud as young as 4-years-old! If you have older kids, they can take turns reading aloud to each other!

Snail mail-

Pull out a box of cards or stationary (or even blank paper) and encourage the kids to create mail for family members. Grandma will thank you!

Take a bath-

Always a hit in our house. In fact, on some rainy days the children each spend as much as an hour soaking in the tub; and our tub stays full for 6 hours or more!

Afternoon movie-

Have a movie party. Grab blankets and pillows, pop popcorn, and settle in for a lazy movie watching afternoon. Share one of your old childhood favorites that your kids have never seen. We recently watched this and the kids adored it!

Put on a play-

Encourage the kids to create and perform a play. This always takes up an entire afternoon for my crew!

Make a fort-

Yank out those pillows and blankets again and turn the living room or kitchen table into a fort for the day.

Dig out the old train track or matchbox cars-

If your children have outgrown their train track or cars, this is the perfect time to pull them back out for a day or two. My older children are always surprised how much fun they have creating a train track that spans our entire downstairs, or creating villages and roads for their old matchbox cars.

Dance it out-

Turn up their favorite tunes and have a dance party!

Have a building challenge-

Pull out all the building supplies- legos, blocks, etc. Who can make the most creative building?

Pillow fight-

I always have to referee, and give a short time limit or this gets out of hand. But, in short supervised spurts a pillow fight can be just the thing for getting that cooped up energy out!

And a few favorite messy rainy day activities that are worth the effort:


We always have craft kits stashed away from holidays. The ones the kids couldn’t wait to create, but then lost in the closet. Rainy days are the perfect day to dig out those craft kits and create.


Nothing is better on a yucky day than a homemade treat. How about having your own family cupcake wars?

Clean desks and tables with shaving cream-

This one IS messy, but it is so much fun. Squirt shaving cream on the tables and have the kids go to town spreading it out, drawing and writing in it, then rubbing it into the table when finished.

Splash in the puddles-

Sometimes you just need to play in the rain!15 Simple Rainy Day Activities. (Mostly) no mess ideas for rainy days. Cooped up kids driving you crazy? Here are 15 ideas that don't take much effort from Mom that will keep the kids happily occupied all afternoon!


I’m ready for pretty fall sunshine again, but until then my crew and I will be checking activities off of this rainy day list!

What are your children’s favorite rainy day activities?

If you need fresh game ideas for your kindergarten (or early elementary) kids –>

9 Fun Board Games for Kindergarten- that Mom will actually enjoy playing too! So many games for this age are mind numbing for an adult to play. These 9 board and card games are fun for the whole family!


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  1. Great suggestions! We watch movies or think up a craft project, but sometimes you just gotta go out and play in the rain. As long as it’s not lightning out. And I love that umbrella!

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