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70+ Activities and things to do on a rainy day at home

70+ Activities and things to do on a rainy day at home

Ok so it’s raining…. again! If you’re like us you are tired of the same old activities and are on the look out for new and exciting rainy day activities for kids that will keep them from climbing (or drawing on) the walls. 

Some of our best memories come from simple activities at home proving that the kids don’t need to have lots of money spent on them to have a good time.

Therefore, this article outlines things you can do at home on a budget or using materials you are already likely to have in. 

For ideas of where to go on a rainy day, head to in our day out directory. Please note that due to Covid 19, some of these attractions may be temporarily or permanently closed and we are currently working through which businesses are unfortunately no longer with us. 

Cooking and baking...

1 * Bake some sweet treats. Make cupcakes, pancakes, biscuits or other sweet treats and spend time decorating them. Why not then treat yourselves to a family movie and enjoy your hard work?


2 * Extend number one by getting the kids to make a delicious afternoon tea. Simply make some sandwiches, cut up some fruits and vegetable sticks, and then add in some tasty treats.  Serve on a picnic blanket in the lounge.  If you have little tiny ones, they would love adding teddy bears and turning this into a teddy bears picnic. Supermarkets do budget plates and party hats or you can buy eco party materials. 


3 *Make chocolate shapes by melting down some low cost chocolate and pouring into moulds. These can make great Easter, Christmas or Halloween gifts too. 


4 *If it is a warm day, help the kids reach their five a day by making ice lollies out of yogurt and fruit.


5 *Design and make your own pizzas. You could use the ingredients creatively to make a self portrait. This MAY even encourage little bakers to eat their veggies. 

Imagination play...

6 *Build a tower or a fort and let imaginations run wild.


7 *Make an indoor obstacle course. Use pillows, blankets toys, boxes, cheap outdoor play equipment like hoops and cones, or simply some sticky tape with marked out shapes and boxes.


8 *Create an indoor treasure or scavenger hunt. This activity is great for helping children develop their critical thinking skills depending on how you word the clues. 


9 *Create a small world to explore using a Tuff Tray or old cardboard box. Ideas could include a prehistoric world with dinosaurs, a racing track with toy cars, a jungle made with cereal, leaves and toy animals etc. We have just released a GRUFFALO inspired small world with instructions to our facebook groups and more will be following. 


10 * Gather up all the wooden toys. The kids will surprise you as they get lost in their own little small worlds for instance. We agree with wooden toy stockist Weasel And The Bug in Chester whose motto is ‘Powered by children not batteries’. 

Gruffalo Tuff Tray / Gruffalo Small World – Julia Donaldson inspired small world. 

11 *Have a LEGO building contest. Ask the kids to write down a series of challenges and randomly pick them out of a hat. Smaller children can use stickle bricks or duplo. To increase the challenge, give a limited number of bricks to older children or set a time limit. 


12 * Make a telephone. Simply use left over party cups and string. Pull the string taught and talk. What happens if the string is slack? What happens if you add more phones? 


13. Build a den. Simply drape blankets over chairs, sofas etc. The add soft cushions, twinkle lights, blankets and a range of toys.


14 * Create a cardboard shop. Use cardboard boxes to set up a shop, great for role play and to develop communication and numeracy skills.  If you already have a shop, then just help support the kids with their play and where possible, practice embedding those numeracy skills. 

Image kindly supplied by

Its story time...

15 *Build a reading den, a perfect way of making some happy memories as families snuggle and cuddle with a good book. What better way to instill a love of reading?


16 *Write your own stories.  To help support this, take inspiration from your surroundings, think about something you have seen or heard in recent days. Alternatively, there are plenty of story cards available online.


17 * Buy some story cubes and take turns as a family immersing yourselves in make believe adventures. 


18 *Bring your stories to life by drawing and cutting out cardboard characters to act them out. Use cardboard boxes to make a mini stage. 


19 *Perform a puppet show. If you don’t have puppets, make some sock puppets. Use pom poms to make eyes or simply draw them on. 

Image kindlty supplied by

20 *Create shadow puppets? You can use your hands or print out some characters and attach them to lollipop sticks. Add in a sheet, a light source and away you go. 


21 * Vegetable characters. Make characters e.g. mice out of old potatoes, cocktail sticks and other craft materials.


22 *Mini Journalist. Create your own magazine or newspaper. The theme can depend on your child’s age e.g. younger kids can write about a fun day out they have had but the older kids can maybe write about current affairs i.e. something in the news you have discussed as a family and they can write their own report. 


23 *Start a diary. This is a great way for children to record their thoughts and reflect on all of the wonderful experiences they have had.  They can also share their concerns if anxious which they can then choose to share if they wish. 

Pamper us....

24 *Pamper party. Paint the kids nails, have foot baths etc. There are some establishments where you can book on to have a joint manicure or pedicure. 


25. Relax with a little yoga. 


26. Paint faces….. Kids love any excuse to get the face paints out.  For older kids, maybe a little one to one guidance on how to apply make up for when they are older.


27. Do each others hair. Ok so not my favorite activity with a toddler…. Imagine my scrunched up face as she ‘lovingly’ styles my hair. However, she loves it and it keeps her entertained. You could also buy model dolls for the kids to practice on. 


28. Baby/Toddler massage. If you have  attended a baby massage session and so know how to perform this safely, why not take the opportunity to stay in and pamper little one. 


29. Enjoy a joint massage. There are some establishments that are trained to deliver a low intensity massage to under 16’s. 


30 *Put on a fashion show, simply raid the kids and your own wardrobes and get the music on. Our toddler loves nothing more than dressing up in mummys shoes and strutting her stuff! Adding two rows of twinkle lights makes it extra special as it looks like a little catwalk. 


31 *Have fun in fancy dress. Perhaps you could dress up and even create an indoor cinema and perform a play in your costumes? You can use everyday clothes to dress up as a character e.g. a pirate… with a little creativity of course!

Let's get creative with arts and crafts for kids....

32 *Make sensory bottles using left over drinking bottles, water beads and glitter (preferably environmentally friendly though that is a bit pricier).


33 *Make chromatography butterflies using the instructions from the following website:…/


34 *Make superhero masks.  Paper plates, straws, tape is all that is required. Add in a cape and away you go. This also works great with our fancy dress suggestion. Why not make the cuffs to go with the mask too?


35 *Blow paint monsters. Water down some paint and place a blob on the paper. Then get the kids to blow over the paint with a straw and when dry, add some googly eyes to represent a monster or an alien. 


36 *Make pasta pictures. Use a range of dried pasta shapes and PVA glue.


37 *Make Pasta Jewelry as an alternative to the above.  


38 *Recycle cardboard and get creative!  Encourage the kids to make a play structure like a rocket themselves (with a little support obviously) 

Image kindly supplied by local business 

39 *Make pom pom monsters. Just grab some funny stick on eyes and pipe cleaners and away you go. 


40 *Make slime. There are a range of methods online but borax is tricky to get hold of and there are risks when using it with children. However, many recipes that substitute borax with contact solution also work well. 


41* Make salt dough ornaments. You can shape them anyway you like or get creative by pressing objects in such as dinosaur skeletons to make fossils. 


42 * Paint your own ceramic. Most supermarkets now have unicorns, dinosaurs, moneyboxes and other  items for the kids to paint at home.


43. You can also pick up felt animals and make your own teddy kits for the older ones. 


44 *Have fun with home made play dough. You could all take turns shouting out a challenge to create a wonderful masterpiece using rolling pins, cutlery, cutters, feathers, sticks, toys and more. 


45 *Make candles using a range of moulds.  Simply melt old candle wax in a bowl over a pan of hot water and remold.  This is only advisable for much older children. 


46 *Make a model volcano. All you need is some left over cardboard (many supermarkets will give you a box if you ask in advance), paints, cola or vinegar, food colouring and mentos.


47* Science experiments. There are a range of fun science experiments you can research that can be performed at home. Why not visit Brittish Science who provide activity packs and even provide ideas on how you an celebrate this years Science week theme at home.

48 *Make crayons out of those pesky broken crayons. You can create all sorts of interesting new designs. Just melt them down, pour into a mould and cool. 


 49*Create a shoebox house with old shoeboxes and paints. The kids can use their imaginations e.g. making a shoebox school, shoebox space station, shoebox house, shoebox farm you name it. Get any little small toys and off they go. 


50  *Tie dye old clothes e.g. T-shirts. Primark sell white T-shirts for a couple of pounds. They are great for drawing on with coloured pens.


51 *Design your own trainers. Again primark sell some relatively cheap fabric based shoes that the kids can decorate using sequins and inks. 


52* Make personalised cards or decorations. Gather up all the paints, glitter, card etc  or make decorations for a children’s room.


53 *Use old potatoes to make stamp shapes and get creative with paint. Use a mix of other objects that you don’t mind getting mucky e.g. old toy cars for the kids to wheel across the paint, cut up old sponges etc.


54 *Paint some rocks ready to hide in the woods. There are many rock finding groups that you can join on facebook such as ‘Wirral Rocks’.  Acryllic paints work best and ideas include flowers, insects, monsters, dinosaurs or any pretty pattern. Please be mindful of animals if you use glitter. 


 55 *Make a scrapbook. Use a range of old photographs, magazines, glitter and glue to make a scrap book or a memory book. Key themes can include my memories, my holidays, my family etc. 


56 *Create a photo family tree. This will take a little advanced planning to get small pictures of the family but its a great rainy day idea. 


57 *Make musical instruments using recycled materials e.g. a hand drum or rainmaker using rice. This website will help with inspiration.


58 *Make friendship bracelets. A great idea for older children. Simply get some embroidery thread and weave into a simple plait for beginners or a have a go at a more challenging pattern. Here’s a video link from you tube to take a look at.

Musical rainy day ideas

59 *Have a good sing song. We take turns choosing nursery rhymes and other songs. This takes up a good 30 minutes, especially if the songs have actions. A favorite in our house is the ‘hokey cokey’


60 * Play X Factor. An alternative to the above but with older children. Take it in turns blasting out your favorite karaoke tunes. The judges however give no criticism, just lots of praise to support each other. 


61 *What’s in the bag 1? Fill a mystery bag with a range of items or toys and the family take it in turns to pick an item with their eyes closed. The family then sing a nursery rhyme or another song using the toy as inspiration e.g. if they take out a toy dog, you could sing ‘How much is that doggy in the window?’


62 *Whats in the bag 2? An alternative to the above is to allow the kids a set time limit to feel around a bag blindfolded. They then need to guess the names of the items present. For older children you can increase the challenge by placing one item in a tin can. They can shake the can to listen to the sounds it makes and they need to guess the object. You could ask probing questions or give clues to extend their drive for learning.


63 *Musical statues. An oldie but goodie. As already discussed in the arts and crafts section, make and play musical instruments. 

A little gardening and getting outdoors...

Jumping in muddy puddles at Erddig, one of our favorite National Trust properties in North Wales. 

64 *Plant flowers such as sunflowers.


65. Create a small herb garden using herbs that can be grown on the windowsill. 


66 *Decorate plant pots using emulsion paints or acrylics.


67 *Build a fairy garden using old plant pots, shells, leaves, sticks, pebbles, lollipop sticks for fences, small plants, sticks for bridges between pots and some small figures. The kids will also enjoy playing with these outside during drier weather.


68 * Get those wellies on and go for a splash in some muddy puddles. The kids do not care. Wrap them up, get the brollies or wet suits and take them out if its only drizzling for a short period of time. 


69 *Fly a kite. When it rains, its often windy. If there is a little respite from the drizzle, do as they say in Mary Poppins and ‘Go fly a kite’

Playing games...

70 *Board games never go out of style. A great alternative for Pictionary is to get the children to draw their own pictures for family members to guess.


71 *Invent your own board game. Use A3 sheets and lots of colours. Left over boxes can be cut up to make cards for the questions.


72 *Play hide and seek. Our littles ones favorite game.


73 *Play Marbles. Use a range of toys to make a marble run. The Grimms rainbow set is ideal for this. Alternatively, you can use all sorts of materials e.g. paper cups to do a marble toss style game. We do not recommended marbles for under threes due to a serious choking hazard. For under threes, maybe they can use balls and try to get the balls in a target whilst the older siblings opt for the marbles.


74 *Play skittles. Get the kids to paint some toilet rolls in bright colours and set them up as you would a set of skittles.

And if in doubt we are saving the best until last...

75 * The good old card board box. If in doubt go for our favorite activity growing up… hand the kids a cardboard box and see what interesting worlds they create from their own imaginations.

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*Rainy day kids

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