It’s days like today where I think I should really get my son’s teacher a Starbucks coffee or a giant bottle of wine. Rainy days for teachers must be another dimension of hell. My dad, a high school Vice Principal, always wishes for rain on the weekends. Rainy school days are hard for everyone – even for us parents who have to deal with a rainy commute and a chaotic drop-off & pick-up.
But what do you do when you still have kids at home on a rainy day? My toddler has been sitting at the back door for part of the morning with a longing to go outside. I don’t mind puddle jumping and taking a short walk in the rain. But that still won’t fill the hours in the day that somehow seem impossible to fill when the park, playground, and backyard are no longer an option.
Here’s a few fun indoor activities that can help pass the day. WARNING: Your house will look like a tornado by the end of the rainy day. This is where the coffee or the giant bottle of wine will be needed for you.
Build a Fort
My kids love to build a fort. All you need is your couch, some chairs, and a sheet or blanket. My kids also like to make their forts “kids-only” havens. Fine with me… build your fort. I’ll just stay over here and read my book, thanks.
Play a Board Game
Board games are perfect to keep the boredom away. My toddler loves Candyland and Hungry Hippos – although both are played with unusual, toddler rules. My older son like card games like Uno and Crazy Eights. To keep the mess in check, make a “one game at a time” rule. Otherwise, you’ll end up with Sorry pieces mixed with Monopoly pieces and you don’t want to have to do that clean-up later.
Bake a Cake
Kids love to help in the kitchen. Turning on the oven will help warm up your home. Make cookies or banana bread or a “just because” cake. Don’t have all the ingredients? A rainy day is the perfect day to grocery shop. The store is restocked and there won’t be many customers. Just make a list… you don’t want to have to go to the store twice on a rainy day.
Start a Rainy Day Tradition
Hot chocolate while sitting on the couch reading a book was one of my favorite parts of a rainy day as a kid. My mom would make chicken noodle soup for dinner. The whole day would be cozy and comfy. Start your own tradition. Whether it’s a rainy day movie night or your own book-palooza, it’s fun to give your kids something to look forward to on every rainy day.
Go on a Field Trip
When all else fails and you all have cabin fever, head out to a local museum. Try the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose or head up to the Exploratorium in San Francisco. An indoor field trip can be just what everyone needs. And yes, a “field trip” to the play area in your local mall totally counts too.
What are your favorite rainy day activities?