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10 Best Rainy Day Activities for Kids

Updated on June 27, 2012

Indoor Activities

Let's face it. As much as we adore the sun and fun of summer, not all days are bright and sunshiny. So what do you do with those wonderful children of yours on those not so fantastic days? If you don't have an organized activity or some sort of plan in mind, your children can wreck havoc on your home and your sanity! Here are ten great ways to keep them entertained.

1. Making Rainsticks

If you've never heard of a rain stick, they are actually a pretty cool object. A rain stick recreates the sound of the rain by turning the stick upside down. It is very easy to create one of your own and what better way to spend a rainy day than creating your own rain stick. Here's what you do.


  • cardboard tube (length depends on personal choice)
  • aluminum foil
  • markers or paint to decorate
  • seeds
  • newspaper
  • tape
  • scissors
  • newspaper or card stock
  • tape
  • beads or any other additional items to decorate


  1. Cut out two circles from either the newspaper or the cardstock to fit on the ends of the cardboard tube. Attach one circle to one end with tape.
  2. Twist a piece of aluminum foil into a snake like shape. Place it inside the tube.
  3. Add seeds (you can use rice or beans if seeds aren't available) to the inside. Place your hand over the tube and listen to the sound. Add or remove seeds until you like the sound of the movement of the seeds.
  4. Cover the other end of the tube with the other circle and tape.
  5. Decorate your rainstick with paint, markers, beads, and any other material that you have chosen. Let it dry before playing with your new rainstick.

2. Painting Pottery

Most cities have a local pottery place. It is great fun for children of all ages to create a piece of art. For a small charge, you can paint a piece of pottery. The pottery place will finish the piece so that it is glazed and beautiful for you to take home to display. Imagine your child's delight when he or she sees the artwork on a shelf or dresser at home.

3. Read Thundercake

If it is a stormy day, try reading the book Thundercake by Patricia Polacco. It is a fantastic story of the author's fear of thunder. Her grandmother calms her fears by telling her that they should bake some thundercake. As young Patricia gathers the ingredients on her grandmother's farm and helps her to bake the cake, the storm continues without her thinking again about the thunder. At the end, the two enjoy their cake and Patricia realizes that the storm has already ended. Polacco includes a recipe for Thundercake at the end of her story. It may sound a little strange, but it is very moist, tasty cake.

Fun in the Rain

Some are cleaning, others are playing!
Some are cleaning, others are playing! | Source
Collecting hail after the storm.
Collecting hail after the storm. | Source
Jumping in the trampoline with hail in it.
Jumping in the trampoline with hail in it. | Source

4. Singing in the Rain

There is something freeing about singing and dancing in the rain. If it is safe (no thunder or lightening) and the temperature is warm, why not head out and sing and dance in the rain. Throw on those rain boots, put on a raincoat if you need to and head outside. Not only will your kids have a blast but you will feel like a kid again.

If there was a big storm with hail, let your kids go outside when it is safe and collect some of the hail in a cup. We had a big storm last summer and everyone had fun splashing in the flooded streets and playing with the hail.

5. Put on a Puppet Show

Why not have a puppet show. Drape a blanket or table cloth over a table to block the puppeteers and decorate for the setting of the play. Use what ever puppets you may have around the house. If you don't have any, you can create your own out of brown paper lunch bags or old socks. You can use yarn, buttons, beads, or markers to decorate them. Use your imagination!

6. Host a Karaoke Concert

Who doesn't love karaoke? I think that most children love to sing. Why not pop his or her favorite CD into the CD player and take turns belting out those tunes? If you don't have a microphone to use, you can easily make one. Just take an empty paper towel roll and color it black. This will be used as the handle. Then ball up some tin foil and attach it to the top of the paper towel roll, an instant microphone! You can also video tape this to create your own 'original' music videos.

7. Go Bowling

Bowling is a great way to add in some exercise. Children of all ages love to bowl. We recently participated in a bowling fundraiser and my two and four year old children enjoyed every minute of it. They needed a little bit of guidance but they got the hang of it quick and soon they wanted to do it all on their own. If you haven't been bowling with a child in a while, there are bumpers that most bowling alleys will put out to help your child have more success during his or her bowling experience. The ball with therefore always make it down the lane, even if it is quite slow at times!

8. Indoor Play Places

Most larger cities have many places that kids can go to play inside. In my area, our malls have some indoor play areas set up for children. Here they are able to burn off that energy that they would normally spend outside running around.

More recently, there has been an influx in our area of indoor play places that charge. These are places that have large indoor play structures. They are complete with ropes to climb, slides to slide down, and even a little cafeteria area in case anyone gets hungry.

9. Have a contest.

Holding a dance or singing contest is always great fun. It allows kids to be creative while also letting go of some of that energy. You could work in teams or individually. Simply set some ground rules, turn on some music and have some fun. You could even video tape it and watch all of the wonderful talent at another time.

10. Write a letter.

Letter writing seems to be such a lost art. I know that my children love to get mail from their grandmother who lives out of state. Why not have your child write a letter or draw a picture for someone who lives out of state? Depending on your child's age, you can have him or her address the envelope as well. The recipient will love to get a surprise in the mail from your child and who knows, there might even be a return letter!


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Here is one more, a treasure hunt game which is easy to set and gives parents some time to relax while the kids jump between hideouts and solving clues – Home Treasure Hunt.

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      Darn Sally's Trove, you are just a little too far for me to send my little ones to you on those rainy days! :) Very cool that you have a 'real' rainstick. They are great fun to make and you could even use a a wrapping paper tube to make a larger one. Thanks so much for you visit!

    • Sally's Trove profile image


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      What wonderful ideas! I especially love the rainstick. On a vacation to Mexico one year I bought a large one made of bamboo, and even today, I like to tilt it back and forth and just listen. I never thought of making one, and your instructions seem perfect. In the Mexican rainstick, the substitute for the aluminum foil "snake" is a series of thin, long nails driven into the bamboo all around the tube, so that the seeds tumble across them on their way up and down the stick. The foil is a lot safer to handle than nails.

      Voted up, useful, interesting. Now I just need a little one to babysit on a rainy day. :)

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Sunshine. Hopefully those affected by Debby can find some fun in these suggestions. :)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Great ideas for a rainy day!! I like jumping in the puddles after the rain and looking for a rainbow:)

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Simone, I hope that they do. I know that my kids and I will be doing some of these activities this summer.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      What a fabulous Hub! I love these ideas- I STILL remember making rain sticks, and indoor play places were some of my favorite places to go on special occasions. Your photos are really wonderful, too. I am sure this guide will inspire a lot of very fun activities!

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks so much PrariePrincess. There is something about singing and dancing (or just walking) in the rain that makes us feel youthful! Glad you stopped by to read and comment.

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 

      7 years ago from Canada

      These are great ideas. I still love singing and walking in the rain, and am glad if my nieces will do it with me. Writing a letter, and running a contest are very creative. Great hub, as always!

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      You are right RandomCreative, movies are great sometimes but your imagination is endless when you use it! Thanks for commenting.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great suggestions! So many people resort to movies or video games for rainy days, which is okay sometimes, but there are so many other possibilities, too.

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Glad you enjoyed it and found some of it useful Ashlea!

    • profile image

      Ashlea B 

      7 years ago

      great ideas! i need to consider some of these on rainy days or days we just need an adventure. thanks! p.s. i like the rain maker craft!

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      I'm glad you enjoyed it workingmom. I haven't done the pottery painting with my kids yet but it's on the rainy day list!

      I read Thundercake in my class every year and one year one of the moms made it and brought it in, it was delicious!

    • workingmomwm profile image

      Mishael Austin Witty 

      7 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I loved this! Really great ideas. I'd forgotten all about Louisville Stoneware and the pottery I painted a few years back until you mentioned it. Amanda would LOVE doing that.

      I also love the idea of that Thunder Cake book - gonna have to check it out!

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      And I want YOU for my mommy, oh wait, I already do! :) I'm glad you learned something from this hub. I didn't put the recipe in because I left the book at school, and I'm not going back to get it!!!!! It is a very popular book so it would be at most libraries or bookstores (and of course amazon). Thanks on the congrats. First day done with work and two hubs published! :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      I want to have YOU for my mommy! LOL What creative ideas. Great hub and I voted it up and all across the board. LOved the photos and the info. That was some 'flood' you had. I always loved going out into the rain and taking you and Christa out when you were young.

      Here is what I learned: how to make a rainstick (and what it was) I thought a rainstick was used to make the rain go away, LOL

      Thunder cake--oooh, the only thing better than the idea of reading the book would have been for you to share the recipe here. YUM!

      I also want to say-great job on your links and CONGRATULATIONS-you just hit the '50 hubs- mark. :)

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Wow are you quick! I just published this. :) That is so kind to say Susan. You are always a kid at heart which means you can still do these things!


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