When rain or cold weather keeps kids inside, it can be hard to keep everyone entertained. Of course, NYC offers plenty of amazing children's museums and exhibits, indoor play spaces, and classes and activities where families can take shelter when bad weather arrives, but sometimes staying home can be just as much fun—if you know the right games.
Whatever the reason you're staying put, try one of these 50 indoor, boredom-busting games, crafts, and other things to do with kids to turn a rainy day into a memorable one.
Make rainy days more fun with cookies! Photo via Bigstock.
1. Bake without losing your sanity.
2. Whip up a batch of ooblek and challenge your young scientist to define its state of matter.
3. Let the kids raid your closet and put on a fashion show.
4. Cuddle up with a pile of books.
5. Build, create, and invent with STEM-inspired toys.
6. Play "Simon Says" or "Follow the Leader."
7. Grab a deck of cards and teach your kids the simple joys of Rummy, Spit, or Slapjack.
8. Gather the family to enjoy a story podcast.
9. Make your own instruments; then, lead a marching band parade through the living room.
10. Burn some energy with one of these 25 indoor exercise games.
11. Pop some kernels and watch a classic movie.
12. Get geeky with the New York Hall of Science's awesome suite of STEM-inspired apps.
13. Write letters (on actual paper with actual pens and pencils) to out-of-town relatives or friends.
14. Check out an online camp—not just for summertime!
15. Freeze Dance using a playlist inspired by these city-based kindie bands.
16. Do anything that involves bubble wrap.
17. Make math fun with these amazing math apps.
18. Blow up some balloons, toss 'em in the air, and don't let them touch the ground.
19. Learn to code.
20. Keep your heart rate up with Wii Fit or Xbox One games.
21. Make a marshmallow catapult and see who can catch the most in their mouth.
22. Play dominoes or line them up and let them fall—kids will love seeing the chain reaction.
23. Have a tie-dye party, or opt for an easier tie-dye alternative (with built-in science lesson!).
24. Make a watercolor masterpiece.
25. Pull out the building blocks and Legos and create a mini city.
26. Embrace your inner Einstein with cool science experiments.
27. Play "I Spy" or "21 Questions."
28. Make paper-bag puppets and put on a show.
29. Craft the easiest bird feeder ever.
Learn the Japanese art of paper folding. Photo via Bigstock.
30. Become an origami master.
31. Grab some sheets and make a good old-fashioned fort. Perfect for playtime—and naptime!
32. Make shaving cream sculptures in the sink.
33. Snuggle up with a warm cup of cocoa or try a vanilla cinnamon steamer as an alternative.
34. Tackle a challenging puzzle as a family.
36. Explore NYC—in a book!
37. Challenge your brood to a game of charades.
38. Then find your voices with a karaoke concert.
39. Make your own granola bars.
40. Use hallways for classic games like "Red Light, Green Light" and "Leap Frog."
41. Decorate pinecones, paint flower pots, or make leaf art.
42. Go bowling at home.
43. Learn a few magic tricks to wow your friends.
44. Pillow fight—'nuff said.
45. Get all dressed up and host your own fancy tea party (be sure to invite the dolls and stuffed animals).
46. Crack open those activity books you have piled up.
47. Get everyone together for a family scavenger hunt.
48. Create colorful salt paintings.
49. Have an indoor "camp out" with sleeping bags, a tent, board games, and s'mores.
50. Cook dinner together.
Find more great indoor activities in our WeeWork Activities Guide and sign up for our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox.
Top Photo: Build something spectacular with every one of your Legos! Photo via Bigstock.
This post originally published in November 2008.