50 Indoor Activities for Kids on a Rainy Day

Even if it's cloudy and raining outside, you can create sunshine and rainbows inside.
Even if it's cloudy and raining outside, you can create sunshine and rainbows inside.

When rain or cold weather—or a pandemic—keeps kids inside, it can be hard to keep everyone entertained. But, staying at home can be lots of fun if you're armed with the right indoor activities. 

Below, we've rounded up 50 indoor, boredom-busting games, crafts, and other things to do with kids to turn a rainy day into a memorable one. If you need more ideas, you'll find tons of indoor activities in our Stay-at-Home Guide. We've also got a toddler-friendly list of 30+ activities to keep little ones busy and happy at home. So, read on and relish this time inside.

Find more great indoor activities in our Boredom Busters Guide and sign up for our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox.

Escape reality with an Escape Room kit! Photo courtesy of Escape Kit

1. Bake without losing your sanity.

2. Create an Escape Room at home in a few steps with a downloadable Escape Room kit. 

3. Whip up a batch of slime or Oobleck and challenge your young scientist to define its state of matter.

4. Get everyone together for an indoor scavenger hunt.

RELATED: 50 Free Printable Activity Pages for Kids

Have a Magna-Tiles building challenge. Photo by Sara Marentette

5. Build, create, and invent with STEM-inspired toys.

6. Crack open those activity books you have piled up. 

7. Create colorful salt paintings.

8. Gather the family to enjoy a story podcast.

9. Make instruments; then, lead a marching band parade through the living room.

10. Burn some energy with one of these 25 indoor exercise games.

RELATED: Best Kids' TV Shows and Movies to Stream During Quarantine

Curl-up with popcorn and a movie or a good book.

11. Pop some kernels and watch a classic movie. We've got 50 family-friendly picks!

12. Try these imaginative DIY sensory games for the babies and tots.

13. Write letters (on actual paper with pens and pencils) to out-of-town relatives or friends.

14. Bake a mug cake.

15. Play a game of freeze dance using a playlist inspired by these kindie bands.

16. Satisfy your sweet tooth and DIY some rock candy.  

RELATED: 65 Life Skills to Teach Kids at Every Age

Get decorating with this easy and delicious activity.

17. Buy pre-made frosting (and even cupcakes) and set up a cupcake decorating station with whatever candies, nuts, and sprinkles you have on hand.

18. Blow up some balloons, toss 'em in the air, and don't let them touch the ground, or grab some paddles for balloon tennis.

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. Try these easy at-home crafts for preschoolers, or whip up a set of fairy wings for more imaginative play.

23. Have a tie-dye party, or opt for an easier tie-dye alternative (with a built-in science lesson!).

RELATED: Working From Home: A Big List to Keep Kids Busy While Mom and Dad Work

Set up science experiments and let kids come up up with their own too! Photo by Sara Marentette

24. Embrace your inner Einstein with cool science experiments.

25. Make a watercolor masterpiece.

26. Pull out the building blocks and Legos to create a mini city.

27. Play "I Spy" or "20 Questions."

28. Make paper-bag puppets and put on a show.

29. Craft the easiest bird feeder ever.

RELATED: 30+ Toddler Activities to Keep Little Ones Busy (and Happy) at Home

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. Fill the kitchen sink with bath toys, give them a bottle of soap, and let them have at it.

33. Tackle a challenging puzzle as a family.

34. Play-Doh.

35. Explore NYC—in a book or the whole world with a virtual field trip or tour!

RELATED: 40 Jokes That Will Keep the Whole Family in Giggles

From mixing to rolling and painting, salt-dough ornaments keep kids busy for much of the day!

36. Bake simple salt-dough ornaments and then paint them into seasonal designs, such as Easter eggs, or use whatever cookie cutter shapes you have available.

37. Challenge your brood to a game of charades.

38. Build a sensory bin. They aren't just for toddlers!

39. Make granola bars.

40. Use hallways for classic games like "Red Light, Green Light" and "Leapfrog."

41. Get groovy and make your own lava lamp

42. Go bowling at home.

RELATED: 99 Sensory Activities for Any Child

Set up an obstacle course or gym mats and let kids burn off some energy. Photo by Sara Marentette

43. Build an indoor obstacle course!

44. Do anything that involves bubble wrap.

45. Get all dressed up and host a fancy tea party (be sure to invite the dolls and stuffed animals).

46. Play "Simon Says" or "Follow the Leader."

47. Cuddle up with a pile of books.

48. Grab a deck of cards and teach your kids the simple joys of RummySpit, or Slapjack.

49. Have an indoor "camp out" with sleeping bags, a tent, board games, and s'mores.

50. Cook dinner together.

Photos by Rose Gordon Sala except where noted.

This article first published in November 2008 but has since been updated.

Online Website Coding Class: Html/Css/JavaScript for Kids
Young Gates-KIds Online Personalized Classes - various times
Online JavaScript Coding Classes for Teens
Young Gates-KIds Online Personalized Classes - various times
Online Scratch Coding Classes for Kids
Young Gates-KIds Online Personalized Classes - various times
Kids Online Python Coding Classes
Young Gates-KIds Online Personalized Classes - various times
Activity Guides