Little Kids

6 Rainy Day Activities for Kids

Here are six activities to keep your little ones entertained on those days you can't get outside.

By Heather Dixon
6 Rainy Day Activities for Kids

As much as we all love outdoor play—fresh air and less mess are a winning combination—sometimes you have to stay inside. Whether it's a rainy day or a sick day, it can be hard to keep everyone entertained indoors all day long.

That's why we've compiled a list of some of our favorite rainy day activities for kids, along with toys that are perfect for each activity. From kid-friendly card games to messy sensory projects, there's something for every type of tot.

What are the best rainy day activities for kids?

If you're like us, we're always looking for new indoor activities to have on hand for those days you can't get outside. Whether it's grabbing a deck of cards and learning a new kid-friendly card game, setting up an easy sensory bin with dried rice or putting on a puppet show. Some days though, it's easier to find a new toy that also doubles and builds cognitive or creative skills. We've got some great options, no matter what your family might be in the mood for.

Best Activity for Pretend Play

Set of 4 knit finger puppets displayed on curved wood piece Source: Cuddoll

Puppet shows are an easy way to encourage creativity, storytelling and cooperation. Make your own puppets with craft supplies or invest in these handmade options from Cuddoll.

There are hand, finger and two-finger puppets to choose from and these organic cotton toys are appropriate for ages six months and older.


Best activity for sensory play

Kinetic Sand

Sensory play is great for developing language and motor skills and best of all, it's easy to put together a sensory bin in minutes from items you have around the house. Dried rice and beans, rocks and small toys can be combined to create a world of exploration for your little one.

kinetic sand, rainy day activities Merchant

We love kinetic sand for this. Use it on its own or add it to a sensory bin filled with other things to touch, squish and feel. Just pouring this stuff into a foil pans and plastic bins is enough of a rainy day activity for kids! Plus, it's pretty mess-free.



Best messy activity

DIY Slime Time

Slime never gets old for little ones. It's another excellent way to explore sensory play, and it's so easy to make, you can hand the reins to your kids—meaning that they'll be kept busy even longer. Keep some paper towel on hand though, because this stuff can get seriously gloopy.

galaxy slime, rainy day activities for kids Merchant

Look up slime recipes online or buy a pre-made kit that comes with everything you need, except the measuring implements and water. We love this intergalactic, out-of-this-world galaxy slime kit. It comes with everything they need to make glow-in-the-dark goop that stretches and shines.


Best quiet activity

Creative Puzzles

picture of wee gallery wooden puzzle with animal pieces Source: Wee Gallery

Puzzles are a classic way to have fun inside and are fun for the whole family. This puzzle—designed for toddlers—is perfect for more than one type of play. Once your little one has solved the puzzle by placing the pieces in their spots, they can also use the animals as characters for some imaginative playtime.

Did we mention it's also gorgeous? Plus, it's one of the indoor activities for kids that can be done, redone and done again. If you really want to impress the kids, devote a whole treasure chest or living room corner to puzzles. They're fun rainy day activities for kids and a screen-free way to get them thinking.


Best activity for cognitive skills


Who doesn't love a good memory game? They're great for fostering concentration and focus and building problem-solving skills. You can make your own simple game by coloring on one side of paper cards you cut out yourself (remember to make two of each color) or you can buy a set that will last.

overhead shot of the little matchables game on the floor with two hands in frame reaching for the blocks Source: Lily & River

This beautiful wood set comes with a canvas pouch for simple storage. But you don't need a whole fancy set to play this tried-and-true classic. You can play it indoors or outdoors with a deck of cards, dominoes or other ordinary objects. Kids won't even notice rain clouds in the sky when they're immersed in this brain-bending game.



Best activity for budding photographers

Photo Time

Unleash your child's inner photographer. Taking pictures can be just the beginning of hours of indoor fun. After they snap some shots, they can arrange them into art—make a collage, put them on colorful backgrounds, and hang them around the house to create their own gallery showing. 

young boy holding up the kidamento model k sloth camera taking a picture Source: Kidamento

The opportunities are endless with this little toy. This digital camera is kid-friendly, easy to use and adorable. Use a cardboard box to display their gallery-level work.


Read More:

7 fun sensory play ideas to encourage your child's development

How to do tummy time with your baby: fun activities to try

Pokémon cards: What parents need to know


Heather Dixon is a Managing Editor of a non-profit website and author of fiction. She spent over a decade in the marketing and advertising industry as a copywriter, and has also written about motherhood for a number of established websites, including Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Motherly, Pregnant Chicken, Red Tricycle and others. You can find her at

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