As a parent, I know how challenging it can be to keep kids entertained during bad weather. We live in Idaho where it seems that the winters are always too cold and the summers too hot. We get snow days, rain days, and heat waves that just make you want to stay in the house. And with four kids, cabin fever can quickly set in and make everyone a little stir-crazy. But fear not! With a bit of creativity and some fun ideas, you can turn any indoor day into a fun-filled adventure for kids of all ages.
Tips for Keeping Kids Entertained During Bad Weather
Make a Blanket Fort
Building a blanket fort is a classic rainy day activity that never gets old. All you need is some blankets, pillows, and a bit of space in your living room. Get your kids involved in the building process, and let them use their imagination to create the ultimate fort. You can even turn it into a sensory experience by adding different items like paper plates, wooden spoons, and pipe cleaners to create a fun indoor play area.
Have a Dance Party
Bring the dance party inside! My kids have a karaoke machine they got from grandma for Christmas and it’s a great thing to break out on I’m bored days. Dancing and singing is a fun way to get some extra exercise and energy out and a great opportunity to bond with your kids. Older children might enjoy taking turns being the DJ, and younger kids will love showing off their moves. Bonus points for using props like paper clips and googly eyes to create your own instruments.
Play Card Games
Card games are a great way to pass the time and have fun as a family. Whether it’s a classic game like Go Fish or a family favorite like Candy Land, card games are easy for kids of all ages to enjoy. You can even get creative and make up your own games using a deck of cards.
Create a Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are great for keeping kids entertained during bad weather. All you need is a large container and some small toys, like old egg cartons or small plastic animals. Fill the container with different items and let your kids explore and play with them. It’s a great way to develop fine motor skills and sensory processing, and it’s an easy activity that you can customize to your child’s interests.
Organize a Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is a great way to keep kids of all ages entertained, and it’s a good opportunity to teach life skills like problem-solving and critical thinking. Create a list of items your kids need to find around the house, or set up clues leading to a hidden treasure. It’s a fun way to get extra exercise and fresh air, even if you’re indoors.
Do a Science Experiment
Science experiments are a fun way to learn and have fun at the same time. We love these ones that come to your door all ready to go, or you can search your own online. A favorite activity in our house is making shaving cream rain clouds. All you need is shaving cream, food coloring, and a glass of water. Put a few drops of food coloring on top of the shaving cream, and watch as it “rains” into the glass. It’s a simple experiment that kids of all ages will love.
Build with Cardboard Boxes
Cardboard boxes are a great way to spark your child’s imagination and creativity. You can turn a big cardboard box into a fort, a spaceship, or even a car. Get your kids involved in the building process, and let them use their favorite toys to play in their creation. It’s a fun way to recycle, and it can keep kids entertained for a lot of time.
Make Play Dough
Making play dough is an easy activity that kids of all ages can enjoy. All you need is flour, salt, water, and food coloring. Mix the ingredients together and let your kids create their own sculptures and shapes. It’s a great way to develop fine motor skills and encourage creativity. Plus, it’s a great sensory experience for younger children.
Create an Indoor Obstacle Course or Car Track
Keeping kids entertained during bad weather doesn’t have to be expensive. You can use what you have in the house! If your kids have extra energy to burn, creating an indoor obstacle course can be a great exercise and a fun way to keep them entertained. Use furniture, pillows, and other household items to create a challenging course that your kids need to navigate. You can even time them and turn it into a friendly competition. You can also use painters tape to set up indoor hop scotch and road tracks for cars!
Have a Treasure Hunt
Similar to a scavenger hunt, a treasure hunt is a fun way to keep kids entertained and teach life skills at the same time. Hide a small treasure somewhere in your home, and create clues or a map that your kids need to follow to find it. It’s a great way to encourage problem-solving and critical thinking, and it can be a lot of fun for kids of all ages.
Play Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles are a classic indoor game that never gets old. They’re a great way to develop problem-solving skills and encourage family members to work together. You can choose a puzzle that’s age-appropriate for your kids and work on it together as a family. It’s a great way to spend quality time together and unwind on a rainy day.
Host a Tea Party
Hosting a tea party is a fun way to get dressed up and have a special treat on a dreary day. You can make your favorite drinks and snacks and set up a special area in your home for the party. It’s a great opportunity to teach kids about manners, social skills, and a fun way to spend time together as a family.
Draw Pictures or Do Art Projects
Drawing pictures or doing art projects is fun to encourage creativity and self-expression. You can set up a special area in your home with art supplies and let your kids create their own masterpieces. You can even turn it into a fun activity by creating a theme, like drawing your favorite things or making a collage with paper plates and pipe cleaners. We love rock painting. It’s a great indoor activity, then when the weather shapes up, you can take a walk outside, placing your rocks where they’ll make people happy.
Limit Screen Time
This is a HUGE one. I can always tell when my kids have had too much screen time. They’re moody and sluggish. I call it mush brain. While it might be tempting to turn on the TV or play video games all day, limiting screen time is important for kids’ development and well-being. Instead, encourage them to engage in other fun indoor activities and games. It’s a good idea to set some ground rules and have a balance of different activities throughout the day.
Get Out of the House
Even when the weather isn’t great, it’s still helpful to get out of the house for some fresh air and exercise. Our bodies need those endorphins! Put on your rain or snow gear, and take a walk around your neighborhood or a nearby park. Or in hot weather, pack a portable misting fan. It’s a good opportunity to explore and enjoy the rainy weather, and it can be a great way to combat cabin fever.
Bad weather doesn’t have to be a drag. With some creativity and fun indoor activities, you can turn a dreary day into a fun-filled adventure for kids of all ages. From building blanket forts to hosting tea parties, plenty of fun ideas can keep kids entertained during bad weather. Remember to limit screen time and to take breaks throughout the day to get some fresh air and exercise. With these tips, you can beat cabin fever and make the most out of any rainy day.