Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's Raining, It's Pouring, My Kids Find Me Boring. . .

Well, Fall has already reared it's ugly head here in Oklahoma this last weekend. One minute we are frolicking outside in the summer heat, showering ourselves with the garden hose, and lathering on the sunscreen, the next we are shivering in our shorts, pulling on hoodies, and watching the torrential downpour from our patio window. The woes of Oklahoma weather, changes as often as I change diapers. But as the rainy season approaches and we are getting closer and closer to being cooped up for longer periods of time, I decided it was time to put together a little list of go-to activities to keep these monsters busy, lest they resort to stealing all my marbles. Pinterest has been my End-All in my search for Boredom Cures. These activities, all 30 of them, are easy, cheap, and most involve items that you may already have at your disposal.  Enjoy!! 

Sight Word Bingo
I can tell ya, if anyone is OVER practicing Sight Words, spelling, etc,
 it's this mama!
My kid's in kindergarten, for the love of Pete!
But, it's inevitable that I will get looked at as the mom that "doesn't care",
get the "stank eye" from the teacher if my kid doesn't learn them,
so. . .I think this is the perfect solution.
Write them down on a colorful card, provide snacks, and VIOLA!
I can force myself to endure anything over popcorn and pop.
And if the prizes for BINGO involve a kid who nails his sight words. . .
Take THAT Kindergarten!
 Homemade Jolly Rancher Pops
 At first glance, anything that involves ME and "homemade"
 in the same sentence is inevitably
 an enormous FAIL, but THIS. . .
I'm fairly certain that I can't mess these up. 
Take different flavors of jolly ranchers, line them up together 
with a Popsicle stick, and BAKE at 350 for 7 minutos!
Let sit for 10 minutes and you have a super cheap, easy snack 
that your kiddos will enjoy making with you!

Indoor GRAND Prize Game
 Anyone remember the kids game show with BOZO the clown?
Am I dating myself? 
My mornings were not complete before I saw the Grand Prize Game
first thing in the morning before school. 
Our boys have tons of buckets, boxes, containers lying around.
We take all these and line them up in the living room for some
good, old-fashioned, healthy competition.
We throw balls, small toys, blocks, whatever will fit inside. 
Each bucket achieved gets a small prize. . .
ie. Tickle, Kiss, Hug, Twirl around the room, piggy-back ride. . .
What can I say? I cheap out on the prizes! LOL

Alphabet Scavenger Hunt
The greatest way I've found to get your kids to leave you alone and
let you enjoy a bit of reading/napping/snacking in peace is this:
And this one can be quite educational.
If you're trapped inside due to inclement weather,
print off some colorful letters and give them a mission.
In 20 minutes, they are to find something in the house that starts
with every letter of the alphabet and place the letter on it.
When they are done, they can take you on a hunt
to re-find all the letters.
But mama's the initial pursuit of household items could take them awhile.
Sit back, and get a Chapter or two in.

Balloon Ninjas
There is no surface in my home that my ninja children cannot reach
They need a new mission besides using ME as their 
arch-Nemesis, although it is fun to body slam them. 
Blow up ten balloons with helium and tie them down with 
balloon weights.  Paint fun ninja faces on the balloons.
Let the kiddos plan their attack!
Balloons are a great way for kids to exert pent-up energy
from being stuck inside.

Indoor Obstacle Course
If you are even a "wanna-be crafter" like me, chances are good
that you at least have a bit of yarn or string in your house.
Use it to tie to posts, columns, or random items in your house
to create a mini-obstacle course!
Time your kids to see how fast they can maneuver through it.
This will be great practice for those aspiring bank robbers/spies/spidermen.

Colored Popcorn
Everything's better with a bit more color!
Take some food coloring and drip it in the bag of recently popped corn.
Shake around until you have a brand new creation!
This is great for afternoon snacks with a movie
or for Fall parties with friends.

Pipe Cleaners! Who Knew?
This is a fun one to do with my kindergartner as he is learning
all of his letters in school everyday.
Making learning fun can be difficult, but this activity was a hit!
Buy a package of colorful pipe cleaners and practice forming
certain letters in different colors. See if he can do the
entire alphabet in a certain timed exercise.
This is also fun for my three-year-old. However, with him we usually
end up with shapes that more so resemble a dragon puking a apple
or a potato with eight arms. It's fun times.

Indoor Finger Painting
Sounds like an oxymoron right?!
Why would you fingerpaint inside??
Well, it's raining, it's pouring, and my kids find me boring
so it's time to shake things up a bit.
Take a sheet of white paper, put it in a gallon Ziploc bag.
Take at least two colors and squirt an ample amount in each corner.
Then take the bag to the kitchen table.
Let the little buggers go to town!
This is especially fun for my younger son and can keep
him occupied for at least 30 minutes, giving me a much
needed moment to pray that God will stop the rain
and give us some sunshine and relief from cabin fever. :)

My house hoards body parts. They are lying around everywhere.
It's no big thing to find an arm or a nose stuck down in the
couch cushions. No matter how hard we try,
Potato Head parts will continue to spring up out of nowhere.
As they are so readily accessible in this house, we will make
a game out of it!  This is a cute one!
Put Mr. or Mrs. Potato head together in
various outfits and poses and take photos of them.
Put all their parts back into a communal bin
and then let your littles look at photos to recreate
their favorite looks. It's like the matching game, but better!
This will keep them occupied for a bit while the rain comes pouring down.

Bathtub Fishing
This one is fun and easy.
And who's kids couldn't use another soaking in the tub, right?
Make your own fishing poles with string and a pole and attach
a strong magnet to the bottom of the string.
Get some craft magnets at the hobby store and stick them to
the kids favorite bath toys.
Let them go fishing indoors!
We do this right before we stick them in.  They even like
to play with the magnets once they get in for bath time.
It's a great indoor activity.

Homemade Stamps
Do you save your bottle caps? Maybe I'm the only crazy one.
But if you can collect a few, you can create your own stamps!
Visit the craft store and grab a few soft, rubber shapes to glue on.
Then use a stamp pad and let your little monster have a field
day! This one has kept mine occupied more times than one!

Bath time Ball Pit
Can you tell that I will use any excuse to give these
boys an extra dip in the tub?
They are most definitely boys and can always use an extra
scrubbing.  Here's another idea for the bath on the
days when playing outside is not an option and
bath time comes sooner rather than later.
Grab as many balls as you can and toss them in the water with them!
This may cause some added clean-up afterward, but
the kids will love tossing them around with their toys!

Living Room Sumo Wrestling
Take some of Dad's XL T-shirts and stuff pillows inside!
Remove furniture from the center of the living room
and let the little sumos throw themselves at each other
for an hour.  It will wear them out and cause lots of laughter!
We do this every other day!

The Lego Game
Okay, this board game is homemade but kids love it!
What child doesn't love legos?!
Create your own board with a start and a finish
and a lot of spaces in between. On each space,
write "Take 2 Legos", or "Remove 1 Lego", etc.
Steal a dice from another game and have each child start at the
START with one Lego each.  See who reaches the
FINISH space with the tallest tower!

Exercise Together

I stumbled upon this fun activity by complete accident.
I had popped in an exercise video to do
and the boys thought it looked like too 
much fun not to join in.
They were bending and flexing and kicking
and stretching right along with me.
The yoga poses on little boys are the best.
You may not be able to contain your laughter at 
their downward facing dog and planking.
A fun activity for a rainy afternoon!

Magnetic Puzzles
This craft is a great one for a rainy day!
My kids love puzzles!
Grab some magnetic tape from your local craft store,
take your kids favorite puzzle,
and attach a small piece to each puzzle piece.
Kids will love putting the puzzle together on the fridge!

Old-Fashioned Board Games
We have a love/hate relationship with board games in this family.
We love them when we win and hate them when we lose.
It doesn't stop us from breaking them out
when playing outside is not an option!
In an attempt to teach good sportsmanship,
I only cheat half the time.
The other half the time I let Mr. Grouchy Pants win.
I don't want to continuously have to go find pawns that
have been thrown across the room in violent frustration.
What can I say?  Mom's the Queen of Candyland!

Go Fish
 Before I tackle this activity, I have to resolve to being a loser. 
At least temporarily. 
My children have not yet reached that age where they are "happy losers".
We are still recovering from a tragic loss of Candyland to 
our cousin Chloe. Cards got tossed and pawns got thrown.
It wasn't pretty.
I bought some cards specifically for toddlers to learn "Go Fish". 
Hopefully this will cultivate some patience in my little guy.
Activities that encourage sitting still and concentration
are hard to come by with toddlers. 

Balloon Tennis

This is an activity that I can't wait to try.
Who doesn't have Popsicle sticks and paper plates a plenty?!
Duck tape or hot glue a plate to a Popsicle stick and 
you have your own homemade tennis racket.
Blow up a few balloons to use and set up your court
in the living room or garage.
Don't forget to let them win a few rounds, Mom. 

Homemade Pizzas
I know, I know, who wants to cook!?
This solves two problems! Use this as a simple dinner that
your kids have to create themselves!
We use dough from a can (I know, very organic)
and pre-made Prego pasta sauce. 
Let them fill the top with cheese and their own toppings 
and bake in the oven for 7 minutes (or until cooked) at 350 degrees.
This is great for an after school snack as well!

Make a Dress-Up Box
You know there's WAY too many clothes in your closet! 
And if you're anything like me, you have things in there
 that would rival Lady GaGa's look on the red carpet! 
This is a fun activity to kill two birds with one stone. 
 Closet cleaning and "Dress-Up Clothes Collecting" all in one. 
 Go through your stuff and select items that are colorful
 and funky and that the kiddos would enjoy dressing up in.  
Store them all in a box or a drawer marked
 "Dress-Up" for hours of fashion fun.  
Get into it with them by creating crazy outfits
 that you model for them as well.  
Maybe even host a fashion show in the living room.  
Be the paparazzi and snap photos of them in each funny outfit!  
Everyone loves pretending to be someone else!

Don't Touch the Floor!
If you've never played this game, then you had a horrible childhood.
Take out pillows or paper plates and put them all over the living room.
Lift the ban that children are not allowed to crawl and jump
on the furniture for one hour only and play the
Don't Touch the Floor Game!
Mom, you join in and show them how it's done!
I used to play this for hours with my siblings!

Edible Necklaces
Half of the indoor activities I have involve food.
I might as well get a snack out of all this "rainy day togetherness"!
Use some yarn or string that you have in a junk drawer somewhere
and grab some snacks that can be strung.
Our favorites are Fruit Loops, Pretzels, and marshmallows!
Let the kiddos make as many necklaces as they want!
You'll need something to munch on after they go to bed!
This is an activity that my boys adore!

Family Photo Matching Game
Use regular playing card and tape small photos of your
extended family on them!
This is a great way to introduce members of the family
that your children don't get to see very often in a really fun way.

Digital Hot Potato
Use your iPhone as the "potato".
Sit in a circle or dance around the room to a song on the phone's
iPod.  Set the timer on the phone to go off every 15 seconds or so.
(You can get a camera with a timer at the app store called "Camera+")
The photos that you come up with will make you laugh and laugh!

Make Your Own Music Video
If your kids are like mine, they like to "boogie".
That's an understatement!
We love to have dance parties in the living room to our faves,
Micheal Jackson, Lady Gaga, and Flo Rida! Ha!
We decided to step it up a notch and start recording our
dance parties with the camera on my iphone!
Boy do they love to watch themselves back!  They giggle and laugh
at all of our ridiculous moves! (Well, their moves are ridiculous. . .
I however, have the moves like jagger.)

Storytime Board Game
We heart books. Like, immensely.
So of course, I create a game out of reading!
I used a sheet of white paper and made a board game with spaces
big enough to write the names of books inside.
Every 5 spaces, I would leave a space for an exercise or snack.
There were about 20 book spaces in all.
I'd let the boys pick out books to go in the spaces
and we would write down the titles after finishing each book.
When we reached the activity or snack space, we would do what
it said (ie. 15 jumping jacks). This just gave us a quick break
from all the reading. Then we would get back to it.
This game lasted a good 30-45 minutes and we went
through half of our book collection in one sitting!

Magazine Collages
Who doesn't have a stash of old magazines lying around?!
If you don't, come on over to my house and stock up!
We love to sit around the living room or kitchen
cutting and pasting to create magazine collages!
I actually think that my kids may love using scissors more than
they love just about anything! It can keep them occupied for HOURS!

Hallway Tents
If you have an extra sheet in the house, this is a great
little activity for kids trapped inside.
We build forts and tents on a daily basis around here,
but doing it in the hallway, and creating more of a tunnel
was super fun! Mom even loved getting down on all fours
and finding my way through the hallway to the laundry room!

Well, there you have it! 30 Rainy Day Activities for Kiddos!
There are many more you can find on Pinterest!
Here's to having fun and not getting cabin fever this Fall!


  1. Wow, you have a collection of awesome ideas for kids. My son would particularly love your balloon ninjas. I think I'll have to organise some for his party in November. I have just become a follower of yours on Facebook. I'd love it if you came and visited my blog - Crafty Little People - and if you like become a follower.

  2. How did you make the LEGO game? I see a LEGO print behind the squares. Power Point???