17 Fun Things To Do Inside On A Rainy Day
17 Indoor Games and Activities for Those Dreaded Rainy Days
Most of us can agree that there’s something cozy and wonderful about being inside on a rainy day, but unless you have a really good book to dig into, those days can get a little boring as well. Especially when one rainy day bleeds into the next – it may not be long before you and your kids are pulling each other’s hair out! Before you wind up with a bald, bitter family, you need to find something to do. When you’re sick of the internet and you’ve watched all the Netflix you can handle, brave those dreaded rainy days with this collection of 17 indoor games and activities sure to put some sunshine back into your home.
Hold a Baking Contest
Rainy days were practically made for creative kitchen projects. If you don’t have a big, beautiful recipe box filled with meals and desserts you’ve been waiting for the right time to make, this is the time to start one. Baking can be a joy at any time, but it’s an especially great way to while away those rainy day hours. Invite the whole family into the kitchen for a baking collaboration…or turn it into a contest, where everyone gets to choose something to make on their own. You might even designate someone as the official taster and turn it into a full-scale production. The more effort you put into it, the more fun you’ll have! A terrifically yummy way to beat the weather.
Coloring: Go Back to the Basics
Adult coloring books are all the trend lately, but not everyone likes to spend hours filling in every geometric shape and space in a picture that winds up looking like something out of a Grateful Dead fever dream. If you’re not into these trendy books, go back to the basics and color pictures that actually, you know, look like pictures! You may feel a little silly coloring Elsa and Captain America next to your kids, but that’s part of the fun. If you can’t let go of your stoic “adult” mindset every now and again, life turns into a slog. Use the opportunity of this rainy day to get back in touch with your inner child.
Play a Computer Game Together
Games like Halo and Dark Souls don’t exactly cry out for family interaction, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss computer games altogether. Websites like GOG and Big Fish have loads of hidden object/point-and-click adventure games that are ridiculously suitable for collaborative play. You can even reach back in time for a classic like King’s Quest or MYST. These games feature challenging puzzles that encourage you and your family to talk and think about your next move. If you don’t think computer games lend themselves to “quality family time,” you may be surprised.
Have Wine Tasting Day
Obviously a lot of the games and activities on this list are meant for the whole family, but hey – adults need a respite from the rain as well. If you and your friends had plans to go out to your favorite outdoor restaurant/bar but you’re stuck at home because of the inclement weather, this is a great time to hold a private wine tasting. Grab a few different bottles – they don’t have to be expensive – and set up a blind taste challenge for you and your friends. Set out a collection of high-quality wine glasses, invite your friends to bring over some snacks, and make the most of the night!
The Memory Game
This is a fun game to play with kids or adults, and you don’t need any additional materials. It goes something like this: The first person kicks it off by saying, “I went on a walk and brought an APPLE along with me.” The second person in the group takes their turn by using APPLE and then a “B” word of their choice, so it might go like this: “I went on a walk and brought an APPLE and a BANANA along with me.” The game goes on like this, with people dropping out when they fail to remember one of the items (or if they can’t come up with a letter word of their own). It doesn’t have to be limited to food, of course!
The Touching Box
If you’ve got a group of bored, irritable kids who would rather be outside on the playground, this is a terrific way to engage their minds and senses, taking their thoughts away from what they COULD be doing and placing them back on what they ARE doing – which is, after all, the simplest key to happiness. The Touching Box involves getting a shoe box or some other box and cutting a hole in the side. Inside the box, place a mysterious substance – spaghetti, gemstones, pebbles, sand, whatever you want – and have your kids put their hands inside the box and try to guess what it is. The more creative and “gross” you can get with the substances, the more fun this game becomes.
You don’t necessarily have to complicate things when trying to find games and activities to play on a rainy day. Sometimes, in fact, the most fun comes when you keep things as simple as possible. To that end, what could be simpler than a fun round or two of that old classic, Hangman? This doubles as a great game for kids who are learning to read – it will help them expand their vocabulary, practice their spelling, and visualize how letters fit together to make words.
A Lego Project
Perhaps you haven’t been down the Lego aisle at your local department store lately. If not, you may not be aware of just how complex these sets have become. We swear, when we were kids, you got a bucket of Legos and, if you had little talent for construction and creativity, you proceeded to make a tall tower out of the blocks and call it a day. Today, though? You can construct everything from a medieval castle to a futuristic biodome – and that’s not even getting into specific properties like the Death Star. Tackling a big Lego project requires some quiet and some patient attention, and there’s nothing like a rainy day to put you in the right mood.
Make Movie Lists
We may be alone in feeling this way, but we’ve always found it more fun to plan the doing of things than actually doing them! If you have this specific quirk of personality, get together with your partner, pull out a quality notebook, and make categorical lists of movies you both might like to watch. It may sound boring at first blush, but if you’re both movie buffs, it can get really fun as you break the lists down into categories. For instance, you can make lists of movies you’ve seen from childhood that your partner hasn’t, lists of movies you both want to watch from the 1970s, Best Picture winners you never got around to watching, the sky’s the limit. And then later, when it feels like you’ve watched everything there is to watch on Netflix, you’ve got a treasure trove of movies to check out!
Have a Scavenger Hunt
This is a fun little idea for adults and kids of all ages. You probably already know what a scavenger hunt is, but in case you don’t, here are the basics: You come up with a list of 15-20 items around the house and then you send everyone on the loose with a copy of the list. The first person to find all the items is the winner! To extend the life of the game, you’re going to want to get fairly obscure with your items; if it’s all “glass,” “fork,” “pillow,” the game’s going to be over pretty quick.
It seems like the high point of this trend has already come and gone, but for a while there you couldn’t go to your local park without finding one or two strange, painted rocks on the ground or in the branches of a tree. People may not be painting and hiding rocks like they were a couple of years ago, but that doesn’t make the activity any less fun. Get some rocks (you can use ones from the wild or buy them in bags from the craft store), a collection of acrylic paints, and let your imagination fly. On the back, write “[Your Town] Rocks” and hide them somewhere in public the next time you have the chance. It’s not only a great way to pass the time, it might just brighten someone else’s day.
Play a Card Game
Whether you have a taste for bridge, poker, Uno, Old Maid, or War, rainy days were practically made for card games. Experts in brain development say that introducing children to card games are helpful when it comes to strengthening their frontal lobes – the parts of the brain that work to plan, organize, and make good decisions in life. And hey, it gives you a chance to turn off the television and have some good ol’ family fun time, so what further benefit do you need?
Play Simon Says
Simon Says is a classic game that requires absolutely no materials – just a sense of fun and a little bit of creativity. In addition to acting as a hilarious way to while away the rainy hours, Simon Says is an excellent way to develop memory skills, cognitive responsiveness, and a careful attention to detail. Did the gamemaster say “Simon Says”? When the “caller” is able to get the game running very quickly, that’s when the fun really starts.
Make Something With Play-Doh
Is there anything like the smell of Play-Doh for an instant hit of distilled nostalgia? We would love to have a tally of the number of hours we spent on the floor of our bedroom, mashing and mushing and molding this colored clay in the days of our early youth. Why not revisit those days with your kids? Take the opportunity of a rainy day to break out the little cups of dough and collaborate on a sculpture, spell out words, or make “food” with a little help from your imagination. Just don’t eat it!
Put Together a Puzzle
Rainy days and puzzles go together like eggs and bacon. The great thing about a puzzle is that it’s fun as a solitary activity and it’s also a great way to spend some quality time with a friend, a partner, or a child. There’s something about putting together a quality puzzle that quiets the mind and reminds us that the simplest joys come from the smallest things. If working on a puzzle with someone else, we find it helps to divide the tasks – for instance, one person can work on the left side of the picture while you put together the right-hand side. When you meet in the middle, you’ll be surprised at how accomplished and proud you both feel!
Name That Tune
You certainly don’t need to put your computers and devices away completely in order to have a good, wholesome time with your friends and family. Yes, a rainy day is a great time to turn off the internet and connect more deeply with the ones you love, but there’s no reason you can’t use the tools at your disposal for a fun, engaged game. For instance, music services like YouTube and Spotify lend themselves perfectly to a good round of Name That Tune. Take turns looking up songs and playing them for each other, challenging the other person to “name that tune” as quickly as possible. You can narrow the game down to specific categories – soundtrack songs, 80s songs, love ballads, etc – for added fun.
Play a Board Game
If your house is anything like ours, you have a closet somewhere that’s filled with board games that do little else but collect dust in the dark. Well, there’s nothing like a rainy day to send you searching through these neglected stacks. You might find a treasure – a game you never played before or one whose unique charms you forgot all about. Wordsmiths will appreciate a good game of Scrabble, creative-types might like a long round of Dungeons & Dragons, and others might prefer to engage in the strategic beauty of chess. Games like Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly are classics that can easily last two hours or more – perfect for whiling away those rainy-day blues.