15 Indoor Activities That Get Kids Moving on Rainy Days

Wendy Robinson | Apr 12, 2017 Big Kid
15 Indoor Activities That Get Kids Moving on Rainy Days
Image: iStock.com/Chalabala

kid looking out window on rainy day
It is raining tonight. It was raining yesterday. It is supposed to rain next week too. As someone who lives in Minnesota, I'm both thrilled that it isn't snow and worried that my kids are going to turn into total couch potatoes while we wait for it to be dry enough to play outside.

When we're stuck inside on a rainy day, my goal is to make sure my kids don't spend the whole day on a screen and that we do something active. That might involve a dance party or an epic pillow fight -- anything that is play and gets them moving. 

I'm always on the hunt for new good ideas, so I asked some of the smartest moms I know for their surefire ways to get their kids up and active. Read on for some super fun ideas for rainy day activities that aren't sedentary -- I'm totally stealing #3!

  • Balloon Olympics

    mom and kid playing with balloons

    "Our rainy day go-to is balloon Olympics. I should mention I have five kids from 2 to 11, so keeping everyone from going nuts is a high priority. We get a bag of balloons and then we play things like balloon volleyball, or balloon relay races (where you can't use your hands, so it's kind of hysterical), or even balloon popping contests. It is fun and silly and doesn't totally destroy the house, which is a bonus." -- Amber E., Grand Haven, Michigan

  • Classic Hide-'n'-Seek

    hide and seek

    "Listen, hide-'n'-seek is a classic for a reason! That is one of our go-to indoor, crappy-day games. We really like to have the kids from next door over too. More players makes it more fun and gets them playing longer." -- Teri J., Lexington, Kentucky

  • Sock Wars

    kid putting on socks

    "My husband invented a fun rainy day thing -- sock wars! They start by building forts all over the house, and then the kids break into teams. One team is colored socks and one is white socks. They ball the socks up and throw them at each other and try to steal them, stuff like that. It's sort of like an indoor snowball fight combined with, like, capture the flag. It make a pretty big mess but it keeps them off the couch for hours." -- Hannah M., Novi, Michigan

  • Mommy-and-Me Yoga

    Mommy-and-Me Yoga

    "One of my mom goals is to make sure everyone in the house gets some exercise every day. On nice days, this is pretty easy; we just go to the park or do things in the backyard. On bad weather days, I've discovered some really great yoga videos online that my girl and I can do together. It is fun and makes sure we don't spend all day vegging out on the couch." -- Myra D., Highland Park, Illinois

  • DIY Cooking Show

    kids cooking with dad in kitchen

    "We like to pretend to be hosting a cooking show. We set up the camera, and I let the kids cook and narrate what they're doing. They love to ham it up, and then we send the videos to my parents. I get cookies, the kids stay busy, and my parents like the videos -- winning all around!" -- Rachel W., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • Dance Party

    mom and daughter dancing

    "We love a dance party on a rainy day. I used to teach dance, so we do full-on choreography and everything. My Beyonce game is strong, if I do say so myself. We even put on a little show at the end of the day when my husband gets home." -- Faith W., Oakdale, Minnesota

    More from CafeMom: 8 Things Every Parent Should Have on Hand for Creative Rainy Day Fun

  • Indoor Bowling

    bottled water

    "We like to make our own indoor bowling alley! We use plastic water bottles or something else like that with rubber balls. It is pretty basic but always fun." -- Jill F., Duluth, Minnesota

    More from CafeMom: 30 Things to Do With Your Kids on a Rainy Day

  • Indoor Gymnastics

    kid jumping

    "The smartest thing we did when we bought our house was to put active toys in our basement playroom. We have a mini-trampoline, a small balance beam, and even a swing mounted to the ceiling. On rainy days, we just send them down to the basement and they get all their energy out." -- Trish E., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • Building With Cardboard Boxes

    kids sitting in cardboard box

    "It's amazing what kids will come up with given a bunch of boxes, some scissors, and duct tape. I keep a stash of boxes in the basement and pull them out on indoor days. We've made some amazing forts and robot costumes." -- Karla M., Joplin, Missouri

  • Jump Rope Contest

    jump rope

    "My kids are insanely competitive with each other, so on rainy or snowy days, I just pull out the jump ropes and let them have a contest to see who can get the most jumps in a row. 

    "They are usually SWEATY by the time they finally give up." -- Claire D., Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Money Scavenger Hunt

    kid putting coin in jar

    "I hide a handful of change in spots around the house. The kids race around the house trying to find it. Best $2.37 I can spend!" -- Jessie B., Somerset, Iowa

  • Playing Dress Up

    kids playing dress up

    "Our last rainy day, my daughter had some friends over, so we pulled out the dress-up clothes. They played dress up and then decided to act out one of their favorite books. It was so cute and so creative and kept them busy for hours." -- Aisha D., Seattle, Washington

  • Furniture Rearranging

    moving a couch

    "Okay, this sounds crazy, but we move furniture when the kids are bored and stuck inside. Rearranging the stuff in the family room is a weird kind of fun. And sometimes seeing the room in a different way, especially if we move the couches out of the way, gives them more space to play for the rest of the day." -- Joyce C., Santa Fe, New Mexico

  • Active Video Games

    family playing active video game

    "Rainy days mean my kids want to play video games or watch TV. I've decided to embrace the video game and just make sure we are playing the active ones, like tennis and bowling. It's actually pretty fun." -- Erin A., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • Play With Tape

    roll of masking tape

    "You can actually do a lot with a roll of masking tape! We make hopscotch courses, make a track for race cars, and even make lanes for spoon races. The novelty of being allowed to put tape on the carpet makes everything more fun, I think." -- Priscilla D., Tucson, Arizona

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