When rain is keeping you inside, it can be hard to keep everyone entertained. Of course, Greater Daytona Beach offers plenty of amazing children’s museums and exhibits, indoor play spaces, and classes and activities where families can take shelter when bad weather arrives, but sometimes staying home can be just as much fun—if you know the right games. Whatever the reason you’re staying put, try one of these 10 activities to turn a rainy day at home into a memorable one.
1. Kids in the Kitchen
A rainy day is the perfect time to spend some time in the kitchen teaching your kids about cooking. There’s so much to learn – measuring, following a recipe, various skills such as whisking, stirring, cutting, and even presentation on the plate! To really get the kids involved, enlist their help in choosing a recipe. Our family loves to make muffins. There are so many different varieties, and the kids love both making them and eating them. Has anyone else noticed that kids seem to enjoy healthy snacks more when they’ve made it themselves? These Gluten and Dairy Free Banana Blueberry Power Muffins are one of my family’s absolute favorite recipes, and coincidentally, they were created by my absolute favorite jewelry designer.
2. Chopped Junior
Both my girls are very interested in cooking and creating, and my eldest is always asking me when it’s going to be her turn to get cooking. Using the television show, Chopped, as inspiration, give each child the same four to six ingredients (play food or real) and have them make the most delicious dish they can create. Although the “dish” is not always edible, or even visually appealing, this game is a great way to grow practical kitchen skills and a sense of independence and accomplishment.
At the end of the “challenge,” I ask them to “tell me about your dish” which is always a trip to listen to – at least from my child who is fully verbal. The kids have a blast and they learn from their culinary mistakes. It’s a total win in terms of entertainment and getting the kids involved in food prep.
3. Indoor Bowling
This easy bowling game will get your kids moving indoors on a cold or rainy day. Even babies can have fun knocking down the pins and it’s great for motor skills. Set up your bowling “lane” with some painter’s tape and use plastic bottles or cups for pins or create a plastic cup pyramid to up the fun‐factor even more. Use any type of ball to bowl, attempting to knock down as many pins as possible. Small children probably won’t care about scoring; they’ll just enjoy knocking down the pins. Another option is to purchase a simple bowling game such as this one. If you are a competitive family and enjoy keeping score, give each player two rolls and like regular bowling and add up the number of pins downed. The highest score after 10 rounds wins!
4. Set Up Camp
Go camping – inside! Roll out sleeping bags near the fireplace, set up camping chairs, make popcorn and s’mores. Sing camp songs and tell stories by flashlight! The girls love playing “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt” by hiding a bear (or other stuffed animal) somewhere in the house, and using “hot” or “cold” for a bit of direction). Bonus points if you read these books during your “camping” trip.
- S Is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet
- 1 2 3 Make A S’more With Me: A silly counting book
- Llama Llama Loves Camping
- Maisy Goes Camping
- Curious George Goes Camping
5. Wax Paper Figure Skating
I grew up in Connecticut, and an easy way to get my kids into the New England spirit is by turning our hardwood floors (or any smooth surface) into a skating rink. Move any furniture or obstacles to the side of the room and map out the rink with tape. Construct “skates” by cutting or ripping a large square of wax paper for each foot, and have the skater stand on it as you wrap the paper up to their ankle and secure it with either tape or a rubber band. Each skater can pick their own song and take some time to practice before heading out onto the “ice” for their big performance. Stumbles and laughs are guaranteed.
6. Tea Party Games
My three-year-old and one-year-old are tea party obsessed. Of course the standard tea is always a good time, but we like to elevate the experience when we are rained in at home. They like (ok, I like) to swap out their pretend food for organic juice and fresh cookies, and we practice pouring and passing real food. We have also discovered a few games that pair nicely with a tea party.
- Sugar Cube Stack Game- Divide your family into teams of two, and see who can create the tallest stack of sugar cubes in 30 seconds. Creating sculptures/castles with the sugar cubes can also fun too!
- Tea Bag Art- This project is a great way to explore senses. Purchase a variety pack of fruit flavored herbal tea bags and some watercolor paper ahead of time. If you can’t find watercolor paper, thick cardstock should be OK too. The variety tea pack will offer different colors and scents for the kids to paint with, and the watercolor paper and heavy card stock won’t get too wet and fall apart. Put the tea bags on the paper, and individually spray them with just a little bit of water. The tea bags will slowly started to show a bit of color around the edges. Move them and press them all over the paper to create a beautiful watercolor work of art!
7. Create Your Own Jewelry
Pull out uncooked ziti – or any large pasta noodle – and paint, jewel, and color all of your custom “beads”. Use a piece of string (a shoestring works well because of the hard end) and threat your beautiful beads to create necklaces, crowns and bracelets. This is a great fine motor activity for those little hands!
8. Fashion Show
Let the kids raid your closet and put on a fashion show. My girls love to dress‐up in my heels and jewelry, and this idea brings that love to the next level. Create a long runway out of painters tape or craft paper and and invite your pint-sized fashionistas to perform their best walk in front of their stuffed animals. Watching my girls wear my sunglasses, handbags and shoes while blasting our favorite music is equally adorable as it is hilarious.
9. Kinetic Sand
Like most kids, my toddlers love kinetic sand. It’s not quite wet and not quite dry, it’s extremely mold-able, won’t dry out, and can be sculpted easily by even the tiniest hands. Kinetic sand can provide hours of fun, sensory play for your little ones, all without the mess of slime or the skill required for clay. Kinetic sand also holds its shape much better than standard beach sand, and can be colored or scented for added appeal and stimulation. So, cover the kitchen table (or better yet, take kids outside) to build sandcastles anytime by making your own kinetic sand. I really like this non-toxic kinetic sand recipe that combines cornstarch, sand, and hand soap, this version of kinetic sand can be colored with food-safe dye in all shades of the rainbow. In order to achieve the brightest rainbow colors, purchase bright white play sand in bulk to provide a blank canvas so the colored dye really pops. Adding color to your DIY kinetic sand is a great way to teach kids about color mixing as well, so start with the primaries and challenge little ones to mix the remaining colors. DIY not your thing? We really love this Kinetic Sand Kit that comes with a folding sandbox.
10. Sticky Spider Web
String painter’s tape up in a wide doorway, creating a spider web pattern. Then, ball up pieces of paper and take turns throwing them against the web. Make it a competition by giving you and the kids different colored balls of paper, and seeing who gets the most pieces stuck! We like to play this game after reading the books The Very Busy Spider and Are You a Spider?.
Need more rainy day inspiration? Check out 10 Rainy Day Activities In Daytona Beach.