If you’re like me, being cooped up on a rainy day is no easy task. Especially if leaving the house isn’t an option for the day. This is where rainy day toddler activities comes in!
The point of these activities is to avoid screen time.
My family resides in Michigan, and rainy, dreary days are more common here than sun-shiny days.
Don’t get me wrong, Michigan is a great place to live.
We are surrounded by enormous freshwater lakes; each a few hours drive across the state depending on where you’re located. The summers are beautiful and outdoor activities are a plenty.
However, we have very harsh, long winters with lengthy bouts of damp, overcast days.
On these long days, finding activities to do indoors can be tricky.
For families with young children, especially those with little ones on the move, rainy days can feel like they drag on forever. Staying busy is key to combat those never-ending, slow-moving daylight hours.
In this article, you will find 25 things to do on a rainy day with a toddler. Of course, you don’t need the excuse of a rainy day to partake in these activities.
However, it sure will come in helpful when the rain is falling and you’re stuck indoors watching your local family of ducks enjoy their ideal day of weather outside!
25 rainy day toddler activities
Have a picnic lunch in your basement or living room!
Pull out a blanket, grab a basket – or whatever you have on hand, and fill it up with fresh-made sandwiches, fruit, juice boxes, chips and anything else that sounds good. Set up your picnic in an open common space and enjoy lunch with your little ones!
Bake! This doesn’t have to be a cordon bleu recipe. Pull up the recipe for simple to bake chocolate chip cookies and pull out all of the ingredients! Grab your rolling pin and some aprons.
Make a mess and enjoy the cookies. You can clean up later!
Bake a Casserole Dish
Baking doesn’t have to be just for cookies. What about prepping for a family dinner later in the day?
Planning ahead gives you bonus points to save you time on making dinner later. Check out this 65 Best Casserole Recipes That Are Just as Easy to Make as They Are Delicious. Give the kids small easy tasks and include them in each step.
They will surely enjoy eating the meal even more knowing they helped make it!
Hide and Seek
As a child, I always loved a good game of hide & seek. This fully depends on the space you have indoors, and of course, how many creative hiding spots you have without creating too much of a disturbance in your home.
Bonus Tip: The longer it takes you to “find the kids” the longer you have for some relaxing me time!
Hot and Cold
Similar to the game of hide and seek, take an item such as a stuffed toy and hide it multiple times throughout your house. Have the kids play the game of Hot and Cold to find it each time.
This game is sure to keep your little ones thinking on their toes and enjoying the suspense of searching around the house.
Another easy indoor game that only requires creative thinking is Eye Spy. Take turns with your little ones to spy various items throughout the house.
This encourages children to use their imagination, as well as continuing to develop their identification for colors and shapes.
I spy with my little eye… something round and red.
We all know kids love to play dress-up! As a kid, I LOVED this activity so much. My mom used to keep older clothing of hers, or the opposite of the current season clothing, stored in our basement.
Often, I’d find myself down in the basement dressing up in her warm fuzzy sweaters with my friends in the middle of a hot July day. While the clean up probably wasn’t my mom’s favorite part of this activity, I am confident she encouraged our creative thinking and enjoyed seeing the excitement on my and my friend’s faces as we dressed up as business owners, party goers , or as “mom” and “dad”.
Dress Up with Costumes
Dress-up can be even more fun if you have costumes for your kids.
I purchased this Cartoon Superhero Capes for Kids set for my nephew a few years ago when he was only about two years old. To this day, at five years old, I still see him frequently donned in a cape or mask, ready to take on his day!
The Shoe Game
Okay, it is time I share my FAVORITE silly game of all time as a kid. This falls in line with the game of dress-up, but it requires much less clean up and it is way more fun, in my opinion.
We call it The Shoe Game. For years, I have been telling the story of this game to friends. At my age in my 30s, my friends chuckle and laugh that I remember it so well.
I recall as a kid finding this to be over the moon fun!
What you’ll need: A dark large closet or room, a bathroom without windows would suffice. A LOT of shoes.
This is where walk-in closets come in super handy, keeping the mess contained and the shoes are already in the space, ready to play.
Turn off the lights. Scramble the shoes all over the floor. Set a timer (we used the buzzer from the game of Scattergories).
When the timer goes off, flip the light on to see who was able to match shoes in the dark and has the right set on their feet. Sure, it sounds silly but I promise it’s surprisingly a great time!
Organize a Closet
Alright, we have all been there. As parents, we rarely find time to get chores done around the house. Why not make a game of it? On a rainy day, use this activity to your advantage.
Challenge your toddlers to help out with picking out certain colors or shapes from your closet. Maybe you want to hang up your sweaters?
Show your toddler a sweater, allow him or her to feel the fabric, tracing their fingers along the material.
Then watch as your little one helps try to find similar fabrics for you to hang up.
While you may find this chore to be more challenging with your toddler in tow, it’s still a great way to finish this chore!
Organize a Cabinet
Similar to the closet activity, we all have cabinets that are an absolute nightmare. Oh, you don’t?
Gosh, kudos to you because I have more cabinets that look like I am losing a game of Tetris than I have organized ones.
Choose a low drawer with large items, think plastic Tupperware… Same idea as number 10, encourage your toddler to help find all of the round bowls or square containers. Focus on similar shapes, colors or materials.
This is an activity that will help tidy up your home and develop your child’s fine motor skills!
Okay, enough about cleaning. Let’s change things up and make a mess!
Check out this link on Amazon for a finger paint kit. Clear an open spot on your kitchen floor (think easy to clean up spaces) and roll out the paints and paper.
Encourage your little ones to use their creativity to make pictures to hang up on your fridge, or even better, to give to grandparents next time they see them!
Finger Paint with Toy Cars
With everything out and ready to go, grab a few toy cars (or similar toy) and dip them in the paint. Your toddler will surely love this activity as he or she is able to run those tiny wheels through various colors and across the paper, creating crisscrossing and parallel lines.
Play in the Sink
After a fun round of finger painting, and after your little ones have hung up their masterpieces of artwork to dry, it’s time to wash those colorful little hands. Grab some stools, fill up the sink with warm, soapy water and toss in some toys.
Your little ones will have a great time playing in the sink while washing their hands! A rainy day toddler activity…water without the rain!
This should give you a small amount of time to clean up the paint supplies and maybe even relax for a moment or two!
With those clean hands, everyone is ready to continue on throughout the remainder of the house. Grab some books, bonus if you have some with shapes and sensory objects, and spend some quality time reading.
A rainy day might put a damper on your day, but reading can encourage the reader to venture outside of the room and into the story. Help your kids explore a different atmosphere such as a sunny forest or warm beach with various stories.
See below for some great reads for kids!
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Write a Story
We all love reading a good book. However, what if you encouraged your little ones to help write the story?
Take a blank sheet of paper and start asking your little one for ideas.
Sure, the story may go in various directions and may not have a clear ending or beginning, but this will foster your child’s creative imagination.
Bonus, if you can tie in any pictures from the finger painting you did earlier!
DIY Kid Crafts
Maybe you’re one of those really creative parents with oodles of craft ideas stored in your memory ready for a rainy day. OR – maybe you’re like me and need some help from a Google search. Follow this link for 50+ Quick and Easy Kids Crafts that ANYONE Can Make!
Indoor Dance Party
Toddlers are little people filled with LOTS of energy. If you have an Amazon Alexa ask her to play some kid friendly music.
You can play music on just about any device these days: your phone, TV, computer, etc. Clear a space in your family room, moving any sharp objects or oversized furniture aside, and dance, dance, DANCE!
This activity will help burn some of that toddler energy and work as a fun, healthy exercise!
Toddler Friendly Yoga
Maybe a dance party isn’t your thing, and that’s okay. What about some calming yoga?
Children will quickly engage in this activity while stretching out their muscles and trying to mimic your movements.
With a space cleared in a common area, pull up a video on YouTube for some kid friendly yoga. This is an activity that you can measure to fit a short or long period of time, depending on your and your child’s interest.
This is a great activity to do to help calm the mind and rest the body.
Build a Fort
Perhaps you just wrapped up your dance party or yoga practice and now you have found yourself with a large open area in your family room. What’s next?
Work with your little ones to move some chairs, grab some sheets and pillows and set up a fort. Include a flash light and use this space for various other activities. Perhaps this is where you’ll read stories or even have your indoor picnic!
Put on a Puppet Show
No puppet theater? No puppets? No problem! If you can, hunker down behind your couch, using it as your stage. Use stuffed animals or dolls as puppets.
Encourage your little ones to put on a performance for you to watch. Or do the opposite, tell them a story with your “puppets” while hiding behind the couch.
Keep in mind, you can also use your ready-made fort, if you have one!
Melissa and Doug have a great puppet theater I purchased this past holiday season. You can find the link to the theater here.
Do a Puzzle
I personally have always found puzzles to be difficult to focus on when the weather is nice outside. However, on a rainy, dreary day, a puzzle is a great rainy day toddler activity!
Your toddler surely has various puzzles. You could mix up the game, making it slightly more challenging by adding in extra pieces from other puzzles.
Toddlers are still learning their shapes and putting together a puzzle is a great activity to encourage their developmental skills in this area.
Make a Puzzle
This one will require some help from a grown-up. Perhaps your child’s finger painting is dry and you have their glowing permission to cut it into a few pieces.
Cut the picture into various sizes, large, yet easy puzzle pieces. Scatter them across the floor or a flat surface, watch as your toddler puts his or her picture back together.
Don’t worry. You can always tape the picture back together and place it back on the fridge! This is a great rainy day toddler activity!
Start up a Kitchen Band
As a kid, I remember always wanting to make noise with my mom’s kitchen pots and pans. A spatula doubled as a microphone, and a metal whisk whisking around a metal bowl most definitely made a musical sound similar to a snare drum.
Pull out some kitchen utensils and set up the “stage”. Your toddler will take the lead role of the band and make “music” that perhaps even the neighbors will be lucky enough to hear!
What an amazing addition to your collection of rainy day toddler activities!
PLAY IN THE RAIN!
This may not apply to you if you live in a cold-weathered area, but if the weather cooperates and it is warm enough outside, then it’s time to DANCE. Throw on your rainboots, rain jackets and grab an umbrella.
Your toddler will surely love this activity and remember it for years to come!
On a warm day, this is one of the ultimate rainy day toddler activites!
Remember, sharing is caring! If you have any rainy day toddler activities you’d like to share, please comment below!