Fun Indoor Ideas for Bad Weather Days

   By shayaddison  Jan 19, 2012

I don’t know how the weather is where all you lovely readers are but it certainly has been wacky where I live! Even though it's January, we’ve had some unseasonably warm days, thunderstorms, snowfall - even a tornado watch! With the weather being so unpredictable, that means we are spending a lot of time inside - and consequently, I sometimes end up having to think outside the box to keep my kids entertained or to help them run off some of that excess energy. Here are some ideas of things you can do with your kids when the weather isn’t cooperating:

  • Field trips are a great way to spend rainy, snowy or otherwise dreary days – assuming the weather isn’t too bad to drive. The field trips don’t necessarily have to be over the top expensive, either! Check out websites and blogs in your local area to find coupons or see what deals some of the local attractions offer. Zoos, children’s museums, and more will often offer special rates at off-season or less busy times - and since they're less busy, you and your children can enjoy them more!
  • There’s another type of trip you can plan, but it has a slightly different purpose – to let the kids blow off steam! It’s not easy being cooped up when the weather is bad and kids always seem to have boundless amounts of energy. Bouncing barns, open gyms, tumbling classes or taking a dip at a local (indoor!) pool might be options to look into for your family.
  • Bust out the crafts and prepare to get messy! Although we as moms aren’t always fond of messes, kids sure love them and they can be pretty entertaining. There are some awesome ideas floating around on Pinterest that will amuse and delight any child - and never fear, they're not *all* messy. Here are just a few that I have found:

    ~ Cloud Dough from Flights of Whimsy
    ~ Bathtub Paint from Having Fun at Home
    ~ Homemade Finger Paint from Easie Peasie
    ~ Sensory Bin/Tub Ideas from Our Worldwide Classroom
  • Use your imagination. Although movies and TV shows definitely have their place, instead of just turning something on, encourage your kids to explore, create, and discover:

    ~ Build a castle (or fort, house, mansion, whatever you prefer): In the living room stack up pillows, blankets, small tables, couch cushions and/or furniture to create the ultimate hideout. Have the kids make signs and/or decorations with construction paper and other items you have on hand.
    ~ Have a party: Have the kids think up a theme and run with it. If they can't think of anything, here are a few suggestions to get started: Living Room Picnic, Dance Party, Snow Day, Tea Party, Backwards Day or Costume Party.
    ~ Let the kids pretend they're running a store or office: This is one of my children's all-time favorite things to do. The coffee table becomes the display table for their goods, a calculator becomes their register and you, of course are the customer!
    ~ Create your family's own restaurant: Something I loved doing as a child was creating a "restaurant" within our home. My parents and I would plan out a "fancy" meal - something we didn't have very often and I would always get to help cook. We would set the table nicely, light candles and turn on dinner music. I would create a menu with paper and crayons, drawing pictures of the food and even thinking up a name for our little establishment.
    ~ Go to the theatre: Help your child create some simple sock puppets or encourage them to become stars of their own play by creating a stage area in your living room, searching the house for props and costumes and acting out something of their choosing for you, the audience!

What are your favorite indoor bad weather activities? Feel free to share in the comments!

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StephonMills by StephonMills | London, AL
Apr 18, 2023

But as we enjoy these indoor activities, it's important to remember the impact that climate change is having on our weather patterns. Extreme weather events like hurricanes, floods, and droughts are becoming more common and more severe, as highlighted on By supporting innovative solutions and progress, such as those being made in Mexico, we can help mitigate the effects of climate change and protect our planet for future generations. From investing in renewable energy to supporting sustainable agriculture, there are many ways we can all do our part to make a difference.

jygriebel by jygriebel | Marble, PA
Jan 20, 2012

My son likes to go "Shopping", he gets his little shopping cart and gets baking supplies out of the cupboards, I purposely keep them on lower shelves. Then he "checks out" and pays me and then he goes to his room and bakes.

TheresaL by TheresaL | Uxbridge, MA
Jan 20, 2012

When my girls were toddlers I would give them a couple of pots and pans, soapy water in them and rags. Clear out the kitchen then let them "clean" After the fun of getting wet, slipping and sliding was done, I would mop the floor. Cleanest floor I've ever had!

didama by didama | MAPLEWOOD, NJ
Jan 19, 2012

I was just lamenting with a friend over the weekend about how I desperately need a list of things to do with my kids over during the colder summer months. Thank you! Great list!