How to Entertain Kids on a Rainy Day

Calling all parents! You know that dreaded feeling when you have all these plans of enjoying the great outdoors with your kids and suddenly you think to yourself, “what am I going to do if it rains?!”

Placing your child in front of the TV shouldn’t be your go-to option. Keep in mind children are always learning from the world around them and playtime is actually critical for a child’s development. Playtime is how they try new skills, explore their creativity, and learn about relationships with others. Don’t let them lose that opportunity, just because they are stuck indoors on a rainy day.

Here are a few rainy day activities to get you started:

Play Dress-Up. Playing dress-up is a great one for almost any age. This activity boosts their imagination and you don’t even have to buy anything to be able to do this. Grab some items from your closet (that you don’t use anymore if preferable) and have them come up with some looks. Inspire them with ideas like a rock star, an 80s look, or even a cowboy or cowgirl – it really doesn’t matter as long as they’re having fun.

Puzzles, Color Blocks, and Board Games. These are a great way to get your child’s mind working. Instead of wasting their time glued to the couch, playing games will educate them while also kicking the rainy day blues. Psychologists have found that a child’s brain development is highly influenced when a child learns to change the world around them – puzzles provide that opportunity. Puzzles, color blocks, and board games all enhance memory, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and problem solving skills. The kids will be having so much fun, they won’t even realize they’re learning.

Crafts, Coloring, and Finger Painting. All crafty activities stimulate creativity. Before you write-off finger painting, it’s actually helping preschoolers develop more accurate and controlled hand and finger movements, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Healthy Children website. Coloring improves hand writing, as strength and dexterity are required to use a pencil, crayon, or marker correctly. On any rainy day you can also head over to apps like Pinterest for craft ideas.

Play Librarian, Grocery Store Clerk, or even Chef. Kids love to imitate life, so pretending to do professions they see adults do every day is another great hands-on activity that builds the imagination, while educating them. Have them check out books from their own library and improve their organizational skills by arranging all the books by author, size, or subject. Use a grocery playset or your own kitchen to let them play grocery store, kids will learn the items and the older ones can even write their own grocery list beforehand. Let your child play chef by letting them help make dinner or even bake a dessert. Doing activities with your children promotes family integration and teaches them how to work well with others.

Switchboard’s Help Me Grow program can provide additional parent tips and other resources regarding your child’s development. For more information ask for Help Me Grow through Switchboard’s already existing 2-1-1 helpline or visit