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21 Rainy Day Summer Activities

Here’s how to be prepared when the clouds roll in.

Summer days aren’t all filled with sunshine. And when bad weather prevents us from hitting the parks, beaches, or pools to tire the kids out like any old regular day, what rainy day summer activities can we think up — that do not require much advance planning — to keep them entertained?

During the summer months of June, July, and August, rainfall can reach more than 7 inches in some states. If you live in an area that experiences frequent rainstorms or even has a hurricane season like Florida, you definitely have to stock up on ideas (and products) to stay prepared for when the thunder starts. These days being stuck inside does not have to be boring. Rainy days can be just as enjoyable as the sunniest day outside, and keep in mind that indoors doesn’t mean you have to stay inside your home. There are plenty of businesses with indoor activities that cater to making sure that kids have fun despite the weather.

If you’re up for it, you can tap into your creative side for the perfect DIY experience with your kiddos. But don’t wrack your brain too hard. My list offers plenty of ideas for rainy day summer activities that provide an equally fun substitute to park swings or splash pads.


Build A Fort

Sometimes tried-and-true, old-fashioned activities are the absolute best. With pillows, a sheet, and something to prop it all up like a chair, you’ll give your kids the cozy they crave. If you want to get fancy, you can add some LED lights or give them a flashlight. They’ll love having their own cave of wonders and might not want to take it down. So there’s that.


Make Space For New Toys

My kids have so many toys. So — randomly throughout the year — we make space. They go through their room and pull out toys they don’t use or toys they want to give to a child in need. They are always excited about blessing another child. If you worry about your child being fussy about detaching from a toy or game, remember that 1. you don’t have to force your kids to make a tough choice, and 2. your kids may surprise you by recognizing that they are making space for toys they will receive in the future.


Play A Classic Game

If you don’t have this classic in your closet, run, do not walk, to the store (or get it online now)! If you need to take a break, you can put your feet up and call out the moves for your kids.


Create A Book

There’s a storyteller in each of us, and now your kids get a chance to flex those muscles. Pull out some construction paper, crayons, and a stapler and help your kids write their own book. If they’re shy about it, you can write the story first and let them draw the pictures. Don’t forget to add the date so you can keep it in your memory box.


Go Skating

If your kids have been wanting to get better at being on wheels, strap up and go to your nearest rink. There are usually discounts during the summer months, so enjoy!


Make Bracelets

For kids ages 8 and more, this kit is a great creative outlet and opportunity for expression. They can craft their own bracelets with meaningful words and even make some for their friends. This is also a great playdate activity if you are up for hosting.


Bake A Dessert

It’s time to create that recipe that’s been sitting in your Pinterest folder. Let the kids put on their aprons and chef hats (another craft you can do) to make a tasty treat for the family. If you want to stretch it out, bring the kids to the grocery store, let older kids find ingredients on their own, and use this as a teaching moment for learning more about essential household tasks.


Make Up A Game

Go wild with your imagination. You can create a card game using regular playing cards or add a twist to your favorite existing game. You can even do something crazy like make the ground lava, and if trivia questions aren’t answered correctly, you have to dip your toe in the heat. Your choice!


Teach Your Dog A New Trick

If you are like me and got a pandemic puppy for the family, you can definitely use this time to brush up on obedience cues or add a fun trick to the repertoire of commands. Try searching YouTube for how-to videos and take a deep breath.


Go To A Museum

This is a great way to stay dry and expose your children to some culture as well. Look online to find out what the featured exhibit is and whether there is a café for snacks. Or just take your own. The best museum choices have hands-on, interactive exhibits for children.


Do A Challenging Puzzle

If your child is into puzzles, these two 100-piece puzzles will challenge their assembly skills, giving their little minds and hands something to focus on while the ground is wet.


Dye Hair, Temporarily

Why not use this time indoors to try out the colorful hair your child has been asking for? Make it more fun by adding some unicorn flare to your hair too.


Host An Indoor Playdate

If your child doesn’t get to go to the park to see their friend, invite them over so they can get in their socialization. Ask the guest to bring a couple of their own toys so the kids can share.


Create A Green Space

Break out the pots, seeds, and soil and clear some window space. You can choose between planting flowers, herbs, or small veggies. What an ideal time to create life, watch it grow, and get your hands dirty in the process!

Check out these tips for getting kids into gardening for inspiration.


Have A Spa Day

This kit allows you to have a super fancy time of pampering. You can also DIY it by cutting cucumbers, using warm towels, playing spa music, and giving hand massages before painting nails.


Go Bowling

Yep, today you get to brush up on your skills and giggle with the kids at the same time. Bowling is something everyone can enjoy, even a toddler.


Make A Family Portrait

There’s a canvas somewhere in your craft crate. Let the artist in your family — sure, it could be you — pencil an outline of each member while you all strike a pose. Then let each kid color the figures in. Or everyone puts paint on their own hand and presses it to a canvas. This will be a great way to remember your rainy day.


Create A Dance Party Playlist

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In my family, we can dance to literally the entire soundtrack of the first Trolls movie. But whatever music floats your boat, put a list together with your kids, turn out the lights and add some glow sticks. It’s a party and they get to be the DJs!


Make An Easy (All hands on deck) Five Course Meal

Time to take it haute in the kitchen. Choose five dishes that appeal to your family, especially the kids, and let them see what it’s like to make — and then eat — a five-course meal of their favorites.


Start Reading A Chapter Book

Many classic chapter books take you to another world of fantasy. Your child may not be on the level to read it themselves, but you can use this time to expose them to this type of literary adventure. Maybe in their fort!


Bounce At A Trampoline Park


Bouncing up and down, over and over again, is a good activity on any day, but it’s a top option when it’s raining. Just remember this is also a high-risk activity, so just one jumper on a trampoline at a time, no exceptions. The best perk for mom is your kids will be pooped afterward and ready for nap time ... hopefully.

Don’t panic the next time the clouds roll in. There’s always the chance you’ll get lucky and your kids will be invited elsewhere for playdates. (And don’t forget to greet that mom with a huge cup of coffee or a bottle of wine and mean it when you promise to return the favor!) But if not, keep this list bookmarked so you can refer to it each time raindrops keep fallin’ on your head.