Favorite Cheap Rainy Day Activities

Yesterday it rained. And rained and rained and rained. The weather has gone from “play outside all day” to “hunker down in the house” in a hurry!

And since my kids are home with me all day, this presents a problem. My soccer-loving son can’t kick the ball around. My dog-loving daughter can’t work with the dog on her obedience training. So what do I do with the kids on rainy days? Lots!

Favorite Cheap Rainy Day Activities

Read Together. This is my favorite part of homeschooling. We grab a blanket and snuggle on the couch to read a good book. Then we get lost in worlds far away, as we read old favorites and new adventures. Right now my daughter and I are reading about the adventures of Eric Liddell. And my son is imagining life below sea, as we read Dolphin Adventure.

Watch a Movie. I honestly think the best money I’ve spent this year is a membership to Netflix and a $100 Roku box for the TV. On a rainy day, we don’t even have to leave the house to “rent” a movie. We just add an instant play movie to our Netflix queue, and watch the downloaded movie on our TV, via the Roku player. We’ve paid for the box already, with the number of movies we’ve watched.

This is especially great for rainy days (or even sick days), because we can change our lesson plan and add an educational movie to our day on a moment’s notice. If the weather stays nasty this week, we’ll be ditching the books for an afternoon to watch Chariots of Fire (to tie in with our Eric Liddell book…pretty clever, eh?).

Play Board Games. When the weather gets really nasty, I like to turn off all electronics, so I can hear the storm. So we gather ‘round the table as a family to play a board game. Sorry, Life, and Guess Who? are some of our favorites.

Bake. Have you ever noticed how kids love to help in the kitchen? Especially if it involves making something sweet. Baking on rainy days does triple duty. It provides you with a great snack, gives the kids something to do, and warms up a cold house. That’s why we love it!

What are your favorite rainy day activities?


By , on Oct 27, 2009
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. duncan faber:

    Whenever my kids are stuck indoors, we always put on an audiobook to accompany whatever they’re doing. There’s lots of great sites to download them, but we use this one a lot because all of the stories are free and original. Here’s the link for anyone who is interested. http://www.twirlygirlshop.com/.....s-for-kids

  2. Watch a movie is the best. During the winter though, I replace my tennis racquets with squash racquets and play so much indoor squash with friends. I also play indoor basketball. Essentially free with a great exercise to boot!


  3. Les:

    Oh yeah, sketching and calligraphy are enjoyable, albeit frustrating, activities as well.

  4. Les:

    I learned needlepoint and embroidery in the fourth grade, I quit when I went to college and wonder why whenever I look at the work I still have. You can buy easy kits that have all of the necessary supplies at the craft store. Crochet and knitting are also good things to learn. I know of men who have learned to do these things so I guess I don’t think of them as particularly girlie hobbies.

  5. Oh yes, puzzles are wonderful. I also love to read on rainy days. . .either at home or in a cozy coffee shop.

  6. Greg:

    Please don’t forget the puzzles!

  7. Lara One:

    It’s close to Christmas – start making presents! Depending on the age of the child, you can make bookmarks, placemats, sculpty or flour clay decorations, invent games, write stories, print off family pictures and make calenders, comic books, recipe books, etc… We love avoiding the malls and creating fun presents.

    Marie, We like to write books too! Print off family pictures and draw around them for extra fun illustrations.

  8. Kate:

    Put on a play! Choose a room for the stage and create a scene. Each kid (or adult!) gets to choose a character and create a costume. Even better if you have a video camera and someone to film your “blockbuster”

  9. karyn sweet:

    Some sort of art project. Too often we’re running around or busy with other things but a rainy day keeps us inside long enough to get into some painting or sculpting.

  10. Marie:

    Write a book together. Everyone writes a sentence then passes the paper to the next person until some one writes “the end”. Parents can write for younger kids or I let mine illustrate the stories before they could write.

  11. marci:

    I like to scrapbook.
    The grandkids have their own scrapbook supplies – so sometimes we do that and we talk about ‘life’ or school etc at that time.

    Another great opportunity on rainy days is “family history” or traditions. We take out a scrapbook, and while looking thru the pages, we talk about their great-great-grandparents (my grandparents) and about their lives, our family stories, and their heritage. There are so many things they need to know to understand themselves, and why our family does the things it does, and why we are the way we are. It is a good time to talk about family.

    When the electricity is out for the 2nd or 3rd day – familyl will all gather at my house- with the woodstove and its ability to heat, cook on, and warm water – and the little cousins (all my grandkids) will just visit and play – Good Family Times…. Take advantage of them – they are precious and fleeting :)

  12. Hi there! Just found your blog. Excited to look around! I linked up my crib spring makeover that I just finished yesterday. Thanks for hosting the party!

  13. Jackie:

    we love going to the library. Our town library has cozy spots throughout the children’s section. We hang out, grab a few books or movies then head home.

  14. Yay!! My link today is about a free activity with my kids too! :)

    i can’t wait until they are old enough to play boardgames!! Great list!

  15. Annie Kate:

    Another thing to do in the rain, after the kids are totally bored with staying inside, is to go for a walk. Yes, it’s cold, and there’s going to be laundry but it’s also fun and it gives the children much-needed exercise. My kids have showers right afterwards to warm up.

    Annie Kate

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