We've all had those days when Mother Nature shuts down our plans with bad weather. Perfect excuse to lounge on the couch and catch up on all those movies you have been wanting to watch, right? Sounds lovely, but we all know when the rain comes pouring down, the kids start amping up. All that energy toddlers possess (that we wish we could bottle for ourselves) starts to accumulate within the walls of your home and if you don't find some activities for these little guys, the roof may blow right off!

Use a day inside to your advantage and get creative with your little ones. Take these five ideas for rainy day fun and let your imagination run wild.

1. Build a Fort

Gather blankets, sheets and pillows from around the house and get to work on some cozy play quarters. Children love the security of small spaces and can pretend they are in their own world when inside their fort. Grab some flashlights and stuffed animals for a fort storytime. Send the kids on secret missions where they must sneak out, retrieve specific items and return to the fort. Keep the fun going and allow them to nap or sleep inside the fort for a night.

2. Make an Obstacle Course

This is an activity the kids can do over and over. Slide the couch aside and make room for some movement. Create an obstacle course by using small objects the children can jump over, run in between or roll through. Once they get a feel for how to complete the course, encourage them to try for their best time. By moving a few things around, you can build new courses all day long.

3. Have an Indoor Campout

Use the gloomy weather to your advantage. Pull the curtains closed, turn off the lights and spread a blanket across the floor for an indoor camp out. Allow the children to use their imagination with toys and household objects to create their campsite. Once they are all set up they can pretend to build a fire, fish and pitch a tent (fort?) just like they would if they were in the woods.

4. Play Freeze Dance

A classic energy-releaser! Turn up the music and start to boogie. The person in charge of the radio randomly presses pause, which is a signal for all the dancers to freeze. Once the music resumes, everyone can start dancing again.

5. Make Your Own Playdough

Kids love to get their hands dirty in the kitchen. Mix up a batch of playdough by combining 2 cups all purpose flour, ½ cup salt, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons cream of tartar then slowly adding up to 1 ½ cups of boiling water. Once your dough is the right consistency, you can add food coloring or glitter. I have also used a packet of Kool Aid powder mix to add both color and scent, which the kids think is really fun!

Gloomy days happen, but don't let them crush your spirits. On these days, let the indoors be your playground and engage in some unexpected fun with your toddler!