If you live in a climate like mine, chances are you often find yourself asking, "Is it seriously raining again?" Sometimes it seems like my children haven't played outside in days because it has been pouring and windy. Soon, snow will start. So what's a parent to do with bored little ones on a dreadful day? Get creative.
Go Old School
There are tons of games from our own childhoods that we can resurrect on a rainy day. Simon Says, Red Light/Green Light, Duck, Duck, Goose, and Mother May I? are just a few. Think back to your youth and you'll probably remember a silly game that you loved to play. Teach it to your kids.
You may not be the craftiest parent on the block, but you can still have fun with glue sticks. You'd be surprised how many easy crafts you can find online that use items you already have in your home. And if you don't have them, take a quick trip to the craft store to get some supplies. Then spend the rest of your day bonding with your children over construction paper, pipe cleaners, and fabric scraps.
Dance It Out
Do your children feel the need to move? Turn on some music and have a dance party. You and your children will have fun letting loose and giggling at each other's silly moves. You can use your child's favorite music or just turn on the radio.
Have a Hunt
Scavenger hunts aren't just for outside. You can easily have one indoors by searching for items that are green or items that are round. Create a treasure map that leads your child on an adventure through your house in search of a fantastic treasure (a cookie will do just fine), or make a list of certain items for you and your child to search for together.
If there's anything that young children love, it's animals. Play a game of animal charades. You can take turns acting like an elephant or a lion, and letting the other person guess which animal you're imitating. Then, quiz your child on animals by telling her to be a cat, a dog, etc. She'll have fun, you'll have fun, and you will both have a howling good time.
Fill up the tub and let your child play. She can paint the tub. Or you can set up a toy car wash. Use doll clothes, for her to "do laundry" and hang the clothes up to dry on the edge of the tub. Even just pouring water from cup to cup can keep your child fascinated. Don't forget sailboats, toy sea animals, and other toys that float.
Hit the Box
Before rainy days happen, create a rainy day fun box full of puzzles, games, coloring books, and crafts. Keep this box hidden away so that when the weather turns rough, you have a completely new arsenal of fun to unleash on your child. She'll feel like she hit the jackpot, and you'll be relieved that there's something to keep her entertained through the long day.
If all else fails and the weather isn't too terrible, gear up and head outdoors anyway. With hats, boots, gloves, and raincoats you should all be fine for a few minutes out in the elements. Splash in the puddles and dance around. Get that energy out and then head back indoors for some hot chocolate and one or two of these rainy day activities. Or, you could always put them to work.