Free Rainy Day Activities

This is a re-post from last summer. I'm so thankful this June has been sunshine and roses, whereas last year was rain clouds and slugs.


Imagine if you will, a couple days of rainy weather. Or worse yet, a whole week. Or the unthinkable - an entire month of rainy, wet summer days.

That was our June. Ok, it didn't rain the whole month there were those 2 days of sunshine. And we made the best of those days but the rest of the month was a literal wash out.

I've learned a few tips from last month that I thought I'd pass on. Although they're about spending wet days with children I think they apply to any life situation, so even if you're childless please do read on.

1. Go out anyway

Unless you're a witch you won't melt, promise, and it's usually (last month's experience notwithstanding) warmer during the summer so you don't need to worry about the cold.

Put on a rain-proof layer, rubber boots (barefoot is fun in mud), go out, explore and get wet. Come back home and make soup for lunch. Teach your kids and yourself to enjoy life in spite of the circumstances. 

2. Tackle an indoor project

The kids might not be as gung-ho about this idea but maybe motivate them with a special treat. We recently ordered some new books from Amazon and upon their arrival I went through all our existing books (we try not to accumulate so there wasn't that many) and cleaned up the bookshelves, kid's books included.

We spent a morning on the floor asking "keep, give, swap or sell?" And when we were done everyone felt better about the easy to find books. 

3. Make something, anything

My kids have been really into making little houses this past month. They've spent days raiding the fabric stash, craft closet and recycle bins; designing, cutting and gluing. Those colorful blue, red, gray, green and golden colored balls on the middle left in the below photo - those are miniature food platters made with baked polymer clay.

These ideas are all their own, I don't usually direct my children's creative play too much. If you need some inspiration check out FIMBY's Sewing & Craft page. A favorite of ours is Silly Putty. Also check out The Crafty Crow

4. Watch a movie (or two, three, four...)

I love SnagFilms for finding free, quality documentaries on-line. We have the bonus of a very large monitor so the picture quality is good.

Not everything on this site is kid friendly but I've stuck to the PBS & National Geographic offerings. There is a lot of good films on this site that I want to watch too, but who has the time?

I have found that an hour long documentary will spark days worth of creative play - whether it's pirates, Japanese ninja's, African animals, WWI sunken ships - whatever they watch will fire their imagination and inspire their creativity. 

what can I say it's all ninja around here these days
what can I say it's all ninja around here these days

5. Books, books and more books

We visit the library once a week and during those rainy weeks the kids spent a lot of time in books. My 8 & 6 year old don't even officially read yet but they still love books.

Audio books are a great alternative to regular reading time and can free mom up to do other stuff, although I get into the stories as much as the kids. Our library has a selection in the children's reading room.

What does your family do on rainy summer days?

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  • Shanda

    Shanda on June 21, 2010, 10:46 a.m.

    I noticed the Sir Cumference book on your shelf. I recently saw them on Amazon and was wondering if you like and your kids like them (I think there are several in the series)? Thanks.


    • renee

      renee on June 22, 2010, 3:58 p.m.

      Céline likes this book, it's the only one we own. We don`t go hard core into studying the math I just let the kids read and enjoy.


  • Margaret

    Margaret on June 21, 2010, 9:02 p.m.

    Books are my favourite thing for the summer even if it isn't raining. My dad is a reading teacher so the summer I turned 8 I was halfway through The Lord of The Rings and the Redwall books are good longer novel for younger readers. I always have a book on me, no matter what. If I'm having a lazy day and I pass a park with a nice shady spot, I usually can't resist the temptation to grab the blanket out of my car and have a read. I've found that embtoidery floss bracelets are a good way to take up rainy day time and they're easy. Happy Summer.


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