Photo: pexels

Sometimes it rains. And I don’t just mean that as a metaphor. When it does, especially during summer, the kids can get antsy. They can get right on difficult if it lasts long enough. For that reason, you want things that they can do, which don’t necessarily cost an arm and a leg.

Fortunately, a lot of people have spent a lot of time trying to figure out things to do indoors. After all, in some places, it really does rain a lot. For the pleasure of your kids and your peace of mind, here are some of the best ideas that you can try out to keep them occupied till better weather comes. Heck, you might even enjoy some of these things yourself!

How does that sound? Great, right? So let’s get right to it.

1. A pillow fort

The first thing to do if it’s really coming down, gray and miserable is to build an extra layer of protection from the weather. A pillow fort is a great way to do exactly that. All you need is some rope, some blankets and – this might surprise you – some pillows.

If you throw some mattresses on the ground, there won’t be any reason to leave when evening comes, and so it’s a great idea for a sleepover. Just give them some board games and they’ll have fun for hours. Join them and you might as well.

2. Paint

Yes, it can get incredibly messy, but that shouldn’t matter. Painting is such a great exploration of your creative space that we shouldn’t just let our kids paint occasionally, but get them to dabble as often as they want to.

Because it can’t be denied, creativity is useful in nearly every walk of life. So get out the paints, throw plastic over everything and let them have a wild time. (The more plastic you put, the wilder a time you can have).

A personal favorite variation of this game is to let your kids paint on the walls in a room that you want to repaint anyway. And if they do make some masterpiece that you can’t get rid of? Then just put a frame around it and hey presto! You’ve got yourself a piece of art for the wall.

Note, this strategy works better if you let them paint at eye-height as otherwise, the potential masterpieces might be at knee-bumping height.

3. Sumo wrestling

While you have the pillows out, why not engage in some sumo wrestling? Just grab some of the dad’s old shirts, stuff both your kids and some pillows into them and mark down a good area for them to go at each other to see who is the best sumo wrestler of the world!

If one of your kids is bigger than the other ones, just load them down with more pillows in order to make it a little fairer. Also works well if you can put some mattresses on the ground, as then if somebody falls over they’ll have even more protection to keep them safe.

4. Cardboard tube marble run

If you are a pack rat and manage to save all their cardboard tubes, then this really is an awesome one, where your kids can stick them together in strange shapes to see what they can get marbles to do.

What’s great about this one is that you can even turn it into a physics lesson. Why do you think the marble didn’t manage to go up here? How far do you think the marble can jump if we set up this kind of an incline?

Then you can run the experiment to see what happens. It works well with boxes too, so that you can catch the marbles if you do manage to launch them over any distance.

5. Imagination safari

Go on an imagination safari with the kids, by telling them how the living room has suddenly changed into something else. The floor has become lava. Long lines are snakes. There are flies in the sky, quick, hide under something! And so on, so on. Just let your imagine roam and kids will have a squealing amount of fun that they might not even have had outside.

Because with a good imagination, you can even turn the living room into something as exotic as ancient temples, jungle environments, and underground tunnels. And what’s more fun for your children than letting their imagination run wild? And it’s good for them too.

6. Write letters

Do your children have friends or relatives out of town that they’d like to get in touch with? Then why not get them to write them a letter? The children will love doing it and people will love to receive it.

Note that I said ‘letter’ and not ‘email’. Yes, there is great letter writing apps online that you can check out on the top websites page, but you shouldn’t always grab for the computer. there are a lot of benefits to writings by hand. For that reason, this is a great opportunity for your children to practice the skill. Plus, it allows for them to add in pictures, use different colored pens or crayons or even use paper of different varieties. Then, you can stick it in the mail and off it goes.

Even better, the person who you wrote might write something back, which means that your child will get the opportunity to see how great it is to stay in touch (As well as learning the benefits of delayed gratification).

That’s a lot of wins at the same time!

7. Indoor treasure hunt

Sit down and create a treasure map of the house, filled with clues and riddles. If you use coffee and tea and let the map soak in it, then it will have an authentic ‘this is really old’ feel. Then you can pretend that you found it in the attic (or even better, get your kids to help clean up the attic and have them find it themselves).

Then they can spend all day working out which room must have been which and what ‘supposedly’ happened in them. In that way, even when your kids are done with the treasure map, they might get so excited by the ideas about the house’s past that you’ve put on the map, that they might just keep the story going on their own.

Just make sure that you include lots of pirates, warlocks, and revolutionaries from the civil war and they’ll be bound to be engaged.

Last words

So there you have it!  A whole bunch of games that your children can play or you can play with your children. In that way, they day will whiz by and before you know it, they’ll want there to be another rainy day where they can have this much fun.

And you know what? I bet that with most of these games you’ll secretly have a whole bunch of fun as well. Because let’s face it, we all are still a little bit a child inside. That’s part of the reason it’s so great to have them.

Want to share your inspiring stories and fun family tips? Sign up to become a Spoke contributor!