Rainy (Snowy or Sick) Day Activity Ideas

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Rainy Day Activities
Snow days don’t affect my family at all. One, it doesn’t snow where we live and two, we homeschool anyhow.

I am, however, deeply affected by sick days. Wow, am I ever affected by sick days. I’ve spent the last 3 days watching a nasty stomach bug pass from one kid to the next. The current head count is 5 of 6 kids down and 1 husband out for the count.


On days like this we need a back-up plan. We can’t do our regularly scheduled activities (this week we had to back out of drama, science co-op, and art co-op) but the kids still need something to do that isn’t too physically taxing. We like movie days as much as the next person but let’s face it, idle hands equal arguing mouths (even when they’re sick!)

I’ve put together a little list of some of the things we’ve been doing to stay busy during this time, it’s also applicable to snowy and rainy days.

Meg’s Big List of Rainy Day Activities (also snow day and sick day!)

We love the simple activities by Mr. P on YouTube. Mr. P is a public school teacher so not only are his activities designed to teach kids, but they use inexpensive art supplies.

For the middle and high school aged kids we really like Timeline & Tantrix. For the younger kids we like Sum Swamp (read my review here), and Hoot Owl, Hoot!

I don’t know if they have an official term, but I call these types of toys hand toys. They are quiet toys that keep hands and brains busy. Some of our favorites are Snap Circuits, Squigz, and Lite Brite.

Reading is always a good way to spend the time but special days call for special books! Some of our favorites around here are Choose Your Own Adventure, The Boy’s Book of Survival, The Pokemon Essential Handbook, the Dear America series, and Shakespeare Graphic Novels.

Couch cushions and blankets go a long way with fort building, but my kids always seem to include every single chair too. Not only do they use all of our seating, they also put heavy books and other things on them to secure the blankets, which is just asking for the baby to pull something down on herself.

Another option is to use newspaper and masking tape. Roll newspaper pages into tubes and use the tape to secure, then use the tape to attach the tubes to each other.

Wanna know what works better? Fort building kits! Snap the pieces together, attach a sheet, and you’ve got a fort fit for a king! There are a lot of fort building kits out there but we like the kits by Discovery Kids, TooBeez, and Everest as you get the most bang for your buck and they make it easy to add additional kits in the future.

Sensory activities are most popular among the preschool crowd but I found that even my middle schoolers enjoy getting their hands dirty. Sure, you can buy kinesthetic sand, play dough, and indoor snow but you can also make your own! Check out my big list of hands-on activities here!

One of my favorite things to do as a kid was make family newspapers. I would write articles, create crosswords, draw comics, and of course there was a gossip column. I only had a typewriter and a pen but today kids have all sorts of software to use. Take it one step further with LuLu’s awesome create a book kits! My kids received IlluStory for Christmas and they are having a ball creating their stories.

Origami takes a lot of creativity, concentration, and attention to detail. All you need to get started is some paper and a good instructional website.

9. MAKE ICE CREAM (and eat it too!!)
No ice cream maker? No problem. No cream? No problem.
Check out this easy recipe.

Some great choices are The Parent Trap, Phineas & Ferb, Camp Rock, & The Adventures of Milo & Otis. Your teens might enjoy The Man in the Moon (this movie destroyed me as a young teen! Oh the young romantic feels!) and Friday the 13th (this movie destoryed me as a 30 year old).

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