Don’t let rainy summer days get you and your family down. Checkout these 25 fun rainy-day summer activities that the whole family can enjoy.
My family and I have tried out most of the ideas on this page, but a couple of the summer activities listed here are new to us.
Sometimes, just reading through someone else’s plans for the summer gets my own ideas flowing.
So, read the list, and be inspired to make this summer a memorable and joy-filled time for your whole family, regardless of the weather.
25 Fun Rainy-Day Summer Activities for the Family
1. Listen to audio books.
Dim the lights, snuggle into a cozy blanket, and add popcorn.
2. Redecorate your child’s bedroom.
Redecorate (and spring clean?) your child’s bedroom. Get them to help you pick paint colors, find frugal ways to spruce up the décor, and then rearrange furniture. Rearranging always makes a big difference!
3. Indoor scavenger hunts.
There are a bazillion and one different scavenger hunts available for free online. Here are just three ideas:
- Photo hunt. Grab a camera/phone and take pictures of each of the items on the list, like this one: https://www.thriftynorthwestmom.com/indoor-scavenger-hunt-for-kids-free-printable/
- Clue hunt. Print a list of clues (like these: https://www.thespruce.com/indoor-treasure-hunt-for-children-1695332) and place them around the house to be found. Or, make your own.
- Treasure map hunt. Draw your own map of items in your house, or use this free online tool to create an authentic looking treasure map: https://treasuremaps.kadsoftwareusa.com/.
4. Create a reading nook.
Gather blankets, pillows, a lamp, etc. and set up a cozy reading nook. Then, read! Snuggle up with your kids and spend copious amounts of time reading stories about people who are not stuck in the house due to rain.
5. Play a new game.
Boardgames, card games and the like are always a great way to pass the time, but they can get boring if you play the same games repeatedly.
Head to your local thrift store to find a game you’ve never played. Or, borrow a game for the week from a friend or family member.
6. Escape the room!
Most kids love escape rooms! They seem to be an even bigger hit than scavenger hunts.
This website was absolute magic in helping me plan and prepare my first ever escape room endeavor: https://lockpaperscissors.co/escape-room-design-blueprint.
7. Be a baking ninja.
As a family, bake muffins or cookies. Make a card or write an encouraging note. Then, anonymously drop off the note and baked goods on the doorstep of someone you love or an unsuspecting neighbor.
My kids love this! They sneak up, ring the doorbell, and run away before they’re caught. I’m pretty sure they think they’re actual ninjas.
8. LEGO challenges.
Print out one a free LEGO challenge calendar from here: (https://thatbricklife.com/lego-challenge-30-days-of-play-calendar/)
You can do one challenge every day, but I find it too difficult to stick to an everyday challenge.
Instead, I print the calendar, cut out the squares and place them in a bowl. On a rainy day, when the kids are bored, we all pull out a slip and CREATE!
9. Do chores.
Yes, chores! Work still needs to get done, but it can be FUN!
Try these silly but effective tools to get you and your kids cleaning up with smiles on your faces: https://saralivingfree.com/2019/01/28/5-fun-ways-kids-clean-up/ (My kids beg me for Tool #1.)
10. Make a FREE box.
Get each family member to find 5 things that they don’t like/use anymore. Place all the items into a box marked FREE. Place it at the end of your driveway on the next sunny day when the neighbors come out walking. Let them find this free surprise!
11. Family gaming tournament.
Cue the snacks, pajama pants, and thumb stretches: It’s tournament time.
Pick your family’s favorite video game, create a tournament chart, and get playing.
Not sure how to set up the chart? Try this tournament generator to get you going: https://challonge.com/tournament/bracket_generator. You can also write the names in by hand in one of these free blank tournament sheets: https://www.printyourbrackets.com/fillable-tournament-brackets.html.
12. Be artists for a day.
Paint scenery with Bob Ross. His videos are free on youtube.
Or, learn to cartoon with one of thousands of free cartooning videos on youtube.
13. Movie night on steroids.
- Have a girl’s “spa” movie night. Put on your prettiest dresses. Don’t forget a tiara. Then, paint your nails and play with each other’s hair while you watch a chick flick. Let the princess out!
- Have a boy’s “man cave” movie night. Turn off all the lights, add some twinkly lights (for stars), and put on your flannel jammies. Watch a classic action or adventure movie, and make sure you let all your farts out.
- Have a “dinner and a movie” night. Match your food to your tube! You could make homemade pizza, eat on a blanket in front of the TV, and watch a movie with a classic pizza scene (like “Home Alone”). Or, try these tie fighter cheese and crackers while watching Star Wars.
14. Create an indoor obstacle course.
Let it take over the entire basement, or even the entire house, including stair cases. Time each other for record your speeds on a chart. Try to beat your own time.
Haul out a 1000-piece puzzle, or borrow one you haven’t done before from a friend or family member. Challenge your family to get the whole thing completed in one day.
16. “Spring” clean.
I’m not kidding!
One summer, the kids and I worked on our “spring”cleaning list from 9 am to noon each weekday. Of course, the kids groaned every morning for the first few days, but then we ALL noticed a definite pattern:
Working hard for the morning gave them purpose in an otherwise unstructured time of year. And after working so hard, they were especially creative and playful during the afternoon.
Hard word and hard play; that’s the healthy children’s way!
17. Make a memory slideshow.
Sort through digital family photos, and create a slideshow set to music. Theme the slideshow by child or event. Send a copy to a grandma or grandpa. It’ll make them smile.
18. Build an epic fort.
Have the fort take up an entire room. At the end of the day, when it needs to be cleaned up, race against the clock together to see how fast you can get the room back to normal.
19. Paint a summer mural.
(This will be an ongoing project for rainy summer days.)
Pick one wall (or section of a wall) in the basement where you can create a family mural. Prime the wall. Together, sketch your plans on paper first, then draw it out in pencil on the wall. Then, paint!
Make a goal for yourselves to be done before school starts in fall, and have a “reveal” party for family and friends!
20. Play the “quiet game”.
Honestly, I often don’t have the energy to be creative and get my kids going on these indoor activities, especially on gloomy, rainy days. Sometimes, I just need peace and quiet.
Introduce your kids to the quiet game:
Specify an amount of time (for example, one hour) that Mom gets to be alone in her room (or elsewhere). The kids have to find something calm and quiet to do until the timer rings. If they are too loud, or if they interrupt Mom’s quiet time to ask a question, then they have to run 5 laps around the house in the rain! They may think that it’s fun at first, but it’ll get old. Real fast. (Especially if you add 5 minutes of quiet for every 5 laps they have to run.)
21. Make paper airplanes.
22. Rock art.
(This activity requires planning ahead. You’ll need: superglue, firm cardstock, painting supplies, and a collection of smooth pebbles.)
There are 2 ways to make rock art:
- Paint rocks. Visit www.craftsonsea.co.uk for adorable ideas.
- Create pebble pictures. Do an online search for “pebble art”. You’ll be blown away by the possibilities, and the simplicity, of this simple craft.
23. Tell a story.
Get everyone to write 5 random words on separate slips of paper. Put all the papers into a bowl.
Then, hang one or two flat sheets from your ceiling fixture, forming a tent in the middle of the room. Gather in a circle and use word slips to tell a story.
The story can begin with “Once upon a time…” Then, the first person picks out a word and must incorporate the word into the first sentence of the story. The following sentence will be told by the next person in the circle and guided by the next word picked.
24. Play balloon volleyball indoors.
We like to use green painters tape to draw a line across the dining room floor to play this game, but here’s a link with a picture and rules to get your own ideas flowing: https://kidspot.co.nz/activities/balloon-volleyball/.
25. Nerf-gun target practice.
Try this website for ideas on how to get creative with nerf-guns indoors: https://happymomhacks.com/nerf-gun-games-targets-2/
26. (Bonus) Ask your kids what THEY’D like to do. 😊
Fun is Contagious
Remember, your excitement will rub off on your kids. You’re not just building a fort: You’re building an epic battle fort that will take up the entire living room! Your enthusiasm is one of the key ingredients to the whole family’s fun (like it or not).