Bad Weather Indoor Activities

15 Months-3 Years

Rain, rain, go away (or insert any bad weather here)! Nearly every parent has that thought when looking outside and seeing the dark clouds that make it hard to let a busy, energetic kid get the wiggles out at the park or on the playground. That’s why we asked Kathleen Smith, our Strong4Life exercise physiologist (and mom of two little ones under age 3), to put together a list of fun activities to keep your child occupied, even if you’re cooped up inside.

Ways to keep little kids entertained in bad weather

  1. Make art. Older kids may be ready to try water color paints, and younger toddlers can finger paint (use washable paint if you can, or have the kids wear one of your old t-shirts to keep their clothes clean). After the project is done, you can clean your toddler up with a special rainy-day bath.
  2. Play a game. If your child starts to get antsy from all of the time inside, try an active game like hide and seek, Simon Says or red light, green light. You could even do wheelbarrow, have crab walk races down the hall or play Charades. Card games like Go Fish, and board games are fun at this age, too. While there are plenty of games on your iPad or iPhone, try to limit the screens to activities you can do together instead of just handing it over to your little one to play on his own.
  3. Play dress-up. You don’t need to have a chest full of fancy costumes to enjoy a dress-up party. Kids love to dress up in clothes from mom and dad’s closet, and you can always make up characters for what you have handy—a cowboy hat instantly turns your toddler into a cowboy and a blanket can make a great cape!
  4. Pretend the floor is hot lava! Put paper plates or pieces of construction paper around a room. Kids jump from paper to paper as they try to avoid the “hot lava floor.” The kids must travel from plate to plate (or paper to paper). Remember ... don’t fall in!
  5. Cook with your child. Kids love to be involved in the kitchen, and you probably have a lot more time on a rainy day to cook something healthy and fun with your child than you do during the mad rush before dinner.
  6. Dance. Find some kid-friendly music, turn up the volume and just shake it out.
  7. Play balloon volleyball. If you have balloons lying around in your birthday party stash, blow them up and play balloon volleyball, tennis or simply see how long you can keep it off the ground by batting it back and forth. Keep in mind one safety tip: As soon as a balloon pops, take it and all of the pieces straight to the trash. Latex balloons are the number one choking hazard that doctors treat in the emergency department.
  8. Clean. Yes, we’re serious. Little ones don’t think of this so much as a chore but rather, as a fun way to play. And when you give kids an “important” job like dusting, they jump right in. Just remember to keep any toxic cleaning supplies out of your toddler’s reach.
  9. Have animal races. Take turns calling out an animal name. When an animal is called, everyone has to move like that animal to a finish line. Make the animal noise, too, and you will have everyone laughing.
  10. Have a scavenger hunt around the house. Make a list of items and have the kids search for them.
  11. Enjoy the rain or snow. If it’s raining, but not storming (i.e. you don’t hear thunder or see lightning), put on some rain boots and go splash around! Or if it’s cold or snowing, but not sleeting, put on some warm clothes and build a snowman or just run around. You and your toddler will have a blast, and you’ll be making some sweet memories.