It can be hard to keep kids occupied during the summer holiday and even harder when the weather isn’t cooperating. But studies have shown that watching television at a young age can have negative effects on kids’ learning and socializing, now and in the future, and most parents know better than to leave the tv on for hours at a time. But how can you keep kids busy when they’re not in the swimming pool?

Glass windows collect the dewdrops of yet another rainy afternoon
Rainy glass windows BBC

For the days in between vacations and family visits when the sun isn’t shining, parents often have to get creative as their kids to keep fun (and learning) levels high and boredom levels low. Luckily, parents everywhere have faced the same struggle and are more than willing to share their successes. We’ve collected the best ideas out there to keep kids busy with fun, easy, cheap DIY projects that will last all day (and don’t require the fanciest new toy from the store). Read on for ideas, and feel free to improvise!

Homemade Playdough

DIY homemeade play dough for kids!
DIY colored clay for kids KojoDesigns

Kids of all ages can have endless fun with playdough, but the stuff you buy from the store can have tons of chemicals in it (and can even be toxic). Instead, it’s super easy to make your own easy homemade playdough in whatever colors you want! Different recipes allow you to add essential oils for scents; kids will love helping you make the playdough as much as they’ll love playing with it while the rain pours.

Memory Tray Game

Fun interior games to be played in the living room when it's raining out
Fun games for children MermaidInAMudslide

Especially when you’re entertaining young kids, it’s important to find games that both keep them occupied and having fun while also helping them learn and keep their brain sharp. The Memory Tray Game, which consists of examining a tray of objects, covering the tray and removing one, and then trying to figure out which is missing, does just that - not only will kids be improving their memory but they’ll love trying to guess which toy you’re hiding.

Physical Activity Cube

DIY home crafted games for rainy days you stay indoors
Physical activity cube Pinterest

One of the things parents struggle with during rainy days is all the pent-up energy kids don’t get to exert by running in the backyard. Instead of trying to stop kids from running through the hallways, you can put together a physical activity cube. With a few pieces of cardstock, tape, and newspaper, kids will use some of that energy and work on their gross motor skills. Win-win!

Paper Plate Fish

Fishy fun home wall decor that is easily crafted on rainy afternoons
Wall art for children MadeEveryday

With the release of best-seller Finding Dory, fish are super popular right now, and what better way to keep kids occupied than creating your own paper plate aquarium? When finished, tape them to a rainy window for the perfect backdrop.


Kids' bedroom forts to be made! Totally DIY decor
Bedroom forts Mamatoga

Every kid loves building forts out of old sheets, and let’s be real: most adults we know wish they still could without feeling ridiculous. Well, if you’re looking for something to do with your kids on a rainy day, you can find the inner child and enjoy building a fort alongside your kids! Stock the fort with books and dry snacks like popcorn or pretzels.

DIY Laser Maze

DIY activites and fun to be had indoors
Red tape obstacle course TrendyMomReviews

With just a narrow hallway, some masking tape or painter’s tape, and crepe paper, kids of all ages can create a 'laser' maze that helps them sharpen their spy (or ninja) skills...all while keeping them occupied for hours at a time. Suggest they start easy and then make the maze more complicated - just be sure to choose a hallway that you won’t need to find your way through (unless you like a challenge!).


Interior kitchen fun designed to be distracting and yummy
Kitchen baking ideas Popsugar

Last but not least, who doesn’t love baking warm, delicious cookies on a rainy day? Whether you work on math skills by having the kiddos measure out ingredients or they help with the mixing (and get to lick the spoon!), hanging out in the kitchen can be fun and educational, and keep kids occupied as the rain pours.

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