Monday, May 12, 2014

19 {Free or Cheap} Things to Do with Kids in Summer When it Rains

I hope your Mother's Day was fun and perhaps a bit restful. (Ha!)

It's going to get close to 90 degrees here today. I have to admit that I'm not a crazy summer person. I like swimming and going to the beach, but let's face it, getting three kids into a hot, humid car only to get them out again 10 minutes later doesn't sound like tons of fun to me. Give me sunny and 75 any day of the week.

Rainy days during the summer can be such a bummer too. I've put together a list of 19 things you can do with your kids during those summer showers.

1. Go outside and play in it! Of course, if this storm has thunder and lightning I really don't recommend this, but if it's just a light rain, head outdoors. Put bathing suits on the kids and let them play in it. You can even drag out the water toys. Watertables work great in the rain.

2. Stickers. Dude, my kid could play all day with stickers. Whenever I spot a cheap set, I put them back for when I'm in a real pinch with nothing for him to do. Just make sure you get them off of their clothes before you wash them. I've ruined a couple of pieces of clothes this way.

3. Paper Bag Challenge. Give them a paper bag and ask them to collect 5 things around the house that are blue/have spots/made of wood/whatever your child is learning about.

4. If your child is trustworthy, you can give them a camera and ask them to take pictures around the house. You can even give them a theme, such as things that have rainbows on them.

5. We have hardwood floors in the main living space of our house. I use blue painter's tape all of the time on the floor. I make "balance beams," letters and shapes. When Jake was learning his shapes, I would call them out and he would run and stand on the appropriate one. Gets energy out too!

6. Let them have a "carwash" in the kitchen sink. Pull up a chair for them to stand on (keep an eye on them) and let them give their cars, baby dolls or whatever a wash. Alternatively, you can do this in the bathtub.

7. Speaking of bathtub, break out the goggles and some interesting waterproof toys and let them look at them under the water. Bonus points for a snorkel set!

8. Practice with scissors. Let your little ones cut up magazines or even the Sunday ads. They'll have fun looking at the pictures and it's good fine motor practice.

9. Have a bunch of mason jars laying around from Pinterest projects that never happened? Yeah, me too. Put them to use! Squirt some washable paint inside, add some marbles and screw the cap on tight. See what kind of patterns you can make with the marbles rolling around in there.

10. Put on a talent show. Every kid loves singing, (no, it's just mine?) so take some video of yours doing their thing and watch it together. Jake could sing 400 rounds of Old McDonald if we let him.

11. Did someone say McDonald's? Hey, you gotta eat, so why not find a fast food joint with an indoor play place and let the kids run off some steam while you kick back with a sweet tea.

12. Jake loves to help with any kind of cooking, so I try to keep basic baking supplies around. Making these cookies would be fun and yummy.

13. Dry erase markers on windows or mirrors. You can draw funny faces on your own faces on the mirror. Make sure you supervise this one closely!

14. Make a fort under the dining room table. Pillow + blankets = a great hiding place.

15. The dollar store. Give each kid a dollar and see what they can buy with it. Alternatively, you could have the buy "gifts" for each other. When you get home, you can have them wrap them up in newspaper and exchange them.

16. Write letters to out of town family members. For children with pre-writing skills, this could mean coloring a picture to enclose.

17. Indoor obstacle course. Use couch cushions, chairs and anything else you can find to create a course inside the house.

18. Go to your local library. So many people overlook this great resource in their community. Ours has morning story time, but they also put out toys and the kids can hang out afterwards. Bonus: this can be a great place to meet other mom friends.

19. Dance party! You can turn on anything your like, but I'm partial to 80s pop or Disney movie soundtracks on Pandora. It will get everyone's blood pumping. I usually do this while I'm cleaning, so hand the kids some Swiffers and get a little help!

Hopefully this list will come in handy this summer. After all, there's only so many times one can watch Frozen (or Robin Hood at my house) before you want to scream!

All Kinds of Things


  1. Such a great list! I love the dollar store. Henry thinks it's just a toy store. Please add it to the link up over at my blog today!!

  2. So glad you joined us for this week's linkup! Love ideas for saving $$. :-)

  3. What an awesome list of activities! And, none of them are too crazy/difficult. My three little guys are going to love having a "carwash" - thanks :)

    1. This was a great hit in our house. A little messy, but since it was just soap and water, it was an easy clean up! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. So glad you linked up with us today! I am going to enjoy reading more of your blog. These are some great ideas I am definitely writing down for our summer. So practical and simple- my favorite things!

    1. I'm all about simplicity these days. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Such wonderful ideas, some of them I do (dry erase on mirror, McDonalds, library, forts with chairs) but I loved your idea of the blue tape- that seems very appropriate for boys and learning best in my opinion. Definitely going to try these. Rachel xo

    1. I use the blue tape everywhere! I swear I should keep some in my purse, you never know when you might need it. Thanks for stopping by!