Need to keep kids entertained inside on a rainy day? Normally, we would recommend you visit the Newy with Kids Rainy Day Activities Guide. However, that pre-COVID article lists indoor places like play centres, museums, galleries, movie theatres, bowling alleys and more in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & the Hunter. These indoor spots are operating with COVID-19 protocols and have limited numbers, require pre-booking or have closed off popular kids amenities like Mininova or Supernova at Newcastle Museum.
Instead, we’ve put together a new guide for those wanting inspiration on rainy day fun that you can do at home.
Here are 25 things to do with kids at home inside on a rainy day.
Have a family movie night
Now more than ever, it’s the time for a feel-good family movie. Laugh, cry and get distracted from the disruption that COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked in our lives. The Newy with Kids team has brainstormed and have come up with an extensive list of family movies that you can watch with your crew while social distancing. We’ve got something for everyone: classics, animals, sports, sci-fi, fantasy and comedies, even some cringeworthy gems from the 80s and 90s.
Enjoy a movie marathon
Better yet, don’t just watch one movie, do a marathon. You can watch the Toy Story movies, Shrek series, Harry Potter movies, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Star Wars movie franchise or enjoy a Disney Princess marathon. Just make lots of popcorn to enjoy with the movie!
Read on a rainy day
Nothing better than a rainy day to curl up with a new book. Check with friends and family and do some book swaps for you and the kids or sign up with your local library and download kids ebooks that can be read on computers, tablets and phones. You can also purchase ebooks through Amazon. Hint, get kids hooked on a book series. If they read one, they’ll be more likely to want to read more. Here’s a list of our favourite kids book series.
Play a board game
Spend a couple of hours playing board games. If your kids are preschoolers or in their teens, there’s sure to be a board game to suit them. There’s family classics like Monopoly, Scrabble and Settlers of Catan as well as more hands-on games like Operation, Jenga and Twister. Here’s our pick for best family board games. You can also download for free the Cards Against Humanity Family Edition.
Bake and decorate cupcakes
Don’t worry about COVID carbs. Bake as many cookies and cupcakes as you need. And then get kids to decorate them. And then eat them, as many as you want.
Play video games
Indulge in some video games. If you have video systems at home like Xbox, Playstation or Nintendo Switch, you’re set. If your kids want to expand their video game collections, you can download a wide range of games on the AppStore and Google Play for iPhones, iPads and Android devices.
Solve a jigsaw puzzle
Keep some jigsaw puzzles around. They’re great to play with for a bit and then come back to when you feel like it. Choose simple puzzles (under 50 pieces) for young kids under 5. Older kids can handle jigsaw puzzles with more pieces like the 120, 250 and 500 piece sets. If you’ve already done all your own family puzzles, do a call out to friends and family and do a swap.
Build with LEGO
Spend some hours playing LEGO. If you need some inspiration or projects, google “LEGO challenges”. You’ll find tons of projects that your kids can work on. If you want specific STEM projects, check out the Educating Young Engineers website. It contains lots of fun engineering and design projects.
Don’t forget about the humble pack of playing cards. There’s so much you can do with them. From playing card games like snap, rummy to building elaborate structures.
Doing craft is a great activity for kids of all ages. We have a standard craft kit full of coloured paper, textas, crayons, stickers, feathers, pom poms and glue that can be pulled out for some fun. If you don’t have lots of craft supplies, just hunt around your house. Paper towel rolls, old newspapers and magazines, aluminium foil, pens, pencils can all be used to create artistic works.
Cardboard box fun
Got some empty boxes. Give them to your kids to have fun. They can colour them, jump in them, use them to build cubby houses and more. The bigger the better. Fridge boxes are especially fun.
Jump on to GoNoodle
If the kids need to blow off some energy, get them on Go Noodle. A favourite with kids, Go Noodle has loads of movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. Your kids have probably played it at school as Go Noodle partner with teachers to fuel classrooms with activity videos. Check out the GoNoodle app for iOS. Sorry, no Android version yet.
Build an indoor obstacle course
If they still have energy, get them to build an obstacle course inside the house. They can use chairs, blankets, cushions, pool noodles, boxes to build a course.
Do science experiments
Have some fun and learn! There are so many science experiments you can do at home using things that you have lying around like rulers, pencils, strings and more. Check out Cool Science Experiments Headquarters website for some great video tutorials.
See what they are doing in space
Check out the NASA website and see the earth from far away. You can also watch STEMonstrations. These are STEM demonstrations on the space station.
Do a family yoga session together
Practice some yoga poses together and stretch and relax…. There are some great YouTube videos on kids yoga that you can enjoy together. Story Hive Yoga for Kids has sessions that are 25 minutes long – perfect for kids who can’t sit still for long. Cosmic Kids Yoga have yoga, mindfulness and relaxation videos designed especially for kids aged 3 that involves a story.
Make a movie
Get your kids making a movie. It’s super easy with the iMovie app on iPads and iPhone. Kids can spend time filming themselves doing things and then edit a final video for the whole family to watch.
Put on a fashion show
Get kids to channel their inner fashion diva. Let them raid your wardrobe and old jewellery and come up with different outfits.
Have a Teddy Bears Picnic
Get out all the stuffed animals and organise a teddy bears picnic for little ones. You can even use serve “tea” and cookies.
Have a dance party
Get the kids to create their own Spotify playlists and then get dancing. Choose different genres for a dance party like boy bands, K-pop or disco. Extra points if the whole family gets dancing and you make TikTok videos.
Listen to family podcasts
Want to keep little minds interested? Get them listening to podcasts especially during a rainy weekend at home. We love podcasts as kids can listen to the subject matter while relaxing, drawing or just playing with LEGO. Here are our picks for the best podcasts for kids. We’ve chosen a selection from around the world including some great podcasts created here in Australia that parents will love too! Either listen to the podcasts together or give kids some headphones.
Grab some paper and teach kids the Japanese art of paper folding. There’s plenty of tutorials online to learn how to fold cranes, boxes and other cool things.
Make a family time capsule
One of these projects is creating a family time capsule to preserve your precious family memories. Here is a guide which we put together to make a time capsule you’ll love opening in the future.
Make & play with playdough and slime
Let the kids get messy and create with playdough and slime. This tactile activity gets kids creating and designing. Just put down old newspaper if you’re concerned about the mess. It’s super easy to make homemade playdough and slime.
Clean The House game
If the kids start complaining about being bored, threaten them with the “Let’s clean the house” game. Nothing cures boredom quicker than the thought of housework.
In 2012, Reena founded Newy with Kids to share information about family-friendly Newcastle. Originally from Canada, she had no idea about what to do with her toddler and after searching unsuccessfully for a family guide, decided to start her own. Since that time, both the toddler and Newy with Kids have grown keeping Reena busy. If you see her out and about, say hi.