What to Do With Toddlers on a Rainy Day

Rain can spell inward groans for parents, grandparents, and childcarers, suddenly stuck with the thought of keeping the kids entertained indoors.

Don’t panic just yet, we’ve got a wealth of suggestions covering what to do with toddlers on a rainy day.


Head Out

There are puddles for jumping, and streams for exploring, and ducks who are still hungry whatever the weather.

If you’re feeling brave, or simply cooped up, it’s time to don the waterproofs and the wellies and get out in to the great outdoors in spite of the weather. Come home to steaming mugs of hot chocolate and a sense of accomplishment.

If the idea of getting soggy doesn’t quite float your boat, then there are plenty of indoor ideas of what to do with kids on a rainy day.

Of course there’s the seventh circle of hell that is soft play, which will wear the little monkeys out for an afternoon of more relaxed playing.

However, there are plenty of other ideas that won’t leave you weeping in to your overpriced coffee, or require you to take on the agility of a professional ninja...

  • Visit a free museum and become time explorers, adventuring in to the past. Many have interactive displays, and interesting trails for the kids.
  • Become pirates and mermaids as you head to the local leisure centre for a swim – don’t forget to check out what other indoor activities they offer whilst you’re there.
  • Check out your local cinema and see if they have a Kids' Club – frequently you can see a fairly recent film for minimal price at a time of day you never thought the cinema was open (before you had children).
  • Head down to your local library and delve into a good book or an organised activity.
  • Alternatively, pop down to the bowling alley – most have ramps, so that even the smallest in the family can have a go.


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Stay In

If you’d rather not head out in the wet weather at all, but are looking to prevent boredom and mischief from the sight of the same four walls, then we can suggest what to do with kids on a rainy day without getting out of your slippers.

Make a Rainy-Day Mess

Get little hands working and taste buds tantalised with a spot of home baking – pizza and cakes make for fun wet weather baking.

Pizza Making

Whilst you’re in mess-making mode it’s time to get to it with all those art and craft sets that have been languishing in the cupboards since the last birthday or Christmas.

Let the kids loose with paints, some glue, and the cardboard and plastic contents of the recycling bin. Let their imaginations fuel their junk creations.

Arts And Crafts

Still in the arena of mess-making, why not turn your kitchen into a home science laboratory?

There are plenty of home-based science-tastic ideas for young kids, such as making bubbling wizard potions with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, or making invisible ink with lemon juice, or even simple floating and sinking.

Science Experiment


Burn Off Rainy Day Energy

Once the kitchen mess is back under control, perhaps it’s time for creating a den, and snuggling in with some favourite stories and one of those freshly-baked cupcakes?

Den Building

If your kids still have energy to burn then a swift game of hide and seek, a quickly created treasure hunt, a scavenger hunt, or an indoor obstacle course can all help keep things under control.

For younger ones, particularly preschoolers, you can create an indoor sensory experience with a few props from around the house: a fan for the swirling whirling snowstorm from We’re Going on a Bear Hunt can be enjoyed after splishing and splashing through a washing up bowl paddle (don’t forget the towels!).

Perhaps make a racing track, for toy cars, that goes all over the house - using easy-to-remove masking tape.

Settle Down to Quiet Activities 

After your indoor adventures have successfully banished the wriggles, a rainy day is the perfect time to bring out the board games, the jigsaw puzzles, and even have a Lego contest.

The smallest kids will get immersed in a spot of playdough, and everyone can get lost in their favourite book, especially if the characters can come to life through an adult reading aloud.


When the day is busted, and the rainy day blues have evaporated, it’s time to get cosy with a movie. Shut the curtains, get out the blankets and the popcorn, and treat everyone to a new film.  Click here for some recommendations of the best movies for 3 year olds. 

With our rainy day ideas up your sleeve, you’ll soon be doing a rain dance and wishing away the sunshine more often.

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