The weather’s bad. The kids are stuck inside. And you need rainy day activities for your bored tween. The thing is, you have your own plans for the day and don’t want to be roped into a lot of craft assembly or supervision. Here are 10 activity ideas that fill the bill for kid independence.
1. Set up and photograph forced perspective pictures
Forced perspective is using our natural depth perception to create the illusion an object is larger or smaller than it really is. Here’s an example.
Your kids can find other inspiration examples by searching “forced perspective” on the internet (I recommend Pinterest as a safe search site.) As you can see, the results are pretty humorous – and impressive to friends. This is one of those rainy day activities that can be carried outside – perhaps using an umbrella to cover an entire house.
2. Bake a dessert for the family
Tell your child they are responsible for producing dinner or a dessert for that evening. Guide them to a cookbook where they can spend time choosing a recipe your pantry is able to accommodate. Depending on their experience in the kitchen, they may need minimal or no guidance. Of course, insist they leave the kitchen as clean as they found it when they began – just like real chefs.
3. Make a 5-minute movie with a cell phone/tablet
This activity can easily involve siblings or a friend and has the potential to take several days if they want to be elaborate. It can involve script-writing, costumes, props, and video editing. If they’re working solo, they can use lego people or clay characters. Developing video editing skills on the computer, if they have none, can take hours by itself.
4. Work on a “grown-up” coloring book
You can order adult coloring books for cheap on Amazon. Put a few away in a closet for a rainy day. And don’t forget new colored pencils. There’s nothing like a new book and set of pencils to draw out a child’s inner artist. With a coloring book, everyone can produce work they’re proud of.
5. Design a selfie scavenger hunt for friends
Your child can construct a list of 35 places to capture in selfie backgrounds. The list can define the venue to school, neighborhood, mall – or a combination of them all. The beauty of this activity is that it plans something to do on another day.
6. Hire them as a “service contractor”
Identify a house chore you have no desire to do and is outside the scope of your kid’s normal responsibilities. Hire their services to do it. Make sure they understand full payment is contingent on quality service. Add to the official-ness of the transaction by requiring them to write out a bill for services after completion of the job. (I did this frequently with my kids. A favorite “service” was having all the baseboards wiped down. Hate that job.) I was happy to get a job done and they were happy to make “mall money”. No law says rainy day activities can’t benefit you!
7. Build an interior-decorated indoor fort
This isn’t the fort little kids build. Construct the shell with sheets and blankets. But take the fort to HGTV-level by accessorizing with throw rugs, lighting, seating, and artwork. And maybe a plant. The goal is to make it as homey as possible.
8. Learn or develop a digital skill
Not all screen time is bad. Digital skills are useful and even marketable! Kids can teach themselves animation or photo editing using free software. These skills can really enhance school projects.Not all screen time is bad...Kids can teach themselves animation or photo editing using free software. Click To Tweet
9. Start or maintain a journal
Your child can begin a written record of their current likes, friends, dilemmas, habits, goals, and hopes for their future. This encourages your child to be self-reflective and develop their writing skills.
10. Teach yourself dance moves
There are lots of “how to” dance videos available on YouTube. In the privacy of their own room, your child can learn their favorite style of dance. Here’s an example.
Every child’s personality and interests are different, but yours is certain to be entertained by several of these rainy day activities. And when the weather’s good, they can go outside and try some of these “old school” activities for fun.