Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day

Not everyone enjoys the rain. It makes leaving the house more of a pain, it can mess up your hair that you spent an hour styling, it can soak your shoes and leave you with wet feet all day.

But a rainy day doesn't have to feel like a dreary, terrible, plan-ruining day. It can be a day filled with bonding and activities you don't normally do with your kids.

1) Bake something tasty! You can use your time indoors to have your kids help you bake cookies or brownies or bread, or maybe even a casserole or homemade pizza for lunch/dinner! It will create fun memories for all of you to look back on, on top of something delicious to eat. Be creative. Try something you haven't made before or don't make often. Don't worry if they make a mess or don't measure exactly right. The point is to spend time together doing something constructive, not to be perfect. Keep that in mind, and your kitchen will be filled with giggles, floured faces, and memories.

2) Read books together. No matter what age your kids are, you can still snuggle up on the couch and read a good book together. If your kids are young, you can do several picture books. Be more animated than usual, and soon you'll all be laughing. If they're a little older, you can read a chapter book together. Maybe have each person read for a different character while you read the narration. That will get everyone involved and engaged. For teenagers, you could read something like Lord of the Rings or a scary mystery book. Get creative and have fun with it.

3) Build a fort. This one pairs nicely with the suggestion above. What could be better than reading and acting out books in a blanket fort in your living room? Bring some snacks in there and have a good old-fashioned indoor camp-out... camp-in? Hmm... Anyway, you could also bring some games in there to play, or play a story game (someone starts a story by telling a few sentences, then the next person adds a few sentences, and you keep going around until someone ends the story).

4) Draw/color pictures. You can either do a free-draw where everyone can draw whatever they want, or you can create some kind of activity. Maybe have everyone draw the same thing (a monkey or a house), then compare. Or you could do a collaborative picture and have one person draw something, then pass it to the next person who adds something else. Keep passing it around until the picture is complete.

5) Make silly videos. You can use Snapchat and take advantage of the silly filters, or just use the regular video app on your phone. Make goofy faces, sing songs, act something out... then gather around to watch the finished product. This is one that is sure to get everyone laughing, then the videos will keep getting sillier and sillier. You could even send them to your spouse or friend at work to give them a little pick-me-up.

6) Learn about the rain. Read books or research online about what causes the rain, where the water comes from, how rain is beneficial, etc. Usborne Books & More has a great Lift-the-Flap book that teaches about just that. That will give your kids a new appreciation for rain because they'll understand it better and they'll know that it helps the flowers grow and encourages certain animals to come out - snails, worms, and toads. My mother-in-law's friend wrote a book about the benefits of rain and helps a little girl understand that she doesn't have to be sad when it rains.

7) Go outside. Most people stay indoors when it's raining, because it's no fun to get wet when you don't want to (if you're running to the store or to work). But if you want to get wet, it can be lots of fun! Go jump in puddles, dance in the rain, look for snails and toads, or race toy boats down the river in the street (but if it goes in the sewer, don't go after it. That's exactly what "It" wants. *smirks*).

The point is, rainy days don't have to be depressing or glum. They can be the starting point of some of the best memories you make with your kids. Enjoy them.

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