Editor’s note: This post was updated on June 4, 2020.
When you live in the middle of the rainiest part of North Vancouver, you learn rather quickly not to let rain get in the way of anything.
But there are days, especially in the spring, when the rain is beyond torrential. When parents and kids exchange glances as if to say, “It can’t possibly rain harder than this!” Until it does.
And on these days, when it feels like the roof might cave in and the rain is so loud we can barely hear each other over the drone of the drops, we find something to do inside. We find ways to be active and get our bodies moving in spite of the wet weather. And we find a whole lot of fun.
Here are just a few of the things we do to keep busy indoors on rainy days:
- Wrestling: We’ve got a couple of thick yoga mats that we put on the floor for a bit of protection, then my daughter and son get to try and take me down. This is not Hulk Hogan wrestling, though. I’m usually on my hands and knees or lying on my back, gently flipping them around and lying them on the mats. Roughhouse play is great for learning movement skills and also to help children learn how to control their strength.
- Knee hockey: Playing hockey indoors is easy with a ball made from rolled-up socks. Play in a hallway and either use hands to handle the ball or get plastic mini-sticks. This is perfect for one-on-one games, or even games of shootout.
- Skeeball: We set up a series of targets and buckets at different distances and heights so our kids can practice throwing, with sock balls or beanbags (anything that doesn’t bounce). When they were younger it was all underhand, but they’re getting more accurate every day. We like to make a game out of it by having more difficult targets worth more points.
- Drum circle: The rhythm of the rain is a great accompaniment to our drum circle. And if you don’t think drumming is active, try pounding on a djembe or bongo for ten minutes and see how your arms feel.
- Disco party: I equip my kids with flashlights and turn up the pop music. As they dance, they create their own strobe light effect that is the perfect antidote to the darkness created by the rain clouds.
- Hopscotch: We use green painter’s tape to create elaborate grids and then challenge each other to try and solve them with our hops.
Only after we’ve exhausted ourselves do we find we’re able to relax. Then we can curl up with some popcorn and a movie. Or a video game. Or a stack of books. In our house, rainy days aren’t so bad.
For more indoor activity ideas, check out Active for Life’s new Facebook group Active at Home: Fun ideas to get kids moving.