Real Games You Can Play When You Are Stuck In-doors
The Only Rainy Day Games You’ll Ever Need
Rainy days don’t have to be a drag. They can be a great excuse to hunker down and do some good old-fashioned playing with your kids. That said, it can be hard to know what to do or where to start.
After 10 years as a theater teacher, and 5 years as a mom, I have a toolkit of games that work for our kids to keep them active, playing and off those screens -even when the weather outside is frightful!
These games facilitate rich imaginative play which scientists confirm is essential for our kids’ brain development and social skills. This kind of playing powerfully supports EQ, Mindfulness and Executive Functioning Skills – read more about it on my blog.
These are great for ages 3 and up and can be played with 2 or more people. When playing with groups or with siblings, I love to set these in motion and then step away to let them control where it goes next.
You don’t need new toys, and you don’t have to pay for an app…you can just play with what you have. Activate your child’s curiosity, compassion and creativity – and most importantly, bond!
Here is your blueprint for playing – mix and match activities based on your needs for calming down or getting physical.
Let’s get down to playing!
Warm-up for the day in character. Pick your kids’ favorite environment and start there: ocean, desert, jungle, etc. Make up poses for the animals and take turns copying each other. Use music to get you inspired and calm. You can even weave a few poses together into a movement story!
Paint eyes on your chin, cover up your nose and eyes and turn upside down.
Create a character with a name, some challenges, triumphs, and backstory. Have funny interviews (pretend you are on a talk-show) or dialogues with each other as chin puppets!
Add drama to a regular obstacle course: play off a story you love or create characters that heighten the drama. Kids love a high stakes scenario – place yourself on the outside as a character too! Use dramatic scores or soundtracks to enhance the playing.
When you need a break from physical activity, get goofy with language. Play around with classic tongue twisters and encourage kids to make up their own. Playing with alliteration and assonance (fancy!) and getting in a good rhyme here or there boosts literacy skills too.
Tell a story in chunks. One person (adult usually), claps to transition between people. Use transition words/phrases like, “Unfortunately”, “As luck would have it” and “What they didn’t know was” – to add to the drama and keep the story moving.
Bonus Play: Illustrate it!
Bonus Bonus Play: Set a timer and try to tell it again while still getting in all the essential parts.
Hide and Seek
Play this classic game in character (Peter Rabbit, Eloise, etc). When kids get caught they stay in character and role-play with you!
Test Your Touch
Set up bowls of different substances – popcorn kernels, pompoms, feathers, shells – whatever you have around the house. Put a blindfold on your kid and they get to describe what they feel. This is great for re-centering kids and relaxing them: they are practicing mindfulness by focusing on one sense.
One Word Story
Tell. A. Story. One. Word. At. A. Time!
This is often hilarious. Take turns saying just one word. Work on just making a coherent sentence and then build up to a story. When it reaches a natural conclusion, try to tell it back and see if you remember it. This game is amazing for helping kids with impulse control and memory!
Freeze Dance with Scores
Kick your freeze dance up a notch when you play with scores and soundtracks. Adventurous, lyric-free, this music is fantastic for creative movement. Pick scores for movies that your child loves and they will plug right into the character’s world. You can also leave the music on and see what kind of free-play the songs inspire.
Weave in some mindfulness and relaxation to your day through mirroring. Play around with who is the leader and who is the reflection. Make sure your moves are slow and deliberate so you don’t leave your reflection behind.
Everyday Activities You Can Do With Your Child
Easy Guides and Videos.