Restore your parenting superpowers and equip yourself with rainy day activities that your kids will love! The best part about these activities is that my kids get all of their extra energy out, while staying inside.
My kids love to be outside. When the weather is not too cold, they can play outside for hours happily! When they are stuck in the house is when the trouble begins. One time, I found my son climbing the door frame!
I remember working with a family who told me that their kiddo climbed their door frames. I listened but really did not help the family by providing ideas to address this kids need to climb. Especially when they were stuck inside.
So I am on a mission, to help all families who find themselves in this situation. I now have a better understanding what you mean when you say that your kiddo is climbing your doorways. They are LITERALLY climbing your doorways!
So I have pulled together some of my favorite indoor energy busters that I have used throughout my Pediatric Occupational Therapist career. I have used them all with my own kiddos and my kids beg to do them….. especially # 16.
Try to be prepared for these days by having something fun to do.
The Secret for Successful Rainy Day Activities!
Simply put, keep them for Rainy Day Activities. This is the best kept secret that I have learned as a pediatric Occupational Therapist in the schools. And now, I use this strategy all of the time with my own kiddos. At certain times, there are different things available to do.
By doing this, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you need your kiddos to be engaged in a task so that you can get something done. Or on days when your kiddos need a break from their toys because they have been stuck inside from bad weather.
In my house, special activities include playing with toys that you have to destroy, like these Dinosaur Eggs. But I also limit access to some toys that have a lot of pieces and toys that I use during occupational therapy sessions.
So whenever I pull out the rainy day activity, or the special toy, I have my kids attention and they are very excited!
Considerations Before Choosing Which Rainy Day Activities To Do
Before you plan which rainy day activity you are going to start with, please consider where you are going to have your kiddo do them. Floor types and overall space are going to be big factors. Hardwood and tile floors can cause materials to slip out from underneath them.
You do not want your kiddo to jump, run, walk, or climb on fabric or paper materials while on hardwood, laminate, or tile floors. They can fall and hurt themselves. Save these activities for carpeted areas.
Make sure for activities that require running, jumping, and climbing that there is enough space for you kiddos and not near a flight of steps. Don’t trust your kiddos to know better. These activities can be so fun and engaging that they do not watch their surrounding environment for safety.
18 Rainy Day Activities for Hyperactive Kids!
- Crush Boxes By Jumping On Them – I try to always keep empty boxes around. And honestly with the ease of delivery, we quickly get a collection of shipping boxes.
- Jump on a Trampoline – Jumping is a great energy buster. Have your kiddo try and jump a certain number of times without going over the number. It requires a lot of planning and anticipation of their actions on the trampoline. Or have them do an action like clap, or spread their legs while in the air.
- Pull Yourself With a Rope – Pulling is a great strengthening activity that takes a lot of energy! Tie a rope around a door knob handle, chair or sturdy spindle in a room with either tile or hardwood floors. Have your kiddo pull themselves to the end of the line sitting, when wearing sweatpants or standing with socks on!
- Pull a Blanket– Place a blanket on the floor and take turns pulling a sibling, parent, or caretaker! This activity needs to be supervised. Make sure that both the person pulling, and the person being pulled are participating in a safe manner.
Instead of a person, you could always place toys on it and give them a ride. To make it harder, pull the blanket on a carpeted floor; easier on a hardwood floor.
- Pull/Push a Box or Laundry Basket – Make it a science experiment! Have your kiddo predict which would be easier to move, filled with stuffed animals or having a few trucks or dolls? Play around with different items. To pull it, attach a rope to it!
- Paper Plate Skating – Place paper plates on the floor, step on them, and move around the room without lifting your feet!
- Pick up Toys with Your Feet – While sitting down, use your feet to pick up a toy and put it in a basket/target. The basket can be to the side, on a low shelf, or behind the pile.
To make it even harder, have your kiddo lay down so that their feet touch the soft toys. Place the basket at their head. Now they need to pick up the SOFT toy with their feet and bring it over their head to the basket!
- Balance Board or Rocker Board – Kids love using these boards. They can rock back and forth or side to side. I also like playing Simon Says while they are standing on one, to make it extra challenging. If you want to buy one, check this one out. Or if you are handy, here are DIY instructions.
- Scooter Board – If you are lucky to have one at home, encourage your kiddo to either sit on it or lay on it. If your kiddo is laying down on it, have them use only their hands or feet to make it go! Try to make it move forward, backward, or in a circular motion!
Place puzzle pieces at one end of the room, and have your kiddo build it at the other end. Only let them bring one piece at a time. Check out here, for more scooter board ideas!
- Keep the Wall From Falling Down – Pretend that a wall in your house is falling down and you need to keep it upright by pushing it! Start with your hands and change up which body parts you use!
- Roll a Ball Up and Down a Wall – The trick to this one, is using a large enough ball that your kiddo has to use two hands. I like to use a small yoga ball because it’s big but not too heavy. Have them roll the ball up and down the wall vertically.
If you want to make it harder, roll the ball on the wall horizontally or bounce the ball. Don’t let the ball drop on the floor!
- Potato Sack Race – Use a pillow case or a sleeping bag as your potato sack! If you only have enough for one jumper, time them to see how long it takes to get to the finish line. Encourage them to try and beat their best time!
- Crab Walk – Have crab walk races or complete a scavenger hunt moving from area to area going forward, backward and sideways. Encourage your kiddo to not rest their butt on the floor. Want to make it hard? Have them move at different speeds – slow, fast, medium! Or place a stuff animal on their stomach and tell them to not let it fall off!
- Crab Soccer – Designate a goal area. Your kiddo has to move the ball only using their feet to the goal area. If you have more than one kid, everyone can play! Since ball play inside my house ends badly most times, we use a squishy ball. Ideally, you want the ball to be about the size of a soccer ball, but any ball will work.
- Climb Over a Pile of Pillows – My kids love to climb and will attempt to climb anything and everything in my house! This is a great way to meet their “climbing needs”.
Collect all the pillows in the house, make a pile and then climb over it! If you don’t have enough pillows, use blankets, stuffed animals, and/or beanbag chairs. Pretend the floor is hot lava, or the ocean and you can’t step in it!
- Knock Down a Crib Mattress – This rainy day activity is great for kids who like to crash or need deep proprioception! Hold the crib mattress vertically. Have your kiddo wait at a starting line. When you say go, have them run and crash into the crib mattress knocking it down! Then have them stand it back up before doing it again.
Want to make it harder? Only use hand gestures for stop and go. Or say, “ready, set, (anything but go)” but only let them crash into it when you say go. You can also have them start running, and then suddenly make them stop!
When the mattress hits the hardwood floor, it can be pretty loud. To dampen the sound, you can put a blanket where the mattress will fall.
- Army Crawl Under a Blanket – place items on the four corners of a blanket and try to climb under it without knocking off the items on the blanket
- Obstacle Course – Create an obstacle course that includes these movements: bear walking, crab walking, army crawling, slow motion crawling, walking on a line, hopping forward and backward. Have your kiddo help create it, and write it down or draw it out on a piece of paper!
How Do I Know Which Ones to Choose?
When you are looking over this list use the following questions as a guide to help you decide:
- Which one(s) do you think your kiddo would like to do?
- Is there one that YOU want to do with them?
- Given the size restrictions of your home, which activities are safe to do?
- Which materials do you have access to?
Also consider which activities best match your kiddo’s needs.
If they like rough play, then the crashing into the mattress or crushing boxes with their feet might be perfect for them!
Does your kiddo like to climb your doorways? Then perhaps climbing over the pile of pillows or under a blanket with things on it will be best for them!
Kiddos who are in constant motion might benefit from using a balance board, rolling a ball on the wall, or using their feet to pick up their toys!
For kiddos who like to run, they might enjoy using a scooter board or paper plate skating!
But then again, some kiddos enjoy ALL of these activities.
Help! My Kids Are Now MORE hyper!
Some kiddos have an opposite response to activities like this, and actually become more hyper. If your kiddo happens to fall into this group, there are a few things that you can do to help them become calmer.
Checkout 12 Calming Waiting In Line Strategies that Work. I know the post is about waiting in line, but honestly the calming strategies can be used anywhere! You can also give them some calming strategies during the activity to help them not escalate so high or as fast.
Are YOU Ready for the next Rainy Day?
With a little preparation, you will be ready! You wont be disappointed and your kiddos will be thanking you!
Let me know how your next rainy day was better using any of these activities! I read all comments and love to her from you!
If you know someone who needs these Rainy Day Activities too, please share this with them. They will thank you!
Read more on Sensory Here!
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Kelly is a licensed Occupational Therapist with 15 years of experience servicing school-aged children and Early Intervention. She is the founder of OT Perspective and a mom to 4 children. To learn more about her, check out her About Me page, here.