Having the kids home for summer vacation is great—most days. On those gloomy days when the rain is coming down in a seemingly endless torrent, though, it doesn’t take long for boredom to set in. And when the kids are bored, the day tends to become much less enjoyable for the grown-ups, too.
Finding things to keep your kids busy on rainy days can be challenging, especially if you have kiddos in different age groups. While most of the activities your toddler loves aren’t so fun for teens and tweens, there are plenty of projects appropriate and enjoyable for kids of all ages. Lots of them are even fun for adults! Whether it’s working on a diamond painting as a family, making jewelry or tie-dyeing old t-shirts, here are a few crafts perfect for rainy days and all ages!
Diamond painting is a relative newcomer to the crafting world, but it has quickly taken the industry by storm. The process is simple, but the results are amazing. Every diamond painting kit comes with a self-adhesive canvas that is preprinted, much like a paint-by-numbers canvas. Instead of numbers, though, each space has a symbol. Each symbol corresponds to a colored resin diamond. When the diamonds are placed in their corresponding spots, a shimmering mosaic image emerges.
Diamond painting is a great project for all ages. It is easy to learn, and there are designs to suit any taste. From simple patterns well-suited to the youngest members of your family to complex designs that are more suitable for teens and adults, there are diamond painting kits for everyone.
DIY Board Game
Making a DIY board game is the perfect way to pass a rainy day. And the finished project will be perfect for passing future rainy days. What’s not to love? Encourage your kids to work together to put their own spin on a classic, like checkers, tic-tac-toe or even Monopoly. Alternatively, help them create a one-of-a-kind game. It does not need to be anything fancy. Give your kiddos some cardstock, construction paper, markers, glue and other basic craft supplies and they might just amaze you with what they come up with.
Jewelry making is a good option for kids of all ages because it’s so versatile. For young kids, large plastic beads and string are great. Even dry pasta works in a pinch. Once they outgrow that type of jewelry making, they can move on to working with glass or stone beads and metal findings. Even if you have kids in different age groups, they can all work on making jewelry together using their respective supplies. This project gives older kids a chance to teach their younger siblings, too, and strengthen their bonds with them.
When you were a kid, you might have enjoyed searching for various objects in I-Spy books or engaging in a game of I-Spy while on a road trip with your parents and siblings. Share this timeless activity with your kids by making I-Spy bottles. In addition to being a lot of fun, these bottles are a great way to make use of those random little toys and game pieces that seem to always make their way in between the sofa cushions and under car seats.
Start by filling up a plastic soda bottle most of the way with dry sand, rice or small beads. Then, drop in a few small toys and objects. Shake it all up so that most of the objects are hidden. Then, encourage your kids to roll the bottles around to try to spot different objects. Even older kids will enjoy the challenge of finding and identifying all of the hidden objects. You could even have each kid make their own bottle and then have their siblings try to identify everything inside. This project is super simple, and it’s easy to make it enjoyable for everyone in the family.
Block Candy Dispenser
If the kids in your family are into STEM, making a candy dispenser out of building blocks is a great rainy day activity. Put your young inventors and engineers to work on this project and they’ll have a blast using their toys to create something that is fully functional and dispenses tasty treats. Check out the full tutorial, including photos, here.
Ice Tie-Dyed Shirts
Making tie-dyed shirts can be messy, so it’s often thought of as an outdoor project. There are, however, less-messy techniques that make it much easier to enjoy the project inside on a rainy day. With the help of ice, you and your kids can upcycle old shirts into one-of-a-kind masterpieces without leaving stains all over the house.
For this project, you’ll need ice, a tie-dye kit, a t-shirt, a large container (like a baking dish or a dishpan) and a rack that fits over the container. Place the rack on top of the container. Then, wet the shirt completely and wring it out. Crumble it up and place it on top of the rack. Next, cover the shirt in ice. Use a generous amount, but be sure to arrange it so it will drip into the container as it melts. Open up the tie-dye kit and carefully sprinkle the dry pigment over the ice. Cover with plastic wrap or a large plastic bag to keep the shirt from drying out and let sit overnight.
Finally, rinse the shirt with cool water until it runs clear. Wash and dry by itself (or with other freshly tie-dyed shirts) and your new creation is ready for wear!
Don’t let the gloomier days of summer get your family down. Try one of the projects listed above to keep boredom at bay and make the most out of every summer day!