rain day activities nashville

Bad Weather Activities For Kids In Nashville

April showers might bring May flowers, but Nashville’s dreary, rainy weather this time of year can leave us feeling stuck inside with nothing to do but stare at each other, sulk, and count how many times our kids can say those infamous, dreaded words: “I’m bored!”

But what if we looked forward to the rainy days? What if bad weather was just another opportunity for some self-made sunshine we have stored away, literally, for a rainy day?

Because it’s easy to let bad weather get you and your family down – and because cabin fever is a real thing – we’ve come up with 10 rainy day activities the whole family (parents included) will enjoy!

1. Game Swap!

Have your kids choose one or two old games they’ve outgrown or haven’t played in awhile, bring them to a local thrift store (we happen to know of a good one), and swap them for a different game. This not only creates a healthy habit of purging and giving (read our blog on Tidy Up Nashville!), but also provides the thrill of the hunt for something new and exciting. To top it off, this is an activity that promotes family togetherness when you all go home and play with your new treasure. Triple win!

2. I Spy With My Little Eye…

Inside your home, on a car-ride, or in a totally new environment, this is a tried and true oldie-but-goodie. Take turns singling out an object within eyesight and recite the words, “I spy with my little eye something (insert clue).” Mystery and intrigue are a great way to amp up thinking skills and there’s always a hefty boost in their little moods when they guess the correct answer! This is a great one for pre-school-aged children too, who will play this game for a surprisingly long time. It’s a classic go-to if your kids need a simple brain break.

3. Indoor Scavenger Hunt!

Paper clips, rubber bands, one of mom’s lipsticks, the left shoe of one of your siblings…these are just a few random items you can have your kids collect on a scavenger hunt around the home! Get into teams, provide each team with a grocery bag and identical list of 10-20 items. Whoever collects all items on the list first wins! (You may want to set some ground rules first, though, such as no running.) The more unique the items, the more fun you’ll have.  You could also create clever riddle clues that lead to a new item one-by-one, like this!

4. Pet Store fun!

If you’ve got animal lovers at home, stop by a local pet shop, and let them explore! We like that this is part-fun and part-educational, as little ones can learn about all different types of small animals. It could also lead to a great opportunity to teach them the responsibility of caring for a pet such as a fish or hamster, should you agree to take this on as a family. If not, be sure to prep kids ahead of time that this is a visit with the animals, lest they want to take home all the fuzzy, cuddly, and/or slimy things!

5. Baking Lesson!

Drop by Trader Joe’s or any favorite local grocery store and pick up ingredients for your desired baked good of choice! Be it cookies, a colorful cake or simply a box of Jiffy corn bread, this is a way to have fun and teach your child something new! When your sweet of choice is fresh out of the oven, bring some to a friend or neighbor for an added touch of generosity. Nothing feels better than giving, especially when the gift is something made with love!

6. Bookworm Time!

Another resource at your fingertips that’s always chock-full of fun activities for kids is your local library! Peruse their online calendar for fun events like puppet shows, readings, and more! Or, if you need some built-in quiet time, simply have each child pick out a book to read and curl up in a cozy nook! They also have a myriad of movies and audiobooks to check out, if you’d like to make a quick stop and head back home for some relaxing down time. (Here’s a handy link to Nashville Public Library’s Calendar of Events for all you locals.)

7. Visit A Museum!

Nothing like a rainy day visit to a local museum! One tip: head out first thing, when their energy is high, and crowds are low. In Nashville, we enjoy the Frist and Tennessee Agricultural Museum, but there are so many to choose from! Always be sure to check online calendars for special events and discounts. Hands-on exploration combined with learning is optimum. Other local hot spots are the Adventure Science Center and the Lane Motor Museum, which has an indoor play center for kids!

8. Give A Gift, Get A Gift!

Clearly we’re partial both to giving and to thrifty living, so for this one, first have your littles go through toys or clothes and contribute 5-10 things to a donation box! We’re not talking the whole playroom necessarily. You can start small with just one basket of toys or one drawer of clothes. Next, head out to a thrift store like ours to donate the goods! To reward your children’s generosity, treat them to ice cream or stop by the a dollar store and allow each child one treat! (Tip: if you’d like to avoid them just picking out more junk, have them pick out either a one-and-done craft kit or art supplies they’ll use up over time.)

9. Indoor Campout!

Stay in, but build a pillow and blanket fort equipped with stringed lights and oven-roasted s’mores or popcorn! Kids love building forts, and even the simplest creation can transform cabin fever into wonderment and fantasy. They’ll spend the whole day in their new self-made habitat and can either play pretend, do a craft, read or listen to a book, or watch a movie. The possibilities are endless when the imagination is stretched!

10. Embrace The Elements!

Who says you have to stay indoors? If it’s not too cold, go ahead and dive right in! Get out those old play clothes, raincoats, and galoshes for some good clean fun. Research shows that kids don’t get outside enough these days, so why should a little rain stop them? Catch raindrops in your mouth, observe the creepy crawly things, play in puddles, and splatter the mud! Getting outside is good for the soul, even if it’s just fifteen minutes!

We hope this sparked some creativity for bad weather days! You score big, big bonus points when you get on the ground and do these activities with your children. Creating lasting memories through carefree timelessness builds relationships, and shared experiences with one another are the things they’ll cherish most in their later years.

Just like in life, we need rainy days for new growth, so there is a valuable life lesson for kids to learn here: don’t let bad weather rain on your parade – let it be another opportunity for some self-made sunshine!

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