With the seasons changing and sunny days becoming few and far between, we’ve put together ten ideas for activities to stop the kids (and you) from climbing the walls when it’s too rainy to get out into the great outdoors. Best of all, these indoor activity ideas for children are entirely screen-free.

 

Read together

A rainy day is a perfect excuse to get reading. Choose your favourite books (parents too!), snuggle up on the sofa or, even better, build a reading fort out of blankets and cushions. If your little ones have excess energy, use your imaginations and reenact some of the scenes from your favourite stories together. 

Get more tips on how to get kids excited about reading here.

 

For babies and toddlers

Noisy Farm

Babies and toddlers will love lifting the flaps to find their favourite farm animals and their babies. With bright illustrations, simple but engaging text and a chunky board book format, this is the perfect book for the littlest readers.

 

For children aged 3 - 5

Kiki and Jax

This charming picture book story from tidying expert Marie Kondo is about how tidying up can spark joy in our lives. Best friends Kiki and Jax are very different – Jax enjoys sorting and Kiki enjoys collecting. But soon Kiki's home has become an obstacle course of things, and it's hard for the friends to play together. But Jax has a plan – he teaches Kiki how to sort everything and to keep only those things that spark joy.

 

For children aged 5 - 9

The 117-Storey Treehouse

Andy and Terry have added even more lvels of crazy fun to their ever growing treehouse. There's a pyjama-party room, an Underpants Museum and even a tiny-horse level! But now they're on the run from the Story Police, and the only escape is hrough the Door of Doom!

 

For children aged 9 - 12

The Skylarks' War

This beautiful story follows the loves and losses of the Skylarks, a family growing up during the years of World War One. Clarry and her brother Peter live for the summers they spend with their grandparents and cousin Rupert in Cornwall, but when Rupert goes off to fight at the front, nothing wil be the same.

 

Tune in to an audiobook

Audiobooks aren’t just for car journeys and bedtime. With imaginative sound effects and immersive storytelling from creative narrators, an audiobook is a fantastic way to keep kids of all ages entertained on a rainy day. 

Some of our favourite audiobooks are below. See more of the best audiobooks for kids here.

 

For children aged 3 - 5

The Snail and the Whale

Children will love the audiobook version of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's much-loved story. With music and sound effects, they'll want to listen to the tale of the tiny snail and enormous whale again and again.

 

Buy The Snail and the Whale

 

For children aged 5 - 9

Into the Jungle

Katherine Rundell creates charming origin stories for all of the best known chracters from The Jungle Book, from Mowgli to Shere Khan. Children will love the audiobook version with a soundscape that really brings the stories to life. 

 

Buy Into the Jungle

 

For children aged 9 - 12

Kat Wolfe Investigates

Animal-loving kids will adore the first in Lauren St. John's Wolfe and Lamb series. Pet-sitter and animal enthusiast Kat Wolfe loves her new home in idyllic Bluebell Bay, but when one of her pet-sitting clients disappears, Kat and her new friend Harper Lamb must uncover the truth.

 

Buy Kate Wolfe Investigates

 

Stick it to the rain

Sticker and activity books are a surefire way to keep even the busiest of little hands occupied on a rainy day, some of our favourites are below, discover more of our sticker and activity books here.

 

For children aged 3 - 5

The Detective Dog Sticker Book

Who's been stealing all the books? Children can help to solve the mystery as they join in with colouring pencils and stickers. Full of games, activities and over 400 stickers, this book will keep young children entertained on the rainiest of days.

 

For children aged 5 - 9 

Moone Boy: The Marvellous Activity Manual

Containing and exclusive new Moone Boy story, a comic strip adventure, and plenty of jokes, activities and games, this activity manual is sure to keep fans of the Moone Boy series entertained for hours.

 

For children aged 9 - 12

The Pocket Moomin Colouring Book

This perfectly pocket-sized colouring book features original artwork from the archive of Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins. Perfect for colouring at home or on the go, the book is full of striking patterns, your favourite Moomin characters and memorable quotes.

 

Take a trip to the library

Hide from the downpours at your local library. You’ll find hundreds of children’s books, audiobooks to borrow and free activities for kids, from reading challenges to storytime. 


Find your local library in England and Wales here, or in Scotland here.

 

Get crafty 

Stuck for indoor activities to keep the kids occupied on a dreary day? These printable colouring sheets, puzzles and word games all feature characters from much-loved children’s books and will keep kids entertained for a few hours at least. 

 

Make your own whale

 

Download the Make a Whale colouring sheet

 

Make-a-whale-activity-sheet

 

Make your own paper dolls from Julia Donaldson's The Paper Dolls

 

 

 

Colour in this dinosaur colouring sheet

 

Download the colouring sheet




Download the printable pdf

 

Get more ideas for downloadable activity sheets for kids here. 

 

Capture memories in a scrapbook

Bring blue skies and the summer holiday feeling back with a rainy day craft project for kids. Print photos from a family trip or a day out to make a holiday scrapbook. Younger children will have fun cutting and sticking photos, tickets and other souvenirs and decorating the pages with drawings, while older kids can annotate the pictures and write their memories on the blank pages.

 

Turn trash into treasure

Spend your rainy day making something out of nothing by getting crafty with your recycling pile. A shoebox can be turned into a house for a favourite toy, a kitchen roll tube and some rice become a rainmaker, and with a few adornments a pair of old socks transforms into hand puppets.

 

Cook up a storm

Get everyone involved in the kitchen with this recipe for Gruffalo Crumble. Inspired by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best-loved story, Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes is full of recipes that children can help make. Not only will this activity keep the kids occupied for an hour or two, but you can then feast on the results as a family.

Make your own Gruffalo Crumble.

 

 

Challenge the kids (and yourself!) 

Board games and jigsaw puzzles are perfect rainy day indoor activities. Set up a games station in your living room for a screen-free afternoon that will provide entertainment for everyone.

 

If all else fails (and it’s not too chilly), pop on your wellies, grab an umbrella and head out to splash in the puddles. The Gruffalo Autumn and Winter Nature Trail is full of fun activities to enjoy as a family. You can all warm up afterwards with storytime and a hot chocolate.