Family Matters Travel Blog

8 Ways to Spend a Rainy Day with the Kids

The thought of holidays often conjures up the notion of sunny beaches and clear skies. But even if you are one of those hard working single parents  taking their kids abroad, the summer is long and you are bound to be spending a large chunk of it at home with the kids. Sadly, rainy days are an inevitable part of life, even during the summer, but that does not mean that the fun has to stop.

Of course, it’s absolutely fine to stay in and relax with a book and board games on a rainy day, so don’t feel you need to get out and do something special come rain or shine. But it helps to have a few rainy day ideas up your sleeve in case the weather doesn’t look like it’s improving for a few days.

Our rainy-day ideas for kids

Here are some of Single Parents on Holiday’s things you can do when the weather doesn’t play ball during the holidays:

1. Bodyboarding

Bodyboarding is an activity that is usually reserved for surfers. They lie flat on their surfboards and wait for the waves to carry them across the ocean and back to land. Your kids aren’t likely to want to take a trip to the beach when it’s pouring, so let them experience this activity in some smaller way.

All you need is a grassy hill and some decent rainy-day attire. Tell them to lie down on a board and let the heavy rainwater carry them down the hill. That’s it! It is a very messy activity, but bodyboarding in the rain is a great way to spend some time outside when the weather takes a nasty turn, and it doesn’t cost you any money.child carrying bodyboard

2. Jumping in muddy puddles

If your kids are younger and the above sounds a bit too extreme or messy to you, get the wellies and rain suits out and suggest “jumping up and down in muddy puddles” – Peppa Pig style. The kids will love it and you won’t even need to join in if you don’t want to – because they’ll be having the time of their lives if you just let them find puddles in the neighbourhood and go for it.

Jumping develops strength, balance, and agility. So, next time it rains, instead of envisaging a pile of dirty laundry, go for a walk and let them jump in muddy puddles to their heart’s delight!kids and mum jumping in muddy puddles

3. A day in the aquarium

The more exotic world of nature is something that your kids will rarely get to experience unless you go on holiday abroad a lot. They will come across the local wildlife in your area, of course, especially if you live somewhere rural, but this isn’t very stimulating for a young mind after a while. So, why not use the next rainy day to take your kids somewhere that is going to give them a fun day out as well as a new educational experience?

Aquariums can give you just that and are designed so that families can spend a good chunk of their day there. You will find cafés, educational shows, and interactive experiences to break up the day in addition to the huge variety of exotic sea creature ranging from cute and mesmerizing to scary or fun looking.  Your kids will soon forget about the torrential downpour outside. Try to do some research into your local aquarium so that you have this experience in your back pocket the next time it rains during the holidays.

4. A virtual reality experience

Modern technology has taken some interesting turns in recent years. There was a time when virtual reality was a sci-fi concept. Now, it is available in every modern home through a variety of tools and channels. You could purchase some branded VR headwear for a more professional experience, but the average smartphone with the appropriate attachments can also provide your home with VR.

These virtual reality programs can take your kids anywhere without you having to take them out of the house. There are VR programs to suit any of your needs too, whether you want to sit your kids down with some games or travel the world from your living room. VR is the perfect tool for a parent during a rainy day, so check out the different providers to find a setup that suits your family.

5. Soft play

Most parents will want their kids to stay active during the holidays. They are used to being busy at school, so will build up a lot of energy during the holidays. Not having an outlet for this energy can affect their mood. You may feel that you have to tone things down when it starts to rain and keep them cooped up indoors. Playing outside isn’t always an option because the rain may make them sick, but there are places you can go to let your kids run free under a dry roof.

Soft-play areas are extremely popular nowadays, so you should never be more than an hour’s drive away from one. The foam play arenas give your kids the opportunity to engage in more creative physical activities than they normally would, racing around and interacting with an entirely unique environment. What’s more, these places are also a great place for them to socialize with new children outside of their local pre-school circle. Interacting with kids outside of their daily routine is a great way for kids to build confidence. We also found that it’s a great way for single parents to meet, so you will have company too. Just remember to ask little hands thoroughly after your visit as soft play centres can often be a hive of germs.

6. Online activities for kids

Rain can last a couple of days or more, wherever you are. While it’s great to spend a lot your kids’ holidays out and about letting them burn off some energy, there are some more productive activities you can try to get ahead.

If your kids are anxious about school and you notice that it’s constantly at the back of their young minds throughout the holidays, why not think of some fun ways to teach them a few tricks that will get them ahead of their school peers during this time? Teaching your children some skills for life or useful tricks for their schoolwork will help them feel more mature and ahead of the game. Kids of all ages will love it if you show them what you do for work and which computer skills you need. If they are a little older, you could go as far as teaching them how to use programs they are still unfamiliar with so that they can use them for school in the future: Show them how to do a school presentation in Powerpoint, calculate in Excel or how to merge PDFs in Adobe. Either way, the rain is going to keep them indoors for some time, so try and use this extra time to everyone’s advantage.

We compiled a list of the best online activities for kids during lockdown – all of which are both fun and educational and make for perfect rainy day activities.

mum explaining to son how to use computer

7. Cinema days

Your local cinema waits for rainy days like these. There is no better way to enjoy a new movie than surrounded by a load of other patrons all sharing the same experience. The cinema can often be a hit-or-miss experience for kids depending on the films on show; however, a rainy day spent indoors at the movies is different. People still flock to the cinema when it rains, which means that you are bound to have a good time no matter what movie you are going to see. The energy is very different when the cinema is packed and you all sit down with a tub of popcorn!

8. Playdates

Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do during the holidays. Often, it’s more about relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

There are bound to be many other parents in your local area that are struggling to find activities to keep the kids occupied during the school holidays, so why not bring everyone together? Spending time with kids in the local neighbourhood is a great way to get your kids to look forward to rainy days, and it removes the pressure of finding ways to keep them occupied. Take a look at who is around during the holidays and take turns to host playdates or invite parents along, so that the adults can also have a chat and some fun.


No one likes rainy days, least of all during the holidays. We hope that our list of rainy-day activities will help you beat the boredom next time the weather turns. Some of our suggestions cost little to no money, meaning you will never again have to worry about the holidays being a wash-out.

About Single Parents on Holiday:

To find out more about Single Parents on Holiday, visit our website and check out our holiday programme, which includes beach, farm and activity holidays for single parents as well as single parent ski holidays and solo holidays for single parent empty nesters and anyone lacking a travel buddy. 

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