Active Learning Opportunities for a Rainy Day

Inclement weather often means video and board games instead of movement- and learning-rich activities. Do your students stay active when they are home during inclement weather or when they are inside on a rainy day? Share these ideas with parents and guardians to help students move while they play and learn.


Focus on measurement, reading, and fine motor skills with a cooking activity. Choose a simple, healthy recipe and have your children help you locate, measure, and mix the ingredients and prepare the food. Foods might include fruit salad, muffins, trail mix, oatmeal, pasta, or vegetable soup. To expand the learning during the activity, have the children read the recipe and food labels out loud, count the number of ingredients, write the recipe on an index card, or set the kitchen timer, if needed. Cooking is a well-rounded learning activity that requires working with both numbers and letters. Note: During food and cooking activities, supervise children at all times.


Let your children help you do the laundry and practice sorting, matching, and fine motor skills. After you have sorted the laundry and added detergent to the washing machine, allow older children to add the laundry, select the proper washing cycle, and start the washing machine. After the laundry is clean and dry, let children match socks and sort clothes by person or clothing type (shirts, pants, socks, etc.). Then, have the children fold or hang up clothing and group clothing by person.


Get moving with these active indoor games and activities.

  • Obstacle Course: With your children’s help, set up an obstacle course in the den or a hallway. Children can practice building and gross motor skills (including body awareness, movement planning, and coordination) with this activity. Use pillows, stuffed animals, blankets, and chairs to create an obstacle course that children (and adults!) can climb and crawl over, under, around, and through.
  • Exercise Numbers: Ask older children to create a set of index cards with numbers 1-10 written on them and another set with exercises such as push-ups, jumping jacks, squats, rainbow stretches, etc., written on them. Shuffle each pile, and turn the cards face down. Have children take turns choosing a card from the top of each pile. Children should show the number from the card on their fingers. Then, everyone should do the action indicated on the movement card the number of times indicated on the number card.
  • Animal Actions: With your children’s help, create a set of index cards with animal names or pictures on them. Animals might include dog, shark, hawk, chimpanzee, lion, kangaroo, snake, polar bear, etc. Turn the cards face down. Have children take turns choosing a card from the top of the pile. Everyone should move and make a sound like the animal. If desired, children can also write the first letter of the animal’s name in the air.


Challenge your children to a power clean to get them moving and learning about household chores and responsibilities. Assign age-appropriate cleaning tasks such as washing dishes, making beds, putting away toys, or emptying wastebaskets, to each child. Encourage children to sing (or whistle) while they work. Then, set a timer, and get to work! If appropriate, ask the oldest child to check the timer periodically and report on the time left in the power clean.

What are your favorite rainy day learning activities?