There are many reasons for children to spend time outdoors. Soaking up sunlight and fresh air can do everything from reduce stress to improve cardiovascular health. Unfortunately, not every day is tailor-made for spending time outdoors. When inclement weather threatens, some creative thinking may be necessary to keep kids happy and occupied. Here are a few ideas for getting started.

Plan a scavenger hunt.
Parents or caregivers can hide an item and set children on the course toward finding the treasure by providing clues that incrementally lead to the final hiding place.

Visit the library.
Libraries have a host of activities ideal for rainy days. Apart from various genres of reading materials, there are movies to rent, informational classes, rooms for club meetings, and even arts and crafts events. Check to see if your local library requires masks to participate indoors.

Establish an indoor campsite.
Camping is a popular outdoor activity that can go on rain or shine. Those who are averse to camping in the rain can recreate the magic of camping indoors. Set up a tent or make a lean-to from blankets and sheets. Use a fireplace or stove to roast marshmallows and make indoor s’mores.

Make homemade playdough.
Invite a few of the children’s friends over and mix up a batch of homemade playdough. A handy recipe can be found at Children can spend hours molding the playdough into imaginative creations.

Visit a museum.
Communities across the country are home to various museums, some showcasing ancient artifacts and others touting novelties. For those concerned about indoor crowds, try visiting shortly after doors open or an hour or two before doors close. Foot traffic tends to be lower at these times.

Host an outdoor movie viewing.
Homeowners with covered awnings or outside porches can project a movie onto a screen and have movie-goers watch from their sheltered locations. Serve plenty of healthy snacks and a few sweet treats to munch on during the film.

Play in the rain.
Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean outdoor fun needs to be entirely curtailed. Children can gather in a garage with the door left open. Then they can take turns dashing out to stomp in puddles or dance in the rain showers. Just have plenty of towels on hand and choose a warm rainy day so kids won’t catch a chill.

Poor weather necessitates having indoor activities ready for kids. Thankfully, there’s plenty of entertaining ideas to keep them occupied.