Rainy Day Activities for Teens and Tweens

Fight back against the allure of the couch with active, indoor fun and games.

Coming up with fun, non-sedentary, indoor activities for teens and tweens isn't easy. When they're stuck inside on a rainy day, little kids can run, jump, climb, and even ride their tricycles indoors, if needed. But none of those works for long-limbed adolescents, unless you live in a gymnasium. Instead, try these more practical suggestions to help teens and tweens get some active play on days when the weather keeps them inside.

Plug in.

Girls dancing - a fun indoor activity for teens
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While you don't want your teen slumped in front of a TV screen all day, motion-controlled video games (aka exergames; available for Nintendo Wii, PlayStation Move, or Xbox Kinect) can be a good rainy day alternative. While players are still looking at a screen, they must stand and move their bodies to control the action in the game. Important: For the most physical activity, choose a sports simulation or dance game.

Play party games.

Especially if you have more than one teen trapped at home on a rainy day, lighten the mood with some active indoor games. This exhaustive list features dozens of options (some are more active than others).

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Try something new.

Use a video streaming service, an app, or online videos to introduce your teen to a new fitness option (say, Hula hooping or a ballet-based workout). If you can join in, great; if you can't, prompt your teen to try something new by asking her to test it for you. 

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Hit the gym.

Dodge the raindrops and take your teen to your gym or community center to use the equipment, run on the track, swim, play pickup basketball, climb the rock wall, or whatever activity appeals. You might even be able to work out side by side or take a class together. If you're not a member, check into day passes or see if you can accompany a friend who has a membership. The Y almost always has day passes available, as well as financial assistance for family memberships.

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Stack some cups.

Has your teen ever tried sport stacking? It's tougher, and more physically challenging, than it looks! Try the classic stacking moves or some of these other plastic cup activities.

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Clean house.

Get some extra bang for your rainy-day buck by having your teen do some household chores. He'll be busy, physically active, and helping your family function smoothly. He may be even more motivated if you give him ownership of (and compensation for) a bigger task, such as a making a repair, reorganizing a closet, or painting a wall. Or perhaps this rainy day is the opportunity you've been waiting for to redecorate his room!

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Loft a balloon.

While younger kids will enjoy these beach ball and balloon games, many of them can be fun for older kids too. Or try these two that are perfect for teens and tweens.

  • Balloon Target: Each player should blow up a balloon, but leave it untied. Set up a lightweight target, like a ribbon or a paper plate. Players must deflate the balloon and try to get it to hit the target. Start close to the target and step back as you get more skilled with your aim.
  • Hands-Free Balloon Volley: Divide a room or playing area in half with a ribbon. Tie the ribbon to the back of two chairs placed on either side of the room. The ribbon should be three or four feet off the ground. Players then volley the balloon back and forth over the "net," using only their feet to propel the balloon.

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Drill some skills.

If your child plays a sport, she may be able to work on some of her skills while inside (especially if you have a space that can take a bit of a beating, like a basement, garage, or porch). Soccer and basketball players, for example, can work on dribbling the ball. Figure skaters can practice their spins with a spin trainer. And almost everyone can stretch.

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