Five Frugal Ways to While Away a Rainy Afternoon

dragonflies-rainy-day-fairies-896310As we wait for these showers (which seem to have moved directly from March to April) to bring spring flowers, you may feel like the walls are closing in around you on yet another rainy afternoon, as your children get louder, and the hours get longer.

Before you hit the mall or the local movie theatre (out of desperation), threatening to derail your budget, get a little creative to produce a rainy-day treasure trove of budget-friendly, fun activities.

Once again, the key to keeping harmony in your family- and your budget on track is to plan ahead for those rainy days- literally.

Go Outside Anyways

Go outside and plan to get wet? What? You can do that? You likely spend a good chunk of time telling your kids to steer clear of puddles. Can you imagine the glee when you give the green light to splash it up- and the objective is to get as mucky as possible?

Put on old clothes, hike up those rubber boots and get puddle jumping. Despite the extra moisture, fresh air is always awesome- and you were planning on loads of laundry later today anyways, right?

First Time Play Date

Has your child been bugging you to arrange a play date with so and so from their class, but you are always on the run and haven’t been able to arrange it?

Your rainy afternoon might be a good time to start. Simply by adding a different element into the mix (i.e. a new character in the cast) there might be enough distraction to make the mundane seem new and exciting- because your youngster gets to introduce their friend to their toys/games etc. for the first time.

Amazing Race

Any reality show enthusiasts in your home? Depending on the age of your children, plan an Amazing-Race style event (or simply a scavenger hunt). For older kids, you can develop a series of challenges that can be done with lots of household items (i.e. have them feed each other ice cream blindfolded, transfer cotton balls from one plate to another using only the tip of their nose and Vaseline, etc.).

Kids love both the goofy nature of this and the speed of the quest.

This may be a bit much for the younger set, so set up a simple scavenger/treasure hunt, with little gems hidden about and clever clues to find them.


When was the last time you hit your local library (if ever)? If you picture your local library as an area with shelves of books collecting dust, you are way off the mark!

Your local library is a veritable hotbed of free (or almost free) activities- including programs, reading clubs or just browsing through their materials (which go far beyond books). Many have children’s play areas with story time, toys and crafts. Check the schedule, or just show up for some rainy day fun.

Document Family Memories

Maybe today is the day to print and sort out all those photos and clippings from holidays, sports outings, dance recitals or other events? Sitting down as a family and going through old photos can be very fun, and will evoke lots of laughter, stories and memories.

Or, hit the kitchen and compile a book of family favourite recipes. If you have some dishes that you just “make-up-as-you-go”, try them today, while writing down the ingredients.

As kids get older, and want to recreate some of their fond meal memories, this can be a key ingredient.