Brainstorm 50 things to do on a rainy day

Many years ago, Heather got a bunch of us, her friends, to make a list of 50 things we like to do. We didn’t have kids yet, so it was simply an exercise in self-reflection, or maybe not even that deep. Just a silly project to entertain us. I thought the practical use would be that on your birthday you would be able to look at your list and try to pack as many of your favorite things into one day as possible.

Fast forward and we have babies. We are paralyzed by their schedules, their need to feed constantly, and the overwhelming fear of doing something wrong. We both took comfort in creating lists of 50 things we like to do and attempting to do them with our babies in tow.

I mean, I like to go out for hot chocolate. You can do that with a baby, right?

So here’s the idea for rainy days: Make a list of 50 things you can do on a rainy day. (Number One: Go out for hot chocolate.) If your kids are big, they can work on the list with you.

Oh, did you think I was going to make the list for you? No, ma’am. And did you think that rainy day activities meant things to do while sitting inside at an arts and crafts table. Uh-uh. You can leave the house! In the rain!

Ok, let’s do this thing together. Here are some thought starters:

  • 5 places to go (cafe? bookstore? home depot?)
  • 5 people to see (neighbor? friend who works somewhere nearby? your partner at work)
  • 5 things to make in the kitchen (cookies? dinner? smiling snack plate?)
  • 5 messes to make (see below)
  • 5 far-away loved ones for whom to make cards or write letters
  • 5 hiding places inside your house
  • 5 photo shoot ideas you haven’t tried
  • 5 items in your closet that need to be evaluated for keeping or tossing
  • 5 bathtub experiments
  • 5 games to play
  • 5 friends who might like to conduct a webcam session

Next, what format does the list belong in? A spreadsheet? A wall of post-it notes? Strips of paper in a jar? You’ll have to tell me.

Here are three things on my list:

Note: the above tent was “bildt” by “Daddy + Julian” a couple of years ago.

Yes, I realize Scarlett might not forgive me for this picture later in life. But she was having a really good time.

A pile of new-to-us books, a cardboard box to sit in and read them, and a living room fort in which to place your baby sister makes for a very good rainy day.

Isn’t there a cliche about saving something “for a rainy day”? Save your ideas. You’ll want them.

As part of a series sponsored by Hallmark, we’ll be posting monthly about the idea that beyond birthdays, Valentine’s day, and Christmas, everyday life is a special occasion, worth recording and reflecting on. Like it? Here’s another take from DesignHerMomma.