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What Rainy Day Games Are Good Alternatives to TV?

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Updated April 25, 2014

Father and children (4-12) playing game (focus on boy rolling dice).
Mark Douet/Taxi/Getty Images

Question: What are some fun, screen-free rainy day games? I am looking for activities that will keep my kids busy and active ... but won't be so rambunctious that they wreck my home!

Answer: A little TV isn't a big deal, but none of us want our kids to be sedentary all day (or for several days running, if the rain just won't go away). Mix things up with rainy day games that encourage physical activity, but are safe for indoor play.

These indoor toys will tempt younger kids away from the tube; or try one of these board games with a healthy twist. If you don't mind switching on the set for a little while, active video games are an option too (try dancing or boxing for the biggest energy burn). Or get creative and make your own life-sized board game.

If your kids have a favorite outdoor game or sport, look for ways to bring it indoors, with inside-appropriate gear or modifications. If you have a dog who's stuck inside with you, try these suggestions for indoor activities for kids and dogs.

These indoor party games work for a rainy day—hold the cake and ice cream. Here's one especially for your soccer fan. Some of these cooperative party games (that is, no winners or losers) will work indoors too. Ditto for these relay races and oversized arts and crafts projects.

Snuggling up with a good book is always a nice way to spend a rainy day. Most titles won't encourage any physical activity beyond shifting into a more comfortable position on the couch. But these 21 choices inspire kids to move their bodies, plus provide them nutritious foods too.

You can also turn to these suggestions for rainy day games and activities:

  1. About.com
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  3. Family Fitness
  4. Ways to Play
  5. Games and How to Play Them
  6. What Rainy Day Games Are Good Alternatives to TV?

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