It’s yet another rainy fall afternoon and your child is restless to do something fun.

You can’t take them to the park to run around on the playground and you’d prefer they don’t sit on the couch watching cartoons all afternoon. You are sitting at home searching the web thinking “what else can I do to keep him or her occupied for a few hours?”

Our Children’s Librarians have tested hundreds of crafts and come up with five engaging activities to do indoors.

Here are five ideas that our Children’s Staff recommend:

Sensory Bins

Submitted by Annemarie at the Trafalgar Branch

Create a sensory bin for your child to explore. Put several themed items inside a plastic container. Try to find objects that allow your child to use all five of their senses. Once you have put all of the items in the bin, then your child is free to discover and learn about each the objects inside of the bin. Some themes include:

  • Objects that are red
  • Under the sea
  • Holidays
  • Different types of food
  • Shapes and colors

Click to see more on this idea from

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Candy Sushi
Submitted by Anna at the Clark Pleasant Branch

Make an edible rainy day snack using different types of candy and sweets. Anna has used the Candy Sushi idea for a couple of programs. “The kids go nuts over it,” she said. Anna suggests using the following items to make this delicious treat

  • Rice Krispies cereal and a can of vanilla frosting to make it sticky like sushi rice
  • Fruit Roll-Ups and/or Fruit By the Foot to use as the seaweed
  • Swedish Fish candies to use as the fish
  • Various other candies such as Mike & Ikes or multi-colored Twizzlers Pull & Peel to represent the veggies in the sushi
  • Red sugar sprinkles to use as the fish roe

Of course, you can use whatever candy or dessert items you want. Bon Appétit!

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Alphabet Monster Game

Submitted by Sarah at the Franklin Branch

Help your children learn the ABCs by making a game out of household materials! Write out the alphabet on pieces of paper. Decorate a canister with paper to look like a monster. Cut a little opening for the mouth. Quiz your children giving them the letter so they can search for the letter and place it inside the mouth of the monster. Sarah says she uses an empty diaper wipes container for this activity. “My kids loved decorating the monster and it’s a fun way to teach letter knowledge that kids ask for over and over again," she said.

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Shape Owls
Submitted by Laura at the White River Branch

Shape Owls are perfect for teaching your kids about shapes and colors. All you need for this easy craft is colored paper, scissors, and glue. Cut out different shapes with the colored paper and paste them onto a brown sheet of paper. Have your child tell you what the shape is as they are creating their owl. Once you have glued on the shapes, cut the brown paper to resemble an owl. Whooo knew this could be so fun?

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Swimming with the Fishes

Submitted by Chris at the Franklin Branch

This is another craft that helps your child to be creative while learning about shapes and colors. Make a whole school of fish using bright colored paper plates and markers. Click on the link for quick and easy directions on how to make these super cute fish.

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We’ve added all these crafts to a special Pinterest board. Check out our JCPL Pinterest site for lots of other ideas for fun family activities!

All of our best,

The Johnson County Public Library Children's Staff

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