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Managing Sick Days and Rainy Days with Kids

craft supplies for rainy days

School has started, and while the kids seem healthy enough I’ve been sick. Which means it’s a good time to pull out the emergency craft supplies – things I keep on hand to make sick days and rainy days with kids a happier experience. Of course, this is a topic I think about a lot when I am sick, which is how the photo above has sat in my drafts folder for the past three and a half years. That’s one-year-old Lily, who had quite a bit more hair than two-year-old Anna! All of the items in this list keep my kids engaged for a while, with minimal supervision. The scissors and small jewels do require extra supervision for little ones. This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Adhesive back craft jewels are probably my favorite “luxury” crafting accessory for kids. They are easy for kids to use, and stick to most object – even fabric. My kids love using these to fancify their craft projects.

 Craft foam sheets are another great craft material! They bend easily, but don’t rip unless you want them to. They are very easy for kids to cut with scissors, and if you get them wet they will stick to windows and other smooth surfaces until they dry out!

My kids use chenille pipe cleaners in all sorts of fun ways – from crazy hair day ‘dos to wand making! Emma has played around with making animals out of these, and my babies and toddlers have enjoyed sticking them through colander holes.

Colored paper is always available in our craft closet, and Astrobrights brand paper is particularly beautiful, as we discovered after I worked on a campaign for them earlier this year.

We have had a lot of fun decorating these people-shaped wood craft sticks and using them as stick puppets! I think it’s time to add these dog and cat craft sticks to our collection!

Fiskars children’s scissors are my absolute favorite scissors for kids. They cut materials easily and are easy for kids to control.


My kids create all sorts of things by combining scissors, paper, and Scotch Magic Tape. Do you remember the yellow tape that everyone had before magic tape? I still remember how amazed I was the first time my parents brought home a roll of this clear matte tape!

Glue Dots are a fun craft supply for kids, although I tend to save them for the older kids since they can be tricky to use. Glue dots can be used with craft foam, paper, and other materials, and provide more flexibility than tape.

What are your go-to craft supplies for rainy days and sick days?

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

22 thoughts on “Managing Sick Days and Rainy Days with Kids”

  1. I’m always paranoid about glue dots after I was helping at a craft camp and one boy stuck the glue dot in his hair and nothing we tried got it out. Thankfully my kids don’t feel the need to do foolish things like that.

    I need to get some of those people sticks because they would be a big hit with my kids

    1. Oh no! Note to self: make sure kids don’t stick glue dots in their hair. My kids would never try stuff like that (they understand how sticky glue dots are!), but I could see a friend giving it a go.

  2. Elisa | blissful E

    I was wondering how you were since things have been quiet. :( Good thing you have craft materials at the ready! Some of my kids are sick, plus we went over our internet allowance and are down to dial-up speed at the moment, so it’s been pretty quiet here, too.

  3. Wow look at her, she’s so young! Isn’t it nuts looking at old pictures of our kids and their features are so recognizable, yet I can’t predict what my kids will look like in a few years from now.

  4. Hope you feel better soon! I love the idea of having a plan for when I’M sick. Those are the days that I usually just give up and let the kids have popsicles and chips for lunch and watch movies until daddy gets home.

    1. And that is one of the wonderful reasons movies were invented! I do go that path sometimes, but luckily most of the time my kids are old enough to self-entertain without being plugged in.

    1. We don’t have any stencils – thanks for the suggestion! That would be a great addition to our craft supplies. My son has been using shape stencils to create really cool art in school.

  5. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    A lot of great ideas. My daughter is so highly unlikely to go to crafts when she is sick that I don’t really have to a “go to” stash outside of our normal stash that includes a lot of the same ingredient. Her science box with food coloring, test tubes, soda and vinegar works well though!

  6. Very smart idea! I must get some of those glue dots and gems. My kids make the coolest things with craft foam. And I didn’t know Fiskar made kid’s scissors. I think I will order some!

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