Rainy days cooped up inside may seem like they’d be the pits, but they actually can offer prime opportunities for the entire family to get together and participate in some fun activities.

1. Get creative in the kitchen: With a recipe for salt dough (following) you can create all sorts of molded items, from animals to buildings to imaginative super heroes.

Salt Dough

4 cups flour

1 cup salt

11/2 cups hot water (from tap)

Mix the salt and flour together, then gradually add the water until the dough becomes elastic. If your mixture turns out too sticky, simply add more flour. If it turns out too crumbly, simply add more water. Knead the dough until it’s a good consistency.

2. Family karaoke: Pop in some favorite CDs and sing along. Allow each member of the family to choose songs and then set them on random play so everyone’s tastes are represented.

3. Craft central: Take out that box of scrapbooking supplies, old construction paper, swatches of fabric, and more, and use your imaginations to make just about anything you can think of. Need a starting off point? Think of a theme, such as the beachside, and create around that.

4. Go play in the rain: If the weather is on the warm side and the rain is on the light side, gather up your rain boots and jackets and have fun dashing through the showers.

5. All-day movie fest: What better time to enjoy hours upon hours of favorite movies than when the weather is gloomy? Pop a bag of popcorn and gather other treats and sit down to enjoy family-friendly flicks.

6. Sort through the clutter: This sounds like a chore, but it can be wrapped in fun. Sort through old toys and clothing and reminisce about when they were last used. Make a pile of stuff to be donated to needy children and you’ll get a double dose of smiles.

7. Have an indoor picnic: Who says you can’t picnic in the rain? Just move the party inside. Spread a vinyl-backed tablecloth on the floor of the living room and then serve finger foods and sandwiches. Kids’ juice boxes make a mess-free option for beverages. (MS)

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