Rain, rain go away.

How sick are you of this rain?! It feels like the rain is never going to stop! Summer has officially started for kids and there is nothing to do outside because it constantly pours! Many parents and childcare providers struggle with things to do during the rain, especially when it never stops. Toys can be repetitive, TV can get old and release the kid’s energy. And what if the power goes out? What do you do with your kids then?

Well, besides bringing your kids for an educational visit to a local museum like the Kent-Delord House Museum, there are 19th century games that kids used to play that will not only teach your child a new game, but teach them about how kids used to live back in the time before TV, internet and even electricity!

Here are a few old parlor games to try with your kids:

Pinch, no smiling!

The object of this game is not to smile! Everyone sits in a circle, and each player pinches their neighbor’s nose (gently of course!). The first one who smiles or laughs, has to pay a forfeit. A forfeit is often just a marker or toy, nothing fancy. When a player loses a round, the player has to put a forfeit in the circle.


absolutely no smiling allowed in this game 🙂

When the game is done, usually when there are only a few players left who never had to forfeit anything, the players who had to give up their forfeit have to earn it back from the winners, and the winners decide the terms! The winners would dream up of ways to buy back the forfeit, from having them answer a question while getting tickled under your chin, or even imitating animal sounds named by other players, or even a five minute silence! Nothing actually painful or costly, but something that makes everyone laugh! Say the alphabet backwards while jumping on one foot and rubbing your stomach…now that would be a pain! Often kids had just as much paying for the forfeits as they did trying not laugh as their noses were pinched!


Similar to musical chairs, all but one player sits on chairs set up in a semicircle. One player is blindfolded and then has to sit on someone’s knee on the chair and says um. The person in the chair then says um three times in a disguised voice. If the person who is blindfolded guesses whose knee they are sitting on, they give that player the blindfold and he or she is the next one to plop down and say um. If the blindfolded person guesses incorrectly, then they must move on to the next person and sit on their knee and say um. Keep playing until you are tired of saying um.

Shadow Buff

Hang a white sheet or tablecloth in a room. One side of the sheet has a light source (candle, lamp, etc.) to show shadows. One player who is it stands on the side of the sheet without the light source, while the rest of the players must stand on the other side of the sheet so the it person can see the shadows. The it person has to guess who is on the other side of the sheet based on the shadow. Players may think of many ways to disguise their identity by making themselves different shapes and sizes. Be creative! Maybe even use props!


play this game with a candle when the power is out!

Grandmother’s Basket

Sit in a circle. Each kid has a piece of paper or some sort of token to put into a basket. Pass the basket around the circle and have the kids answer the following question beginning with a letter in the alphabet, starting with A and continuing through the whole alphabet, A,B,C, etc: What are you bringing to Grandma’s House?  For example, it could sound like apple, ball, cake, dog, etc. For each answer, the kid puts in a token or paper. If you go through the whole alphabet once, go through it again until someone cannot think of something to bring! Time players based on age and ability. I bet some objects Grandma does not necessarily ever want in her house will be mentioned in this game!

Tell us how these games go and share some of your favorite games to play indoors when the weather is so gloomy!