Soak in the Fun with Rainy Day Activities
Rain-themed crafts and activities that will engage and enthrall little learners.
By Andrea Ferrero
Battling rainy day blues is easy when you have a tub full of ready-to-go thematic ideas to interest even the most restless kids. Upon sighting a dark cloud, or at the initial sprinkling of a torrential downpour, these activities and crafts can save the day while encouraging the exploration of our natural world.
Rain Cloud Bead Maze
Materials: Blue pony beads, two light blue pipe cleaners, and a small white Styrofoam cup for each student. (Small paper cups can be used as well, but the Styrofoam cups tend to be easier for pushing through the pipe cleaner.)
- Punch four holes in the bottom of the cup making a square. (This can be pre-done to save time and/or to support little learners in the craft.)
- Take the first light blue pipe cleaner and place 2-3 beads on it, sliding them to the middle.
- Bend the pipe cleaner to create a “u” shape with the beads still in the middle of the pipe cleaner.
- Put the “u” inside the cup pushing each end up through a hole in the bottom of the cup.
- Twist the two ends of the pipe cleaner together on the outside of the bottom of the cup.
- Repeat steps 2-5 with the second pipe cleaner.
- Turn the cup upside down to create a little rain cloud with move-able raindrops. Preschoolers can enjoy manipulating the beads up and down the pipe cleaners to make it “rain.”
Materials: Paper cut in the shape of a raindrop, umbrella, or rain boot, water colors or food coloring in water, eye dropper or paint brush, and paint containers.
- Using watercolor paints or food coloring in water laid out in small bowls, preschoolers can happily dip their paint brush or eye droppers into the liquid to gather up “rain.”
- Demonstrate how to gently wiggle the brush or squeeze the eyedropper to create little raindrops all over the paper.
- Hang creations up to dry.
- When each work of art is completely dry, the child's dictated sentence could be added to finish the work. When it rains, I like to ______.
There are many variations of this activity; my favorite approach is laid out below.
Materials: Cork cut in half, toothpick, foam triangle, glue, tape, and optional sharpies to decorate the sail.
- Pre-cut all corks in half.
- Optional: Decorate the sail using a variety of sharpie markers. Any other markers will run when the boat is placed in water.
- Connect the sail to the mast. Lay the foam triangle flat and place a line of glue down the middle of the triangle. Push the toothpick onto the glue. Place a piece of tape over the toothpick and glue affixing the sail in place until the glue is dried.
- Connect the mast to the hull. Push the toothpick into the long flat side of the half cork.
Take Your Craft Outdoors
In a classroom with an aide, taking small groups out into the rain or drizzle is a wonderful way to get a bit of fresh air. Holding a little scavenger hunt for things one would need in order to go out in the rain facilitates discussion while helping little ones prepare to head outdoors. For instance, where is your umbrella? Where is your jacket? Excited kids are sure to find a puddle small enough to easily retrieve their newly created boat after its maiden voyage.
Other Rainy Day Ideas:
Build an understanding of the water cycle while kids create symbolic bracelets that include each part of the cycle as a component of the bracelet. Little scientists can then expand on this learning by creating their own cloud with a plastic bag.
Providing ideas for rainy day story times everywhere, this library resource includes a booklist of possible rain-themed stories as well as an expansive selection of rainy day songs.
Need a new use for the paper plates that are adding up? This craft puts a new spin on creating decorated umbrellas by using a half paper plate. It also gives young artists the chance to affix construction paper rain drops to their finished umbrella.
Look no further for everything needed for a magical rainy day story hour. After beginning with a unique story time chant, little readers begin exploring Who Likes Rain? by Wong Herbert Yee. A rich assortment of action rhymes and songs are included to accompany the story. After the reading, everyone creates his own rainy day weather mobile.