It’s raining. There’s popcorn scattered through the loungeroom, playdough squashed on the rug and even the dog has cabin fever.
Then you need this list of 15 fun ways to make the most of the wet weather.
Most of these activities are quick ideas suggested to break up the day, whilst others require a few household items. Obviously, the amount of time you spend outside will depend upon the age of your child and factors such as the wind and temperature.
Just make sure everyone has a raincoat and a spare pair of socks!
Rainy Day Activities for Active Kids
- Play follow-the-leader or design a navigational challenge – encourage children to find makeshift stepping-stones to navigate around puddles or trees. If it’s not too slippery, you could get on bikes and follow the track created by the wet wheels.
- Build nature boats from leaves, seed pods or petals and find a stream to race them in.
- Take the dog for a walk – ok this is really code for put your gumboots on and find as many puddles as you can.
- Create a watercourse – challenge children to see who can incorporate the most turns or create the longest path. Try cutting plastic bottles in half, making channels from aluminium foil or using old hose fittings. You could redirect run off from trees, downpipes or just fill with water collected in a bucket.
- Choreograph your own rain dance. Just be prepared to change the tempo as the rain changes.
Rainy Day Activities for Crafty Kids
- Mud art – here’s a suggestion that will receive little resistance. Use a brush to apply mud to paper, fill a tub with mud and use fingers to practise name writing or leave muddy handprints on tree trunks.
- Make music – place different shaped containers out in the rain. Use sticks or spoons to ‘play the instruments’ and then explore how the sound changes as the water volume changes. Or place pots and pans out in the rain and listen to the sounds created by the different materials.
- Draw the clouds – older children could sketch the skyscape whilst younger children could replicate the scene using cotton balls.
- Rain painting – experiment with different methods and reactions. Try sprinkling broken water paint cakes over the page and waiting for the rain drops to spread the colour or draw with watercolour crayons.
- Mud monster sculpture – form wet clay or sand into a figure and use sticks and leaves to decorate. You could also create a fairy or animal.
Tip: Set yourself up in a semi-sheltered area so children can explore and create outside but it’s still possible to take cover before the next downpour.
Rainy Day Activities for Nature-Loving Kids
- Open a mud ice-creamery. Use silicone ice cream moulds to serve your ‘mudcream’ and then decorate with gum nuts, grass or petals from the garden.
- Use beach moulds to create mud bricks. Add trucks, diggers and roads for a whole construction site.
- Worms and snails are active on wet days. Grab a camera and photograph creatures in the garden or at the local park. Use an iPad app to create a short movie or clip to share with friends.
- Study the ripple effects created when different sized pebbles are thrown in puddles.
- Create a rainy-day hideout. Find a sheltered spot under a large tree canopy or even an umbrella and relax and listen to the rain.
Once you have burnt that energy off, be sure to have a hot chocolate on hand to warm your little explorers up.
Do your kids need rainwear so you’re prepared for the next downpour?