It’s raining, it’s pouring…Your kids say it’s boring…

But who said that rainy days have to be boring? You can design your rainy days so that your kids actually look forward to them. I can just hear them now: “Mommy, it’s raining outside. Can we stay inside and play today?”

You’re skeptical, I know. But try some of these creative activities with your kids, and you just might find them begging for another rain day.

rainy day activities for kids

puddle jumping

Who says that you have to stay inside on a rainy day? If it’s warm enough, dress your kids in their bathing suits or swimming diapers and some waterproof sandals, and take their energy where it belongs – outside! Kids absolutely love to jump in puddles, as we parents are all too well aware of. Give them the opportunity to do what they love with your permission, and there’s a better chance that they won’t feel the need to sneak in some puddle jumping on the way to your sister’s wedding in their mini-tuxedos and satin dresses.

Of course, that’s assuming that the temperatures are high enough that jumping in puddles is actually fun, not uncomfortable. But even if the temperatures drop, you can bring the puddle jumping back inside. Throw a blanket on the floor and pretend it’s a puddle, or shape a jumprope into a puddle-like oval. Then challenge your kids to jump over the puddle – forwards, backwards, on one foot, or any other way you can think of.

rain storytime

Now that they’ve gotten their energy out, it’s time for them to gather around for a rain story. Pretend that the different elements of the rainy day are alive – the raindrops, the clouds, the flowers that are thirsty for a drink – and tell a story about them. If your children are toddlers or preschoolers, you will need to take charge of the story, telling them about the raindrop that didn’t want to fall, or about the cloud who was so sad that he cried all the time. If you have slightly older children, you can tell the story in a round-robin fashion, encouraging them to take the story in whatever way they’d like it to go.

homemade rain gauge

No need to depend on the weatherman for information about how much rainfall your area gets. Make your own rain gauge and test it out for yourselves. Help your child lay a craft stick against a ruler and copy the marks on the stick. You can go metric, with a mark every 10 millimeters, or stick with a mark every quarter of an inch. Then take a hard plastic cup, a metal can, or any other container, and decorate it with waterproof markers or paint.

Once you have the craft stick and the container completed, you’re ready to build your rain gauge. Simply stand the stick inside the container, and glue it to the container’s wall. Then find a secure outdoor location to place your rain gauge where it will not fall over easily. If you’d like, you can plant it on the edge of your garden so that the soil will keep it from being knocked down. Have your child guess how much rain will fall that day, and compare your findings to those of the weatherman in your area.

a rainy painting

The rain has finally stopped, but you really don’t want the kids playing outside on the muddy grass. Instead, encourage them to color with chalk on the sidewalk or driveway, while the pavement is still wet. The colors of the chalk will be brighter than usual, and if the pavement is really saturated, the chalk will turn into a sort of paint that kids will love to blend and experiment with.

If you really can’t wait until the rain stops, put some black pieces of construction paper out in the rain for a few minutes until they’re soaked through, and then let your kids color with chalk on them. It will have a similar effect, but the black background will make the colors seem brighter than ever.