Rainy Day Activities for Kids


Watch for nature signs to predict rain.
Watch for nature signs to predict rain.

How's the weather today? Is it raining? With the following rainy day activities for kids, drizzle can be turned into dazzle.

Rainy Day Pictures

Create a drawing, then subject it to a brief amount of rain. The results might give you a pleasant surprise.

Predicting Rain

Look for clues in nature to find out when the rain will come. Use these tips and hints to find out how.

Gutter Gators

Create gators out of biodegradable paper to race after a heavy rain.

Look for Insects in the Rain

Make a trap for insects that will help you identify the creatures that emerge after a summer rain.

Rainy days are more fun than you thought. Begin a rainy day activity for kids by visiting the next page -- you'll discover an inventive new way to make a rainy day picture.

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Rainy Day Pictures

Rainy day pictures rely on the rain to create an interesting effect. In this rainy day activity for kids, you can create your own masterpiece -- with a little help from the rain.

What You'll Need:

  • Paper
  • Water-soluble
  • Paint or markers

You've probably used lots of things to create pieces of art, like paint, markers, tissue paper, string, and even rocks. But have you ever used the rain to make a piece of artwork? This idea may sound all wet, but give it a try!

Step One: Use your paint or markers to draw shapes and lines on a piece of paper. Then bring on the rain! Place your piece of paper in the rain for about 20 seconds.

Step Two: When you take your "canvas" out of the rain, dry it out, and then check out your creation. Thanks to the rain, your shapes and lines will have turned into something else entirely.

Before you can make a rain picture, you need to be able to predict the rain. Find out how to predict rain on the next page.

For more fun activities and spring crafts, check out:

Predicting Rain

Spiders close their webs when rain is on its way.
Spiders close their webs when rain is on its way.

Predicting rain is easy, if you pay attention to the clues that nature gives you.

What You'll Need:

  • Radio
  • Notepad
  • Pen or pencil

Predicting the weather isn't a cinch, but you can look for hints about whether it's about to rain. First, listen to the weather report on the radio. If rain is on the way, grab a notepad and head out.

There are plenty of signs in nature to alert you if umbrella weather is coming. For instance, some flowers -- like tulips and dandelions -- close up when rain is heading in. Clover folds its leaves. Some trees know it's going to rain, so they turn their leaves over to keep their tops dry. Many spiders take down their webs before a heavy rainstorm. Cows gather together and lie down in a field before the rain hits, and dogs often smell the air before a rainfall.

You'll also notice that noises are a lot clearer and smells are much stronger just before it rains. When you're outside, keep an eye, ear, or nose out to see if any of these things happen around your home. Write them on your notepad. If you do the same thing before a few more rainfalls, you'll see how easy it is to predict rain without even listening to the weather report!

Now that you know how to tell if it is going to rain, turn to the next page to learn how to hold gutter races after it rains.

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Gutter Gators

Race your own gutter gators -- make a gator out of biodegradable paper, and then race it in this rain-dependent game.

What You'll Need:

  • A good rainstorm
  • Plastic sand bags
  • Sand (or dirt or gravel)
  • Thick green paper
  • Safe scissors
  • Waterproof marker

Step One: The next time it looks like rain, block off a 15-to-20-foot section of your neighborhood gutter with plastic grocery bags filled with sand, dirt, or gravel. All you need is a shallow reservoir of water to give this gator race teeth.

Step Two: As you wait for the storm to end (and your temporary dam to work), make five to ten three-inch-long paper alligators out of bright green, thick biodegradable paper.

Step Three: Decorate them however you like -- use your imagination. Make each one easy to tell from the next. Numbers (in waterproof marker) might be a good idea if your imagination runs a little dry.

Step Four: Once the rain stops, stand on the sidewalk side of the uphill end of your temporary gutter-lake. STAY OUT OF THE STREET.

Step Five: Have a friend stand on the sidewalk side of the other end. Drop your paper gators in the water, then signal your friend to pull away the dirt-filled bags.

Step Six: Race alongside your waterlogged friends until the stream of water is completely gone.

Step Seven: Which gator won the race? Were any held up along the way? Did any mysteriously vanish? You never know where those gutter gators will wind up. But it's always fun to find out.

Now that you had your own gutter races, go to the next page to learn how to trap insects after a rainstorm.

For more fun activities and spring crafts, check out:

Look for Insects in the Rain

Plant a trap to catch insects in the rain.
Plant a trap to catch insects in the rain.

Look for insects in the rain to find out what types of creatures emerge after a rainstorm.

What You'll Need:

  • Shovel
  • Glass jar
  • Piece of cheese
  • Four small rocks
  • Piece of wood
  • Piece of glass or clear plastic

Step One: Here's your mission ... should you choose to accept it! Before it begins to rain, dig a hole in a garden bed and bury a glass jar up to its neck. Make sure the opening of the jar is not covered with dirt.

Step Two: Now place your "bait" (the cheese) in it. Find four small rocks and place them on the dirt around the jar.

Step Three: Then put a small piece of wood on top of the rocks to keep the rain out of the jar. But be sure there's enough room between the wood and the jar so that the insects and other small creatures can crawl between them. Now your "trap" is set.

Step Four: Once the rain has stopped, look in the jar to see what creatures went for the cheese. If you "caught" a slug, place it on another piece of glass or a chunk of clear plastic.

Step Five: That way, you can see its underside and watch how it moves. After you've taken a look at all the creatures, let them go on their way. Mission accomplished!

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ABOUT THE ACTIVITY DESIGNERS:

The following activities were designed by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, and Kelly Milner Halls.Rainy Day PicturesPredicting RainGutter GatorsLook for Insects