26 Rainy Day Activities for Kids

Have rainy days got you down?

Are your kids bored and anxious for something to do when the weather is wet?

The editors of My Kids’ Adventures have searched the web for fun ways your family can make the most of a rainy day together.

In this article I’ll share our 26 favorite rainy day activities for you and your kids to celebrate a rainy day. With silver linings from A-Z, you’re sure to find a fun way to bring some sunshine to the gloom.

Discover 26 rainy day activities to do with your kids. With silver linings from A-Z, you're sure to find a fun way to bring some sunshine to the gloom.

Why Play on a Rainy Day?

There are lots of adventures you can have with your kids, even when the weather is bad.

Rainy weather lets you experience the world in new ways from every one of your senses and discover a whole list of things you can only find in stormy weather, like rainbows and lightning, umbrellas and puddles. We’ve found activities to help your family explore them all: the sights, sounds, smells, feelings, and yes, even some rainy-day–specific foods to taste!

Next time it rains, use this list to find something fun to do before your cooped-up kids start complaining about being bored.

Author Vivian Greene once said that “life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain,” and we agree.

girl with umbrella

Image source: iStockPhoto.

You’ll find Dancing in the Rain and 25 other ideas from A to Z below.

We hope this list will help make rainy days something to look forward to, something special and unique, something to celebrate with your family.

A: Art Projects

Art projects featuring rainy-day icons like umbrellas, rainbows and clouds abound on the Internet. Try this rainy-day mobile presented by Natalie on Tiny and Little that features several different media and techniques. We thought it was pretty special and would keep the kids happily creating for a while.

umbrella art

Painting, cutting and hanging make this art project three times the fun.

And here’s a bonus art project, just because we liked them both!

rainbow pour painting

Pour the paint on thick to create these pretty rainbow pots. Be sure to give them lots of time to dry, especially in the wet weather.

Aleacia from Dilly-Dali Art shared a simple Rainbow Pour Painting technique that your family can follow to make colorful flowerpots—somewhere to put those May flowers that come from the April showers, perhaps?

B: Boots (Duct Tape Boots)

My son is convinced that you can make anything out of duct tape. Case in point: these duct tape rain boots you can actually wear. They were posted by Howcast on Wonder How To.

duct tape boots

Watch the step-by-step video on Wonder How To to learn how to make rain boots from duct tape.

These boots may not be pretty to look at, but the cool factor alone makes them a great project for your kids.

Make the duct tape boots with your family and leave a comment to let us know how dry they keep your feet. We’re dying to know!

C: Cloud in a Jar

Check out this incredible cloud that artist Berndnaut Smilde created inside a room.

cloud in room

An artist created this real cloud inside a room. Screenshot source: i09.com

This indoor cloud took a lot of planning and coordination of moisture, temperature and other conditions, but you and your kids can create a more simple miniature cloud of your own at your house.

Chrissy, The Outlaw Mom, shows you how to create a cloud in a jar and explains a little bit about the science of how clouds work.

cloud in a jar

Make a cloud in a jar. Your kids will learn about heat, cold, moisture and air pressure.

Your cloud in a jar may not have the dramatic impact of Smilde’s indoor cloud, but it’s a great way to bring some of the outdoors inside for a hands-on demonstration of how weather works and your kids will think it’s awesome.

D: Density Experiment: Make a Liquid Rainbow

This is the most colorful science experiment we’ve seen! Create a liquid rainbow with your family to demonstrate the fact that different densities don’t mix, they stack.


Create a liquid rainbow with dense liquids at the bottom and less dense liquids on top.

Steve Spangler shared this cool science trick with us on My Kids’ Adventures. Check out the article to learn a secret technique for making the stripes sharp and clear. Then watch your kids’ eyes light up when they’re able to stack liquids themselves and make their own rainbows.

E: Earthworm Habitat

Did you ever notice that after it rains, the sidewalks are covered with worms? Time for a worm rescue!

Have your kids gather a few of the squirmy critters that have escaped from their flooded abodes below ground and make them a new habitat.


Rescue some worms from the rain and make a new, drier place for them to live.

Tracey from We Made That presents a fun way to make the worms a new, drier home with these easy instructions for an earthworm habitat.

F: Fruit Rainbow

A snack like this fruit rainbow from The Iowa Farmer’s Wife is a great way to bring some colorful cheer to a cloudy day.

fruit rainbow

This rainbow even includes a pot of gold (or a dish of cheese) at the end of it!

Make this easy edible art that any kid (or grownup) would be happy to have for a snack.

G: Games

Just because it’s rainy doesn’t mean you can’t head outside for some fun. In this post on eHow, Jennifer Erchul shares three wet and wonderful rainy-day games to play outside with your kids.

playing in rain

Don’t be afraid to play in the rain. Just be careful not to slip!

We especially love the baseball game you play with water balloons. That’s sure to make a splash!

H: Homemade Rain Gauge

Ever wonder how much rain has fallen? You and your kids can make a homemade rain gauge out of a 2-liter bottle to find out how much water each shower brings.

homemade rain gauge

Upcycle a soda bottle for this fun and simple science activity.

Anna at The Imagination Tree shared the quick and easy rainy-day project. Use your rain gauge to keep track of the rainfall all year long and see if you get the same number as the weather reports on the news.

I: Indoor Camping

Have you ever been camping in the rain? It’s certainly an experience to remember! If your family is into all things extreme, pitch your tent and go camping in the rain. Have a great time!

For the rest of us who’d like to stay warm and dry through the night, give indoor camping a try.

indoor camping

Try indoor camping with your family to liven up a dreary day.

In this article on My Kids’ Adventures, Holly Chessman shows you how to make a tent with your kids, tell campfire stories and even toast marshmallows from the wilderness known as your living room! It’s a fun way to bring an outdoor activity inside when the weather won’t cooperate.

J: Jumping in Puddles


Jumping in puddles is a classic rainy-day activity that kids have loved for generations.

Your kids will have a blast splashing in the water the rain leaves behind. It really doesn’t require any explanation, but in her post on Go Explore Nature, Debi gives some fun variations and games you can play while jumping in puddles outdoors.

outdoors jumping in puddles

Put on raincoats and boots and make a splash! Jumping in puddles is classic fun.

Surprise your kids when you put on your own boots and splash right along with them. They’ll remember that for a long time!

And Indoors

indoor puddle jumping

Indoor puddle jumping is great fun on a sunny day and encourages kids to use their imaginations.

Not in the mood to get cold and wet? No time to manage the wet laundry and warm baths that a day of puddle-jumping requires? Or maybe there’s no rain in the forecast.

Give this adorable game of indoor puddle jumping a try. Your kids will be all smiles when they don their raincoats and boots for this fun twist on puddle jumping that Valerie Deneen shared on Melissa and Doug.

K: Knit

Nothing is more cozy on a blustery day than a wooly knitted sweater or scarf, and it’s oh-so-rewarding to make one yourself.


Your kids will love to wear something they make themselves. Teach them to knit!

Take advantage of time spent inside on a rainy day and teach your kids to knit. Kara from Simple Kids shares several resources that can help you and your kids learn the basics.

L: Lightning Experiment

Your family can make your own lightning (as well as thunder and rain) with these easy instructions from Deceptively Educational.

lightning experiment

A balloon and static electricity are the keys to creating your own mini-lightning.

If your kids get scared during storms, talk to them about how lightning and thunder work and try these fun experiments. A better understanding of what’s going on may help alleviate their fears.

M: Make Mud Pies

Did you ever make mud pies as a kid? When the world is wet after a storm, it’s the perfect time to share the tradition with your own children and encourage them to get their hands dirty by playing in the mud, sand or dirt.

mud pies

Make mud pies, a traditional rainy day “treat” enjoyed for generations.

Jenny at Let the Children Play lists tools and kitchen gadgets that will help spark your kids’ creativity as they play and create with nature’s play dough—the mud left behind on a rainy day. Let them enjoy the squishy, sensory fun and be sure to enjoy a slice when it’s offered!

N: Nature Painting

Collaborate with nature to create a one-of-a-kind work of art like these splatter paintings featured on Little Page Turners.

splatter painting

Nature helps you create these wet and wild splatter paintings.

When your work is dry, the author shows you how to add a paper doll and a poem to the art to make it so much more than a quick little craft project. Your kids will be true artists when this rainy-day project is complete.

O: Obstacle Course

A warm rainy day is the perfect time to set up a wet and wonderful obstacle course for your kids. This backyard water park article by Sarah Shipley has several ideas to get you started. Use your imagination (and ask your kids to use theirs) to create obstacles and challenges of your own—no lawn sprinkler required on a rainy day!

water park

Take advantage of the rain to create an awesome water obstacle course.

Take advantage of the falling rain for filling challenges. Use the slippery grass or play equipment for sliding challenges. Use puddles or flowing gutters as obstacles to go over, around or through. The sky’s the limit for these wet water games—literally.

P: Prism Rainbows

It’s fascinating to observe the many shapes and colors created when light passes through the cut glass of a prism to make a rainbow. Bern on Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas explains how prisms work and how to make prism rainbows with your kids any time of year.

prism rainbow

Enjoy prism rainbows any time. Just add light.

Just for laughs (and an extra challenge) ask your kids to predict what the rainbows from differently shaped prisms will look like before you put them in the light. Will they be long or short? Will there be one big rainbow or several little ones?

Q: Quiet… Listen to the Rain

It can be very relaxing to listen to nature’s music during a rainstorm.

Enjoy the quiet. Listen to the soothing sounds of the rain. Does the rain where you are sound like this?

Turn off all machines, toys, electronics and other distractions in your house; dim the lights and encourage your family to appreciate the quiet pitter-patter of raindrops, the boom of thunder, the crash of lightning and the blowing of the wind.

R: Rain Stick

Recreate the gentle sounds of the falling rain with a rain stick you make yourself. This rain stick tutorial from Anna at The Imagination Tree shows you how to use a cardboard tube, dry beans, rice and other common household items to mimic the calming cadence of the rain even when the sun is shining.

rain stick

Your kids can use any size cardboard tube and decorate their rain sticks any way they like.

Be sure to use your rain sticks to create some music that will brighten the fair-weather day (or any day).

S: Singing in the Rain

Gene Kelly did it best. Share this classic movie scene with your kids, then go outside to sing and dance in the rain yourselves. You could make your own movie and post it to YouTube to share with friends and family.

Sing and dance in the rain just like Gene Kelly.

Let your kids get wet, just this once. They’re guaranteed to have a wonderful time singing in the rain and splashing to their hearts’ content. You should give it a try yourself! Then go inside and enjoy some dry clothes and hot chocolate.

T: Tent Made From an Umbrella

Some kids’ activities stand the test of time. Kids will always love to make tents and forts from blankets and other things they find around the house.

In her article on Mental Floss, Therese O’Neill presents several games and projects, including this umbrella tent, that kids loved to do 100 years ago.

umbrella tent

Make an umbrella tent with your kids. Your great grandparents may have built one just like it.

You create the roof and structure of this tent with an umbrella. We thought that was really cool in any century.

U: Umbrella With Raindrops

This cute and clever rainy-day umbrella craft project from Jennifer at Mama Jenn becomes more realistic when it’s hung. Watch the “raindrops” drip down the paper and off the curves of the umbrella, just like the real thing.

umbrella with raindrops

Ever watch raindrops drip down the window panes? White glue mimics the effect in this rainy-day umbrella craft.

The raindrops made of white glue look wet even as they dry, leaving clear, shiny spots. Good thing you’ve got an umbrella! Make this umbrella with your kids and stay dry in the storm.

V: Veggie Rainbow

Send your kids to school on a rainy day with this adorable and cheerful lunch featuring a delicious vegetable rainbow from Candy Girl at Bent On Better Lunches. It’s sure to brighten their day in a healthy way.

veggie rainbow

Get creative with lunch. This rainy day bento box almost makes up for having to spend recess indoors.

For even more of these adorable fruit and veggie rainbow ideas, check out this round up post, “Let’s Eat a Rainbow” by Kim Vij of The Educators’ Spin On It (and My Kids’ Adventures author).

W: Weather Station

Meteorology is a fascinating and important science full of fun experiments kids love. In her article, How to Make a Weather Station, Cathy James from Nurture Store shares several interesting ways to explore the climate and track what the weather is doing.

weather station

Will your kids get the forecast right? Track the weather with this easy weather station.

We love the printable charts and easy instructions she provides so your kids can track the rain and clouds, observe weather patterns and even advise everyone in your family what to wear based on the weather they predict.

X: X-plore the Wet World

In her article, 20 Ways to Play in the Rain, Catherine from Sunhats & Wellie Boots suggests several ways to look at the rain-soaked world a little more closely.

playing in the rain

Look closely and explore the world when it’s wet.

Catch a raindrop on your tongue. Look at your reflection in a puddle. Bury your feet in mud. Watch where the rainwater goes. Do the colors outside change when they’re wet?

We love her suggestions for ways to embrace your children’s curiosity and explore the way things look, feel, smell, taste, sound and work on a rainy day.

Y: Yummy Cloud Parfait

What better way to find the silver lining of a dreary day than to make a delicious and colorful dessert that mimics the sky outside?

cloud jello parfait

Bright blue Jello for rain + fluffy white whipped cream for clouds = a yummy way to celebrate a rainy day.

Lorie from Reading Confetti shares the simple instructions for this yummy cloud parfait your kids will love.

Z: Zzzz… Take a Nap

There’s a good reason that rain is a common sound in white noise machines. The soothing pitter-patter of raindrops combined with the mottled light of a cloudy day just beg you to cuddle up with your kids in a warm blanket and take a nap.

The great Ella Fitzgerald will soothe you to sleep with a song about a rainy day…

Barnes and Noble has a list of over 350 books about rain for kids. Read your kids a stormy story and then catch some Zzzs.

Some Final Thoughts

You can’t fight Mother Nature, so embrace the inclement weather. Instead of complaining about the rain or watching movie after movie on a gloomy day, celebrate the change by doing something fun together.

What do you think? Do you have any rainy-day traditions in your family? What’s your favorite memory about playing in the rain as a kid? Which activity will you share with your children? We’d love to hear about it! Please post a comment or photo below.

Image from iStockPhoto.

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About the Author, Jennifer Ballard

Jennifer Ballard is the associate editor for My Kids’ Adventures where her past experience as a Cubmaster, birthday party entrepreneur, marketing writer and mom of two boys fits together and finds relevance. Other posts by »

  • http://www.mykidsadventures.com/ KJ Ammerman

    Great job, Jen! Thumbs up on coming up with all of these! My kids’ favorite activity is “J” for “jumping in puddles”!

  • Debi Huang

    Such a great list! Thanks so much for including our puddle jumping adventures.

  • Tracey@We-Made-That

    I love all these ideas, thanks for putting this list together and including our Worm Habitat!

  • http://www.mykidsadventures.com/ Jennifer Ballard

    Thanks, Tracey! And you’re welcome. I’ve always felt bad for all those poor displaced little worms on the sidewalks. Thanks for teaching us how to make them a new house (and a great way to learn more about them).

  • http://www.mykidsadventures.com/ Jennifer Ballard

    Thanks Debi! Puddle jumping is so much fun. Happy to include it in the list. :)

  • http://www.mykidsadventures.com/ Jennifer Ballard

    Thanks KJ! I’ve always loved making a splash, too (and I’m partial to the letter “J”). It happens to be raining in San Diego today, so I think I’ll have my boys make some duct tape boots and go find some puddles to play in.

  • TheEducatorsSpinOnIt

    So many fun things to do with kids! I’m seeing quite a few from my favorite bloggers too that I turn to for fun ideas and adventures. .

  • http://www.fineartmom.com/ Crystal Foth

    Great list Jennifer! Lots of wonderful activities – inside and out! I love the foodie rainbows! We find the colors of the rainbow when on a drive or walk.

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  • http://www.mykidsadventures.com/ Jennifer Ballard

    Thanks, Kim! There are so many great, creative ideas out there. What did we ever do without the internet?!

  • http://www.mykidsadventures.com/ Jennifer Ballard

    Thanks, Crystal! I think those rainbows are great, too. My mom always told me to eat a rainbow of foods, but this takes it to the extreme! Looking for colors–whenever–sounds like a great (and easy) way to stay connected. Thanks for the suggestion.

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