Nine Educational Activities for a Rainy Day
Nine Educational Activities for a Rainy Day
Rainy days often find kids inside and professing to be bored. But, there are lots of things for kids to do on a rainy day.Many of the following activities are ones the kids can do themselves. For some of them older children can work independently—and even help their little brothers and sisters. I know when you look at the options I’ve suggested there are a couple of them you’ll want to be on hand to help the kids.
1. Rainy Day ReadingRainy days just seem perfect for reading. Depending on the ages of your children, these books may be ones that you or an older sibling can read aloud to the younger children. However you choose to share them, they all have wonderful illustrations which can serve as motivation for younger children to create paintings and older children to create their own rainy day picture books.
Rabbits and Raindrops by James Arnosky
Splash, Joshua, Splash by Malachy Doyle
The Puddle by David McPhail
Rain by Peter Spier
Rainy, Rainy Saturday by JackPrelutsky
Mud and Red Rubber Boot both by Mary Lyn Ray
Who Likes Rain? By Wong Herbert Yee
Rain Makes Applesauce by Julian Sheer
2. Rainy Day MobilesGive each of the kids a base for their mobile.It might be a coat hanger or a metal ring or even a stiff paper circle.
Have the children create raindrops from tissue paper. If they are small children you might give them a raindrop shape to use as a model. Have them cut drops on double sheets of tissue. Then “stuff” each drop with additional tissue paper left over from their cutting out the rain drops. Staple the two sides of each drop to contain the stuffing..
Give each child a half paper plate (Thin ones work best!) and have him scallop the flat edge to look like an umbrella. Have them paint their umbrella a cheery design. Let it dry while you are making the raindrops.
Suspend the umbrella and raindrops using thread or fishing line. Older children might use the rainy day theme to create an original mobile with other objects suspended among the raindrops! For very young children, the mobile can be as simple as painting a half-plate umbrella and hanging streamers of rain from it.
3. Rainy Day SongsHave children listen to “I Can Sing a Rainbow” and learn to sing the lyrics. The lyrics appear on the video so kids can sing along.
Another rainy day song opportunity is “The Cloud Song”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukhJhTyBJH4’
4. The Colors of the RainbowTeach kids the pneumonic device for remembering the order of the rainbow colors:
ROY G BIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet)
Then have them create rainbow paintings by mixing paint colors.
Finish this rainbow activity with learning to read and sing “The World is a Rainbow”. http://bussongs.com/songs/the-world-is-a-rainbow.php
5. Wacky WeatherRead with the kids: “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” OR show the video.
Have kids create their own wacky weather reports and videotape the finished report. For smaller children why not create a template and help them fill in the blanks with wacky weather ideas. The text of the book can serve as a perfect template. Just leave blanks. For example:
Today’s weather is kind of ________________________. We are predicting lots of____________. There will also be a strong chance of__________. Get out your________ because we are expecting____________ by midday. In the evening we will see a __________. That’s the weather for today.
6. Rainy Day Science: Make a Cloud in a JarBefore you make your own cloud watch the video demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft7q6efRIic
Then try these steps:
- Pour a little bit of water into the plastic bottle.
- Put the cap back on, but leave it unscrewed.
- Light the match, and then blow it out so it smokes.
- Suck the smoke into the bottle by squeezing the bottle gently a few times.
- Put the cap back on the bottle and screw it shut.
- Squeeze the bottle and then release it.Repeat several times.
7. Cloud StudyWith rain come clouds. Talk with kids about how clouds form and the various types of clouds. This link has some great, kid-friendly information.
Use felt cutouts to show kids the different shapes of clouds. Give children cotton balls and let them create their own cloud shapes on blue background.
8. Rainy Day Science: Create a Density RainbowDifferent liquids have different densities. Thus they will sink below or lie on top of one another. Try these liquids:
- Light Karo syrup
- Vegetable oil
- Dawn dish soap (blue)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Lamp oil
Use seven different colors of food coloring (If you buy blue Dawn, it is already colored!). In a graduated cylinder or other tall glass, gently pour in each liquid tinted a different color. I use an eye-dropper to apply each color. Before you do your experiment, watch how scientist Steve Splangler does it!
9. Rainy Day WritingRainy days seem like a natural time to write. They might get inspiration from the books in activity #1. They might also try their hand at rainy day poetry. Give the kids a page with RAINY DAYS written down the side with one letter for each line (older children can write their own template) then have them create their own lines beginning with each letter. Here is an example from an eight-year-old:
Another rainy day.
I won’t be able to go out and play.
No building sand castles today.
Yet rainy days give me a chance to play with my indoor toys.
Dressing my dolls is a good rainy day activity.
And we can have a tea party.
Yellow tea cups full of real tea—mostly milk
Sandwiches filled with things I love!