Rainy day activities don’t have to be inside. While rainy day projects are awesome, so are outdoor activities in the rain. There lots of fun things to do in the rain outside. Kids love to explore the wet earth, jump in puddles, play in the mud, and have fun in the rain with these super cool ways to play in the rain!
Outdoor Activities in the Rain
There are many wonderful ways to play in the rain and lots of learning opportunities available outside on rainy days. You can make music, art, engage the senses, practice gross motor, and fine motor skills, do STEM activities, study nature, and so much more!
When I lived in Vancouver, BC while attending graduate school (one of the rainiest places in the world) I worked as a nanny. The kids and I used to have fun bundling up in rain gear to get outside. It was much more fun than staying inside for weeks on end during the winter months.
Related: 15 Open-Ended Toys for Pretend Play
The Best Rain Gear for Kids
One of the most important things you need to make rainy day play fun is proper rain gear. Rain boots and a good rain jacket and rain pants are a must. Make sure you have the kids wear a breathable base layer to keep them feeling warm and dry even when they get a little wet.
20 Fun things to do in the Rain Outside
1. Sing and Dance
Get outside to sing and dance in the rain just like Gene Kelly. “I’m singing in the rain, I’m singing in the rain! What a glorious feeling I’m happy again!” Don’t forget your umbrella to get yourself in the mood.
2. Make Mud Pies
Rainy days are the perfect days to make mud pies. The earth gets nice and soft and easy to dig. Don’t forget to decorate them with flowers, leaves, sticks, rocks, etc. Check out Mud Pie Nature Art for more ideas!
3. Play with Water Toys in Puddles
Pool and bath toys can be fun to play with in puddles outside. My daughter has an aquabot fish that she loves to take outside to go swimming. It really is cute to watch it swim around in puddles that are deep enough.
4. Use Your Senses
Take a few moments to observe the rain. Notice everything about it–the sights, sounds, smells, feel, taste, etc. Record your observations in your Nature Journal.
5. Catch Rain Drops on Your Tounge
Sometimes the simple pleasures are the best. I’ve never met a kid who didn’t love this activity.
Activities in the Rain
6. Rescue Worms
The lifeguard in me loves this activity. Whenever you see a worm in a puddle place it back on the earth. Once the rain stops and the earth is dry, rescue the worms by taking them off the sidewalk or street and placing them back in the moist earth. Only hold on to them for as long as you need to move them. Worms will die if held for too long. For more about worms see Investigate Worms.
7. Build a Dam
Use stones, rocks, mud, sandbags or anything else you have to create a damn wherever water is flowing. This is a wonderful STEM activity for kids.
When building a dam, make sure you don’t hurt the inhabitants of the area or the surrounding ecology. Do not block off an entire waterway, and make sure the water is flowing normally before you leave.
8. Race Leaves or Boats
Making and racing boats is another fantastic STEM activity. Racing leaves or boats down a rushing creek or in overflowing gutters is always fun. If you’re looking for a quick and easy boat to make click on the link. The peg doll on top is optional.
9. Measure the Rain
This is another fantastic STEM activity. How much did it rain in an hour? In a day? In a week? You can make your own rain gauge by securing a ruler to the inside of a clear cup or you can purchase an inexpensive one at this link. Keep a rain journal to check your measurements against those in your local newspaper or favorite weather website.
10. Make Rain Art
11. Take Pictures
Grab a waterproof camera and go outside and take pictures. It’s fun to take pictures of friends and family playing outside without worrying about your camera getting wet. It’s also fun to photograph nature in the rain. Everything looks so lovely with drops of rain on it when photographed.
We love and use THIS waterproof camera. It takes a licking and keeps on clicking! My husband and I are surprised that ours still works we’ve dropped it so many times.
12. Go for a Nature Walk
Going for a nature walk in the rain is one of my favorite things to do. When I lived in Vancouver, BC I was often asked by my Southern California family if I got SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) from all the rain. Going for nature walks in the proper rain gear was all I needed to keep the dreary wearies away. Today I share the activity with my daughter who loves it as much as I do.
Related: Go on a Nature Hunt
Ways to Play in the Rain
13. Create an Invitation to Play
Just like we create invitations to play inside, we can also create them outside in the rain. Set up a play activity and invite the kids to give it a try.
14. Have a Water War
Whoever said water soakers and water balloons were only for hot days? Having a water war in the rain is a great way to get the kids outside to burn off some excess energy. Especially if they’ve been cooped up for a while.
15. Paint with Mud
This is one of my daughter’s favorite things to do. Grab a stick or some leaves and dip them in the mud. Then paint your driveway or sidewalk with it and watch it melt away in the rain.
16. Play in the Sandbox
Playing in the sandbox is fun in the rain. The rain makes it so easy to mold the sand in whatever way you choose. Just make sure you remove clothing before going in the house if at all possible. Rain and sand make for quite a mess!
17. Make Rain Music
Put out pots, pans, bowls, tin foil or anything else you think might make a nice sound when raindrops hit it. You can even put out a xylophone as long as you don’t mind it getting wet. Enjoy the sound of rain music, “Tip, tip, tap, tip, tap, ting!”
Related: How to Make a See Through Rainstick
18. Body Board Down Small Grassy Hills
This was one of my favorite activities when I lived on the rainy island of Kauai, HI. It needs to rain a lot to do this activity because the ground has to be saturated with water for it to work. Grab a body board and make for the hills! Think of it like tobogganing in the rain!
19. Feel the Soggy Earth
If it’s not too cold out, take off your shoes and feel the soggy earth under your feet. This is a wonderful activity for sensory development.
20. Jump in Puddles
Last, but not least, everyone’s favorite rainy day activity… Jump in puddles! I like to save this activity for last when outside because even with proper gear on, you can get really wet.
We hope you enjoy these fun ways to play in the rain as much as we do!
When you’re all done having fun outside in the rain, go inside for a warm bath and some hot tea or cocoa. Light a fire in the fireplace (if you have one) and enjoy how great it feels to be warm and dry after a day of fun in the rain.
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