Rainbow rainy day art is an easy STEAM activity for kids you can do at home or in the classroom.
Toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and school-aged elementary kids enjoy making rainbow rainy day art with this hands-on rain art project, and educational science learning activity. No rain? No problem! Find out how to do this rainy-day art and science activity using a few alternative methods that children will LOVE in the step-by-step rain art instructions below.
Have you ever tried painting in the rain? Here’s a rain art and science (STEAM project) you can try at home or in the classroom, for a fun way to get creative and learn something new. Kids of all ages, and even adults, will enjoy drawing with markers using a rainbow of colors and watching how quickly they are transformed in the rain. You might also enjoy this list of rainbow arts, crafts, painting ideas, and making shadow art, another fun outdoor STEAM project for kids.
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How to Make Rain Art in a Rainbow of Colors
Making rainbow rainy day art is a fun and straightforward STEAM activity for kids. All you need are some washable markers, watercolor paper, or heavyweight cardstock, and the desire to have fun and get creative on a rainy day.
We recommend heavyweight (140lb) watercolor paper to withstand the rain, but heavyweight cardstock also works. If you want to try this activity but don’t have any rain showers in the forecast, we recommend using a spray bottle or watering can to gently ‘rain’ on your drawings.
It is easy to create a light sprinkling of water that can quickly transform rainbow drawings into rainbow rainy-day art. You can even drip water from your fingertips. If you choose this method, it is best to drip, spray, or splash water on your drawings outside. Or, create rain art in the bathtub, a shower, or a large sink. Just be mindful not to wash the whole picture away!
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Rain Art Supplies:
- Washable Markers
- Heavyweight watercolor paper or cardstock
- Rain on a rainy day, or a gentle indoor watering Can or misting spray bottle (optional)
Related: The Best Art Supplies for Kids and Why Young Artists Should Use Them
Rainbow Rainy Day Art Step-by-Step Instructions
First, read through the step-by-step instructions to create rain art before getting started so you know the steps involved and understand what to expect. Next, invite children to create rain art at home or in the classroom, with real or simulated rain.
1. Draw on heavy watercolor paper or cardstock using a rainbow of colors.
- Invite children to draw a rainbow or use markers in the colors of their choice to create art on a piece of heavyweight watercolor paper or cardstock.
- Create a picture, artwork, or doodles using all of the rainbow colors, or just a few in any way they choose.
- Remind children that these pictures will not look the same when they are finished, so if they draw something special, they may want to save it and make a messy drawing to use to create rainy day rain art.
- The photograph below shows the transformation that occurs when a toddler’s marker scribbles are placed out in the rain for a few minutes.
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2. Place the marker drawing or artwork out in the rain, or spray it gently with water.
- Place your rainbow drawing out in the rain and watch what happens. Children love watching the rain transform their marker drawings to create new rain artwork!
- Alternatively, you can put rain art outside and set a timer to go back and check it in a few minutes, but don’t leave it out too long in heavy rain, or it will all wash away! (Been there, done that–lol!)
- No rain? No problem! Use a watering can, a misting spray bottle, or dripping wet fingertips to gently rain down on your artwork.
- Please note that different types of markers, and amounts of water, will produce different types of results depending on colorfastness. Permanent markers may not transform at all, while ultra-washable markers might wash away completely. Encourage children of all ages to experiment with different types of marking pens to see what happens when rain, or water, is added at home or in the classroom.
- The photograph below shows what a rainbow drawn with washable markers looks like after a few minutes out in the rain.
3. Allow rainbow rainy day art time to dry.
- Please pick up your rainbow rainy day art and carefully bring it inside to allow it to dry.
- Do your best to hold the wet rain artwork as flat as possible when you carry it inside–and be mindful that it can drip and create quite a mess.
- We recommend preparing a surface with old towels and sheets that lay flat to place the rain art on to dry. (Tile or composite floors, countertops, and tables with a flat sheet or towel work well for this purpose.)
- The colors may shift and change depending on how much water is on the paper. Watching the colors move on wet paper is also loads of fun for kids!
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Rain Art STEAM Project for Kids
Rainy day art is an easy STEAM activity for kids. Children love to learn as they watch colorful pictures transform in the rain.
You might also enjoy experimenting with watercolor resist mediums, this fantastic collection of easy rainbow art projects kids LOVE, and these arts and crafts.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
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