Come springtime, it’s almost expected to see some rain. When you’re a kid, that’s no reason to miss out on any fun! But it doesn’t always seem reasonable to send kids outside to play on a rainy day. They can get chilled, everything is muddy, and what’s there to do in the rain anyway? However, the reality is that kids need to spend time outdoors, and ideally should get some time outside every day. Naturally, we don’t want anyone getting sick, but depending on the temperatures, they can usually get out there for at least a little while!
While I can’t help you with the muddy part, I do have some suggestions for having fun out in the rain. There are so many fun ways you can play right in your backyard, and the rain doesn’t have to stop you!
How to Play With Your Kids on a Rainy Day
1. Plan your clothes accordingly.
This first tip isn’t so much an idea on how to play as it is a way to help things go smoother. Expect your kids to get a little dirty when playing in the rain. And well, wet.
This is the perfect time to wear stained clothes or those hand-me-downs you would never put your child in public but feel bad to get rid of (just me?). Depending on the temperature, you may want a raincoat, rain boots, and hat to minimize or slow the wetness. However, if it’s a warm day, I definitely suggest letting them play barefoot and soak it all in!
2. Play in the mud.
Let’s just get right to it! Rain usually equals mud, and there is NOTHING more fun for kids than to play in the mud. Make mud pies, practice writing, and just feel the squishiness between your fingers or toes. Playing in the mud is one of the best parts of rainy days! Just make sure to have a plan for re-entering the house.
3. Bring out the sand or water toys.
Why not use some of those other toys for a rainy day? Fill them up with water or use them to build a mud castle. Having open-ended toys can add to the fun, and sand/water toys were made to withstand some weather!
4. Jump in some puddles!
Who can resist this classic rain activity? When you see little areas starting to fill up around your house, encourage your kids to jump in some puddles! This activity alone can entertain kiddos for a while.
5. Search for worms and other bugs.
Have you ever noticed all the worms on the driveway or sidewalk after a good rain? They’re seeking out the moisture, but sometimes they get caught up in too much! Search for worms and other bugs all over with your kiddos. If you see one that needs a little help, take it over to the grass so it can dig back into the dirt.
6. Singing in the rain.
It’s a popular old movie and song for a reason! Something is freeing about dancing and singing around with the rain pouring on you. Kids crave that feeling of earthy freedom, so you can bet they’ll absolutely love this activity!
7. Build a bug shelter.
A fun activity to get your kids thinking is to find what you can outside to build a little shelter for bugs that may not want to get wet. Rocks, sticks, and anything else they can find. It’s always great to sneak in some engineering skills practice by figuring out how to build something!
8. Collect water to measure.
This isn’t really an ongoing activity, but it can still be a lot of fun for kids. When it first starts to rain, set out a bowl to catch the water. Once it’s over, you can measure how much rain fell!
9. Color with chalk.
If it’s pouring, this probably won’t work as well. But if it’s just an average drizzle, then drawing with chalk can be really cool! The color of the chalk is much deeper when wet. Plus, as it rains, it’s fun to see how the water changes the pictures!
10. Go fishing!
Sometimes the best time to fish is actually when it’s raining! If your kids are a bit older and familiar with fishing, a rainy day might be the perfect time to do some catch and release.
11. Have a bike wash.
I’ve had my kids do this on sunny days with the hose, but the rain makes it even easier. Give them a washcloth or two, and let them wipe down all their bikes and other outdoor toys! They get the entertainment, and you get sparkly clean items in your garage. Win-win!
12. Test out the best way to make a boat.
This can be a great challenge for older kids to work on. Finding items either outside or around the house, they have to create a boat that will float in a puddle. It works on problem-solving skills, and it’s FUN!
13. Make some rain art.
Turn a rainy day into craft time! Your kiddos can color pictures on some paper towels and then leave them in the rain for a bit. They’ll watch in amazement as the picture comes to life as the water spreads the markers around.
14. Test for things to sink or float.
This is another great opportunity to learn. Find a good puddle to work with and gather some natural items—pinecones, leaves, flowers, acorns, etc. Let your child guess if each item wi sink or float, and then test it out!
Just because it’s rainy doesn’t mean it has to be a boring day. Make it the most fun day ever by playing in the rain with all these ideas! Your kids are sure to have a blast and create special memories along the way.