Inspired by today’s weather, here are some outdoor activities for a rainy, summer day.
1. Painting Outdoors (with the rain!)
Watercolours are just that! WATERcolours.
Who made up the rule you need tap water?! If you’ve followed us for a while, you’ll know we are huge fans of taking the watercolour paints out with us on walks, and this is a similar, and extremely fun idea!
You can start by getting the kids to paint a base painting first, with their paints quite strong instead of hugely diluted.
I find painting really strong, full page colour a great base for this.
Then you can take them outside and see what the rain drops create on their painting!
Get them to tilt their paintings up and down, and watch the raindrops roll, and create patterns.
Another method to try is to use the rainwater to dilute any paint, and just try painting outside!
Believe me, just the excitement of it all will entertain them for a while!
2. Rainy, Summer Puddle Play
Wellies? Bare feet?
The reason puddle play in summer is so much more fun than winter is that you can throw your layers off and really get into it!
And adults, I’m looking at you! Get those toes in!
There’s no magic that quite matches up to splashing in puddles on a rainy day, and when it’s warmer and slightly muggy, it’s refreshing too!
3. Stick Raft Making & Sailing
What better time to go and play in the river than when it’s raining?!
Stick rafts are a relatively easy (for maybe 7 years + or younger with help), and there’s a great instructional here.
You could either prepare for this by collecting twigs before, and making your stick raft at home and then taking it to the river when it’s rained and there’s slightly more current to make it float, or you could simply enjoy the rain while you make?
You can buy tarpaulins to pop up, or a cheap, pop up tent if you need a little shelter.
4. A Rainy Walk or Explore in the Garden
Who wants to walk in the ‘bad weather’?!
Actually, it’s important to remember that the natural world changes (and comes alive) in different scenarios.
It’s not only great to teach our kids about these changes, it’s exciting to witness!
How many changes can you see if you just look a little closer during wet weather?
Get outside. Walk. Stop. Look. Listen.
What changes are there? What’s come out that wasn’t out before? Have you ever noticed how the rain sits in the flowers before? How about those slugs?! Have you ever seen the stream so high?
Are the birds noisier?
It’s also when I like to get the kids to note the plant growth, because it usually has a massive spurt after a good amount of rain! Use it as a lesson.
5. Pooh Sticks
You can do this on any other walk day too, but after a good rain the rivers and streams tend to be moving faster!!
If you aren’t familiar with Pooh Sticks, you and whoever you’re with can choose a stick/long grass etc each. You then both drop them in a river at the same time (usually done from a bridge) and see whose wins!
6. MUD COOKING
Pies. Puddings. Potions.
Is there a better time to get cooking up a mud creation than when it’s raining?! I don’t think so!!
Mud kitchen or not, all you need is a bowl and a mixing implement, mud and rain and you’re good to go!
Add sticks, leaves, flowers (making sure they’re safe to play with before!) and get creative!
7. Mud Art
Why stop at pies and potions?!
Your kids could make all types of art with mud! They could mould it and add stones, leaves and flowers to create sculptures! They could use it to paint with. So much fun!
8. Go paddling/wild swimming
I’m not sure why people seem to think the world switches off when it rains, but I’m here to tell you that it comes alive!!
Paddling and wild swimming can be extra special while the rain is falling! And the birds and dragonflies are magical.
Note: Please always wild swim safely, especially where children are involved!
9. Collect Rain
If you know heavy rain is due, get your kids to pop out something to collect rainwater.
They may be surprised by how much (or little) they collect!
They could then use it to paint with (as above!) or to water indoor plants.
10. A water fight!
Because what’s a little extra water, right?! This one is usually a big hit!!
Important safety note: Please be mindful and aware of your surroundings in wild water, and also think of safety during lightning.