Ideas for Playing in the Rain

Wet Weather Day? Grab the Boots and Coat and Head Outside Anyway

playing in the rain
Wet outside? So what? Playing in the rain is a lot of fun and will give your preschooler some much-needed activity time. Tim Hall/Digital Vision/Getty Images

For most families, a rainy day means being cooped up inside, engaging in quiet activities such as watching movies, playing video games, making puzzles, maybe even reading a book or two. But just because it is wet outside doesn't mean you have to spend your day indoors. Some of the most fun you can have is playing in the rain.

Don't Be Inactive on Rainy Days

Study after study has shown that kids do not get enough physical activity.

A preschooler (a child of age 3 to 5) needs at least an hour a day of physical activity. On a sunny day, it's easy enough to head outside for some active fun, but what if the weather isn't so great?

Fun Rainy Day Outdoor Activities

While you can certainly find plenty to do inside, if it's just raining, consider putting on your rain boots and raincoat and heading outside anyway. With these fun games and activities for playing in the rain, your preschooler is sure to have a blast (and so will you).

  1. Catch raindrops on your tongue, hands, and feet.
  2. Blow bubbles. Who can make the biggest one?
  3. A rainy day is perfect for looking for worms as they move up to the surface of the earth. How many can you find? Will your preschooler dare touch one? Will you?
  4. Follow the rain when it falls on the ground. Where does it flow to? Down the street? To a drain?
  5. Take a look at the earth—the dirt, the sand, the grass. How does the rain change these things?
  1. Don't just jump in the puddles—skip, hop, run, gallop, or walk through them. Who can make the biggest splash?
  2. Embrace the wetness and turn on your sprinklers or set up your kiddie pools to play in.
  3. Measure the rainfall by putting out a cup and see how much you can catch. Let everyone guess how much they think will be in the cup by the time the rain stops.
  1. Frogs, ducks, fish, and other animals are always outside in the rain. Pretend to be one of these wet-weather friends.
  2. Try playing some of your preschooler's favorite sports. How does the rain change how the ball moves?
  3. Go for a walk in your neighborhood and ask your preschooler to tell you about how the rain makes things look different. Also, what is the same?
  4. If there are puddles, toss rocks into them. Who can make the biggest ripple? What size rock makes the loudest sound?
  5. Listen to the rhythm that the rain makes and have a dance contest. Give a prize to the person who comes up with the silliest rain dance.
  6. If you don't mind tearing up your yard a little, let your preschooler slide in the wet grass.
  7. Instead of jumping in the puddles, try jumping over them.
  8. Live near a hill? Find a moving stream of water and race sticks.
  9. Take some inspiration from Gene Kelly and sing in the rain. Pick songs that mention rain, from "Itsy Bitsy Spider" to "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" and "Umbrella."
  10. Look for animal tracks in the mud. Try to guess which animal made the tracks.
  11. If it's warm enough, go outside in your bathing suits and bring some bathtub crayons with you. Who can draw the silliest things on themselves?
  1. Got a waterproof camera? Take some candids.
  2. If it is raining really hard, wash your hair. (This one is sure to make your preschooler laugh hard.)
  3. Bring out some washable paints and paper and let the rain make a masterpiece.
  4. Set up a wet-weather obstacle course. (Be careful, it will be slippery.)
  5. Make mud pies or sand castles, depending on your soil type.
  6. When the storm has passed, be sure to look for a rainbow.

Rainy Day Precautions

You and your kids aren't made of sugar, so you aren't going to melt away in the rain. But you do want to take precautions against hypothermia as you will cool down significantly if your clothes get wet, especially if there is ​any wind.

Be aware of signs of shivering, clumsiness, and confusion and limit your time outside in wet clothes. Get inside and change to dry clothes and warm up.

Also be alert to reduced visibility for traffic and use precautions, including wearing reflective clothing or blinking lights when you are walking or biking outside in the rain.

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