Rainy Day Outdoor Activities

These outdoor games are just as fun (or more so) when it's raining.

Kids love to run in sprinklers and splash in fountains, so why not take advantage when water falls from the sky? These ideas for rainy day outdoor activities will get you started, but you're limited only by your imagination, unless there's a thunderstorm. In that case, stay inside and wait for a rainy day that's lightning-free.

Hop, Skip, and Puddle Jump

Rainy day outdoor activities are good muddy fun
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Suit up with old clothes, raincoats, and boots (or water shoes if it's warm out) and show those puddles who's boss. Regular rainy-day walks around your neighborhood or favorite park will help you locate the biggest, splashiest puddles. Stomp!

Color Run

Chalk drawing can be an outdoor rainy day activity.
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Make your own rainbow: Take sidewalk chalk outside during or after a rain. The moisture intensifies and blurs the colors for an effect that's very different from dry-land chalking.

For more colorful rainy fun, sprinkle a few drops of food coloring or tempera paint powder onto a paper plate (or other sturdy piece of paper). Take it outside and let the rain give you watercolors. You can swirl the liquid around to make designs. Bring the plate inside to dry, or press another piece of paper on top, then peel off to make a print.

On a warm, summer rainy day, dress kids in swimsuits or old clothes, then send them outside with washable or bathtub paint. They'll have purple legs, green arms, and polka-dotted hands in no time.

Catch Frogs and Fish

Rainy days are perfect for fishing and frog-catching, if you have access to a pond, stream, or lake. If not, take a walk on a paved sidewalk or trail and keep an eye out for stranded earthworms. Most kids love gently "rescuing" a worm from the pavement and returning it to the dirt.

Float Your Boat

If your yard or park offers up puddles and trickles of moving water, you can float tiny toy boats (or twigs and leaves) and see how they travel. Challenge kids to create dams from found objects. You can also make your own puddle with a large rimmed cookie sheet or plastic tub.

Make Mud Pies

Got dirt? Then on a rainy day, you'll have mud! Take old aluminum pie plates and other plastic containers outside for a mud-pie bake-off. Adorn with leaves, sticks, rocks, and even small (sturdy) toys.

Drip, Drop, Click

Stash away an inexpensive or disposable waterproof camera for rainy days. Then you can take a walk and let kids snap away. They can think big and capture rain clouds or large puddles, or zero in on raindrops delicately posed on a leaf or spiderweb.

Build a World

Does your child have a collection of plastic animals, dinosaurs, or other little figurines? Bring them out into the rain so they can explore puddles, mud, leaf piles, and more nature creations.

Make Beautiful Music

Have kids help you scout out household items that can make music: pots, pans, spoons, plastic containers, even cardboard boxes if they want to do some experimenting. Take them outside and listen to how raindrops sound as they drop onto various surfaces. Kids may also want to try swirling water inside a pot or bucket, or pouring from one container into or onto another.

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