Rainy day activities for toddlers

Rainy days don’t have to put a damper on fun! Here I’ve compiled my top (and most fun) rainy day activities for toddlers. These are sure to keep your toddler entertained all day, whether you choose to play outside or indoors.

It can sometimes be tough to keep kids busy on a rainy day. But, there are lots of fun rainy day activities for toddlers! Below you will find some of the best rainy day activities, including great indoor activities and ways to enjoy the rain outside.

Spring activities for toddlers edited
Rainy day activities for toddlers

Outdoor activities

Spring is finally here. This means that the snow is melting, the flowers are in bloom… And that the rain is often falling! If you’ve chosen to brave the rain and head outside, here are some activities for rainy days, including two easy crafts.

1. Rain art

I love the freedom in art and crafting, but what I love even more is incorporating the environment into creating that art. Whether creating seasonal find-and-stick pieces with greenery and flowers or snow painting, there’s no shortage of seasonal art activities. This is true for spring, too, of course!

Next time it’s drizzling out (not pouring!) give Little Page Turner’s Food Coloring Art a try. Make sure to sneak a peek at the absolutely precious final touches they added – The final product is adorable! If you don’t have food coloring on hand, try getting creative.

Chalk pastels, washable markers, colored drink crystals… Lots of different mediums will spread color across the pages. Pro-tip: If you don’t want the color to seep into your deck/lawn/etc, just put a baking sheet underneath!

2. DIY rain gauge

By creating your own DIY Rain Gauge, your toddler can visually measure how much rain is falling from the sky throughout the day! The best part? All you need for this activity is an empty bottle and a sharpie!

This activity is great for practicing your toddler’s number recognition and measuring while learning about weather, too. For younger kids, this is a nice entry-level activity for understanding the weather. For older kids, you can integrate math concepts like graphing.

If you’d like to see how to do this craft, check out my post here!

3. Rain walks

Sometimes planned activities aren’t even necessary. You and your toddler can head out and explore the world together… Just don’t forget your raincoat and rain boots!

Being outside on a rainy day can be lots of fun! There are so many little critters that come out to enjoy the dampness (like frogs, worms, and lizards). To make this educational, you may consider keeping track of the critters you find along the way. Once you’re home, you can find books or online resources to deepen your learning about the animals.

So, next time it rains, why not head out for a nature walk and see what there is to be found and splash in the puddles while you can?

4. Puddle jumping

Speaking of splashing in puddles… Most children love this activity, and I love the joy it brings them!

While tons of fun, puddles are also great for practicing body movement skills like jumping, throwing, stirring, etc. Encouraging these movements will help your toddlers develop essential skills for their gross motor development.

Indoor activities

As fun as playing in the rain can be, that likely won’t last all day! Here are some fun indoor activities that you can do with your toddler.

1. Build a fort

This is always the first activity I think of on a rainy day. As children, my siblings and I used to create elaborate forts using all of the pillows and blankets we could get our hands on… And you and your toddler can do the same!

Once the building is done, the fun has just begun! Maybe your little one would like to have a picnic in their new fort? Pretend that they are camping? Grab a flashlight and do some reading? Honestly, the activities are endless – Let their imagination do the work and see what else they could come up with!

Crayon shavings on a blue plate - pink crayon, blue crayon, and green crayon
This was for some melted crayon ornaments – But I can also imagine some awesome melted crayon art!

2. Get crafty

Being stuck inside means that you will have lots of time to get creative. On days like this, I love to do child-led crafts. This way, your little ones can explore their artistic side while you can use up odds and ends of craft materials. Simply bring out some crafting materials and see what they would like to make!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Create puppets
  • Make masks out of paper or cardboard
  • Turn large boxes into cars, boats, or whatever else they can think of!
  • Make recycled instruments

The best part about these crafts is that they keep your toddlers busy after they’ve been created. They will have lots of fun pretending or playing with their new toy, and will likely be so proud that they made it themselves!

Another idea: give the kids a cardboard box. This is ridiculously simple, but some of my favorite crafts have come out of this. Look at the box together and think about what it could be turned into. We’ve made everything from a play house to a sled with a reindeer! Creating their own activities is great for pretend play.

3. Bake a treat together

Try searching the internet for some simple recipes that you and your littles can make. They will have so much fun helping you make cookies, cupcakes, or crumbles, and will enjoy tasting it too!

Include them by asking them to help wash any fruits or vegetables, chop them up (with kid-friendly knives, of course), measure, and mix the ingredients. Because baking can be a bit more finicky than cooking, I often pre-measure the ingredients and let children dump them into the bowl.

Also – Baking is a fun way to develop fine motor skills!

4. Play together

My favorite fun activity during bad weather is treasure hunting (or an indoor scavenger hunt)! Pick something to hide and create a simple treasure map for your toddler. Work together to follow clues while pretending to be pirates. They will have a blast… And you probably will, too!

Rainy days are also great for board games and puzzles. Head over to the game shelf with your toddler and see what they would like to play.

You could also put some fun music on and have a dance party or pretend they are leaders of a marching band. Or play a whole family game of freeze dance!

5. Grab a book or play board games together

Indoor days are great for reading. Invite your little ones to grab some books and practice their reading skills!

You may also consider having a book on hand with special rainy-day activities. So many of the things that we did during rainy days came from the amazing book “101 Things for Kids to do on a Rainy Day” by Dawn Isaac. This book includes great ideas for crafts, games, baking, and more! It’s one of my favorites, and the kids just love looking through the book to pick an activity.

Another fun thing to do on a rainy day is to play board games together!

Image sizing vertical 95
This was our Walking Water Experiment!

6. Conduct a science experiment

There are so many fun science experiment activities for kids. Kids love exploring the world around them with science experiments, and a nice rainy day gives you the perfect opportunity to do so! You could create a DIY volcano and watch in awe as “hot lava” spews out the top, create a DIY lava lamp, or watch water ‘magically’ walk between cups while creating a rainbow in the walking water experiment.

7. Create an indoor obstacle course

Do your kids have lots of energy? An indoor obstacle course s one of the best indoor activities to entertain your kids while letting them burn some energy. Challenge them to find objects from around the house that they can jump on, crawl under, and balance on. The best part is that you can remake it differently each time – It keeps them busy for hours!

Playing with homemade playdoh
Creative play with our homemade playdough!

8. Make your own playdough

Growing up, we never bought play dough in my house. We would always make it with my Mom. She loved it because she could save money on craft supplies and we loved it because we got our own colors! And now, it’s one of my favorite things to do on a rainy day when I’m taking care of little ones.

This is a great activity when you’re stuck inside because you and the kids can practice cooking skills (measuring, kneading, etc.) while giving your little ones a new craft supply for play indoors.

Conclusion

Hopefully, something in this list of rainy day activities has inspired you! There are so many fun things to do when rain is falling, both indoors and out. The items here are from my go-to list of kids’ activities… And are all super fun ways to entertain kids of all ages!

Kids love having the chance to be creative and explore their environment. So whether you find a whole family activity, like a board game, or set up a fun craft or easy project for your kids to create independently, there’s no shortage of activities to explore!

What are your favorite activities for kids on a rainy day?

Elke Crosson
Elke Crosson

Elke Crosson has her BA in International Relations with a minor in Spanish at UBC (Okanagan). She is currently in her second year of the Master of Teaching program at the University of Toronto, with dreams of becoming an elementary-level teacher.

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