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.

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 rainy-day activities for you and your toddler, 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 some paint!

This activity is great for practicing your toddler’s number recognition and measuring while learning about weather, too.

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 in the rain 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!

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!

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.

4. Play Together

My favorite rainy-day game is treasure hunting! 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.

5. Grab A Book

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.

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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