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Rainy Day Activities For Preschoolers

Updated on September 5, 2018
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

Baking is always a fun idea on a rainy day with preschoolers, especially if they can decorate the end result!
Baking is always a fun idea on a rainy day with preschoolers, especially if they can decorate the end result! | Source

Rainy days when kids are stuck inside are hard for preschoolers who have a lot of energy. Whether you are a mom, a dad, a grandparent, babysitter, a daycare provider, or anyone else that sometimes has to spend time indoors with children on a rainy day, you may need some new ideas of things to do with pre-schoolers on a rainy day. Below a list of fun activities to do inside with preschoolers to keep them busy until the rain stops:

  • Paint With Water
  • Paint with water books are very fun, and easily purchased at any store that has coloring books. They don't make a mess and are easy to clean up afterward.
  • Make a Scrapbook
  • Scrapbooks are a great way to help children be creative and to keep memories alive for them to look back on as they grow up. Keep extra pictures in envelopes with a separate one for each of your children. Also, keep an eye out for sales on scrapbook supplies and pick a few up when you see good deals. Only take the pictures and supplies out on rainy days, so the kids don't get used to looking at the pictures and bored with them.
  • Cook or Bake a Favorite Recipe
  • Cook or bake something special using favorite family recipes. Sweets are a special kid favorite idea, especially if they get to decorate the end results such as cookies, cupcakes or a cake.
  • Make a Card Table Tent
  • Let the kids make a card table tent. Put a blanket on the card table, and put pillows and their favorite blankets, books, stuffed animals inside the tent. Crawl in with them and read a story. Let them nap in there if it is still raining at nap time. Just make sure they help to pick the tent up before they go out to play when the weather clears.
  • Make a Rice Bucket
  • Put a large sheet of plastic or a clean shower curtain on the floor. Get a large plastic container that is used for storage and fill it with a 10-pound bag of dry rice. Add some dry kidney beans for variety. Add a few small trucks, and the kidney beans can be large stones to put in dump trucks. Add scooping toys and measuring cups. Only bring this out when it rains. The kids will have a ball playing in the indoor sandbox, and the feel of the rice through their hands will be very relaxing for them. Allow this only on a day you have time to vacuum because it will spread around on your floor and you will need to vacuum it up. Store the container with an airtight cover so it can be reused for months at a time.
  • Water Play
  • Water play is good old clean fun, and kids love it. Fill a sink with warm soapy water and let the kids play with measuring scoops or plastic toys that need to be washed anyway. Kids love water play, and this can keep them busy for a while. Clean up with a towel is easy.
  • Marble Painting
  • Marble painting is easy, creative and fun. Place a blank piece of white paper on the bottom of a cardboard box. Put a few dabs of different color paint on different areas on the paper. Roll a marble around in the paint by dropping it on the paper and moving the box around. Creates a really neat design.
  • Block Play
  • Blocks are always fun, but more fun if combined with interesting items from around the house. Let the kids use their imagination by adding plastic containers, empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls, and aluminum foil to their block collection and see what types of creative uses they can come up with for them.
  • Have a Parade
  • Have a parade with homemade musical instruments. Take a toilet paper roll and add 1/4 cup dry kidney beans or rice. Tape construction paper to both ends and shake to make a musical shaker. Decorate the paper rolls with designs and have them hum into it for a kazoo effect. An empty coffee can with a cover that is decorated with construction or wrapping paper and pounded on with hands is a wonderful drum.
  • The Pillowcase Game
  • Pillowcase game is lots of fun because kids like surprises. Fill the bottom part of a pillowcase with plastic animals, cars, toys, kitchen utensils, etc. let the kids reach in and try to guess what the object is before pulling it out. Then let the kids find things to put in and try to stump each other with what the object is. You can use treats for them to keep, such as little prizes you have accumulated on sale, or boxes of raisins, packages of snacks, etc.
  • Ice Cube Tray Play
  • Ice Cube Tray play is great fun again because it involves water. Fill an ice cube tray with different levels of water in each section. Put in on top of a cookie sheet to contain any spilled water. In 4 - 6 of the spaces, add a drop of food coloring and give the children each a medicine dropper. Tell them to mix and match the colors anyway they want.
  • Create with Paper Mache
  • Making paper mache is a very creative activity and can be enjoyed long after the day is over. In a saucepan, mix a little water with flour until it makes a smooth paste. Put plastic wrap over the bottom of a bowl with the bowl turned upside down. Let the kids rip up pieces of newspaper into strips that are at least 1 inch by 2 inches wide. Let them put the strips into the mixture then lay on top of the bowl. Do this so that no part of the bowl is left showing, and have them put at least two layers of the strips down. When the bowl dries, it can be painted and enjoyed to keep treasures in, such as coins or small toys but not to eat out of. Keep in a dry place because if the bowl gets wet, it becomes soggy and ruined.
  • Color
  • Have a special set of coloring books that you take out only on rainy days. If your child likes dinosaurs, get one on dinosaurs. If they like animals, have one on animals, and color together. If you want you can have an adult coloring book fo you, and a child's coloring book for them. Keep it special, with a special set of a variety of crayons so you only use it when you are stuck inside on a rainy day.
  • Read Books
  • Reading books to a preschooler is always a special treat. Have a set of books you keep special for rainy days and keep adding to the collection so they will be surprised and entertained.

These ideas will hopefully make a rainy day more enjoyable for you and your preschool-aged children. In the warmer months, when it stops raining, go outside and jump in the rain puddles and look for rainbows together.

If you have any more ideas of things to do with preschoolers on a rainy day, please leave them in the comment section below.

Here's a YouTube video about how to make paper mache...

Rainy Day Poll

Which of these is your favorite thing to do with preschoolers on a rainy day?

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Need More Ideas? Here's a book chock full of more ideas for rainy days!

© 2012 Karen Hellier


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