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Rainy Day Activities For Pre-Schoolers

Updated on March 22, 2017
Karen Hellier profile image

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

Rainy days when kids are stuck inside are hard for preschoolers who have a lot of energy. Here's a list of fun activities to do inside with preschoolers to keep them busy until the rain stops.

* 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.

* 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 something special using favorite family recipes.

* 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 their if it is still raining at nap time. Just make sure they help pick the tent up before they go out to play when the weather clears.

* 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 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 awhile. Clean up with a towel is easy.

* Marble painting is easy and creative 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.

* 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 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.

* 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 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.

* 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.

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.


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    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia


      Ha ha...thanks for reading and commenting anyway. You are a funny guy, even in your comments! I don't have to keep preschoolers busy anymore either, but I do miss it. I hear that's what grandchildren are for?!! Maybe you'll need these ideas at some point yet since I know you have a son who may need "Grandpa Billy" to babysit some rainy day! You never can tell!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank God I no longer have to worry about keeping a pre-schooler occupied. This is a great hub with fantastic suggestions, none of which I will have to use. :)