10 Outdoor Rainy Day Activities
When the forecast is showing nothing but pouring rain for days on end, our rainy day activities can easily consist of staying at home and hiding out. While we love a cozy day at home, the truth is, my kiddo and I feel way better when we’ve spent some time outside exploring all that Vancouver has to offer. While you might feel discouraged at first when seeing rain, rain and more rain, here are some rainy day activities to inspire you to get outside! (Looking for outdoor activites for snowy days? We've got you covered too!)
Keep it Simple
- Go puddle jumping. This one is a classic rainy day activity! Every kid loves to run through water and watch it splash. Have a big kid? My son loves to see if he can jump OVER the puddles. This is great for getting out his energy. Let them take running leaps and see if they can make it across without landing in the puddle.
- See how many raindrops you can catch on your tongue. This is great chance to practice counting with your toddler.
- Play with water toys in the rain. Throw them in your backpack to bring them along to play in that great big puddle at the park.
Play in a Stream
- Race a boat. Teach your child how to fold a paper boat and then head out to look for streams of water to race your boats in. Or make your own boats using sticks and leaves. Try different types of leaves or sticks and see if one floats faster or farther than the others.
- Make a dam. Use leaves, sticks and rocks to create a wall. What happens when the water gets too high? What happens if you pull out a rock from the bottom? Brainstorm some ideas and test your theories out. Knock the dam over and try it all again. Can you build it a different way? Higher? Wider?
Explore the Forest
- Go for a forest walk in the rain. This one is great if you’re still getting used to exploring in the rain, as the shelter from the trees will make it feel less wet. Keep your kiddo moving along by singing all the songs you can think of that have the word rain. Make it a challenge to come up with new words about rain to a song they already know.
- Observe like a scientist on a walk. This one is great for school-aged children. What does your child notice that looks different when it is raining out? How does the forest or park change when it is wet? Do things smell different? Can they spot a rainbow? Have your child write their observations in a special notebook when they get home. Have them keep track throughout the seasons and reflect on the changes they see.
Rainy Day Activities for Listening
- Practice mindfulness. One of my favourite things to do on a rainy day is to sit quietly and listen. Encourage your child to practice mindfulness by sitting quietly with their eyes closed. Encourage them to notice the smells and sounds of a rainy day and embrace the soothing sounds of rain. Ask your child to talk about what they heard or smelt, developing their storytelling skills as they recount their experiences.
Interact with Your Environment
- Make mud pies. This is an easy one if you have a sandbox in your backyard! Decorate the pies with leaves and flowers. Have a tea party and sing some songs. If you don’t have your own sandbox, try the local park.
- Be a good Samaritan. This is a good one to start from a young age! Go on a walk around the neighbourhood to check on storm basins. Grab a stick you and your child can use to push away debris like leaves and garbage that may be blocking water from running into the drain. Teach your child that they can help take care of our community from a young age. While you’re at it, see if any worms have been stranded on the sidewalks and need rescuing. Help relocate worms back to the grass where they are much happier.
What other rainy day activities do you like to do? If you have proper rain gear, the possibilities are endless! We hope next time it rains, you’ll take the chance to try out one or more of these ideas and go play outside!
– Sandra, rainy day lover and mom living in the PNW