Rainy days don't have to be gloomy days. They can be full of fun activities that teach little ones all about rain, weather patterns, and water cycles while also covering in some basic fundamentals like language development, life skills, and early math too!
We've put together a variety of weather activities, including reading, science experiments, crafting, singing, and dancing, that will have your preschooler thirsting for more.
1. I Am the Rain by John Patterson
Lyrical verses present water in its many colors, shapes, and forms as it follows its natural cycle through the seasons. The evocative illustrations highlight water's many moods and a section in the back of the book "the science behind the poetry," will give you hours of STEM activities for your preschooler.
Learn More: Doing It Right
2. One Drop, Endless Ripples by Jayshree L Patel
This poetic, read-aloud picture book will delight toddlers as they explore the transformational journey of water through a gentle poem. The beautiful illustrations and sweet rhymes are a wonderful way to introduce the water cycle to young minds.
Learn More: 01Drop
3. Singing in the Rain by Tom Hopgood
The classic Broadway song is brought to life in this beautiful picture book read-aloud. The cute illustrated kids jump in puddles, raise umbrellas, and dance with joy through the pages of this visual story. Colorful, springy scenes set against the dark and rainy sky make the illustrations pop on the page.
Learn More: Christina Zahn
4. The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates
Wearing a yellow slicker and boots on a rainy day, a child carries an open red umbrella down a city street. More and more folks join the child under its rapidly expanding canopy, until, in the last illustration, the umbrella arches over a park filled with animals and culturally diverse, differently-abled people, all enjoying themselves and their surroundings.
Learn More: Books with Blue
5. Soaked by Abi Cushman
This fun and entertaining book is the story of a grumpy bear on a rainy day as he is surrounded by animals, including a hula-hooping moose, and a badger with a bumblebee umbrella having fun in the rain. This giggle-inducing story is one your toddler will ask to read again and again.
Learn More: Mrs. Tina Snider
6. A Good Day for Ducks by Jane Whittingham
With engaging text and adorable pictures this book just might make your toddler wish for a rainy day so they can have as much fun as the two siblings in this book. This charming weather adventure is a surefire winner on any bookshelf.
Learn More: Time For Stories
7. Drop: An Adventure in the Water Cycle by Emily Kate Moon
Perfect for science lessons for young learners. It uses simple text and precious illustrations to introduce preschoolers to the cycle of water. Drop radiates joy and will put a smile on the face of your little one as she takes us on a journey with dinosaurs and glaciers.
Learn More: Medina County District Library
8. Seasons and Weather Sensory Bottles
Make these delightful sensory bottles with your little one at home. Simulate the gentle rain with a bottle using glitter, cotton balls, and blue-colored water. For contrast, make the sunshine bottle with water beads and a yellow pom-pom for the sun.
Learn More: Tea in the Wild
9. The New Raincloud in a Jar Experiment
A new take on an old hands-on activity. This experiment is a fantastic way for kids to "see" it rain right in front of them. This will lead to fabulous discussions about how rain clouds are formed and why some of the jars rain and some don't.
Learn More: Tea in the Wild
10. Water Cycle Bag Experiment
A water cycle is a pattern of how water moves through our environment. The sun heats water on Earth and causes it to evaporate into a gas and the gas collects to form clouds in the sky. The water in the clouds then condenses, or turns back into a liquid, and falls back to the Earth as rain.
Learn More: Team Cartwright
11. Water Walking
Your kids will be amazed to see the colored water "walk" over the bridges and into the clear cups of water, mixing colors, and giving them a first-hand look at the magic of capillarity, the rise and fall of an absorbent liquid due to tension. Use plastic cups and colored water to conduct this amazing experiment.
Learn More: Good Housekeeping
12. Make a Rain Gauge
Use recycled materials to create a rain gauge and measure the rainfall at home. This is also a great opportunity to reinforce lessons on measuring and number recognition for your preschooler. Extend the lesson to older children by creating line graphs and comparing local rainfall with other parts of the world.
Learn More: The Imagination Tree
13. Puffy Paint Clouds
Teach kids the scientific names of different types of clouds and what they mean with this puffy paint STEM activity. Use shaving cream, flour, glitter glue, and paints to create your own clouds while learning about them with your preschooler.
Learn More: Steamsational
14. Raincloud Craft
Do more than just paint the rain, but use this craft project to simulate it and create a little lake in the process. Use glue and watercolors to make a thicker viscosity and a tray angled at 30 degrees to reproduce the effects of raindrops on the paper.
Learn More: Gift Of Curiosity
15. Raindrop Suncatcher
What a wonderful way to bring the outside indoors on a rainy day. This eye-catching art activity uses colorful melted crayon shavings and wax paper to make a sparkling suncatcher for your windows. Just like real raindrops, each one will be unique.
Learn More: Crayola
16. Umbrella Craft
Have some leftover shaving cream from a sensory activity? Use it with some food coloring to make some fun swirly paper art and then use it to make your unique umbrellas. It's a fun and easy process for little ones. Make several and use them to decorate the space for spring.
Learn More: Teaching Mama
17. Bubble Wrap Rain Craft
Use that leftover bubble wrap for a fun and enticing craft centered around raindrops. Perfect for a rainy day activity. Paint each of the bubbles with different colors of blue to act as your raindrops. Paste an umbrella sheltering animals from the rain to complete the picture.
Learn More: Super Simple
18. Bubble Wrap Rain Cloud
A cute take on a simple baby mobile. This craft project creates a happy, puffy cloud and its raindrops suspended below. Use bubble wrap and paints to bring your raincloud to life. Add strings of little puffy pieces painted blue for the rain.
Learn More: Red Ted Art
19. Shape Clouds Chart
Look up in the sky and find all sorts of pictures in the clouds. Print out or draw a chart with the shapes of a circle, square, triangle, heart, star, and rectangle. Reinforce learning the shapes by creating clouds within the shape with cotton balls and glue.
Learn More: HiMama Child Care App
20. Paper Plate Umbrella Craft
Oh, the many masterful crafts you can create with the simple, white, paper plate. Cut your plate in half for the umbrella. You and your toddler can paint them together and then compare. Add sequins, glitter, or pom-poms to embellish for that extra glam. Glue on a large wooden craft stick for the base and you have yourself a fun umbrella to grace the refrigerator.
Learn More: Sarah Bower, OTR/L
21. Cloud Writing
This sensory tray activity is a fun way for your preschooler to practice their letters. Use shaving cream to create a "cloud" on your tray and supply a raincloud picture of the letter. Your toddler will practice writing the letter in their raincloud. They can "erase" it with their fingers and try another letter.
Learn More: Turner Tots
22. Raindrops Letter Matching
It's a two-for-one! It's a craft for fine motor skill development and it's an alphabet activity to develop language skills too. Cut out raindrops from a piece of sticky craft foam. On a separate piece of paper, ask your preschooler to draw a rain cloud and then write the letters randomly below. Ask your preschooler to match the foam raindrop letters to the ones on the paper while practicing saying them aloud.
Learn More: Chanafavors
23. Drip Drop Rain
Sing along and get those little bodies moving and grooving with this fun video. Songs are fantastic for language development for toddlers as it teaches rhythm, meanings of words, and sounds. It is also fundamental for social-emotional learning and movement is great for motor development.
Learn More: Dance 'n Beats Lab
24. Rain Rain Go Away
Singing helps brain development as it becomes more efficient in processing pitch and timing with meaning. It also helps reinforce listening skills and develops focus and concentration.
Learn More: Peppa Pig Asia
25. Splashing in the Puddles
Don't be afraid of the rain, but put on some rain gear and get outside anyway! This fun puddle song will get your little one splashing in the puddles while developing language skills through rhythm and rhyme. If you want to move it indoors, cut out some "puddles" with blue construction paper and splash around with pretend play.
Learn More: Lets Play Kids Music
26. Weather Patterns
Develop vocabulary skills with weather pattern puzzles. Print out shapes for a sun, raincloud, rainbow, lightning, and raindrops. Have fun coloring them and then teach the weather cycle by asking your preschooler to put the shapes in order.
Learn More: Pinterest
27. Rain Chains
This visual activity is a fantastic way to practice early math skills. Create Rain clouds with a number in the center. Use two paper clip chains attached to the rain cloud. Each chain equals the number (5 paper clips = number 5). The two chains added together equals the total number on the cloud.
Learn More: Turner Tots
28. Counting Rain Sensory Bin
Set up this simple rain sensory bin with cotton balls, glass beads or marbles, and gold tinsel stems. Add in some raindrop counting cards and have your preschooler count out the number of glass beads to match the number on the card. Extend the activity by asking them to count out one less than the number on the card.
Learn More: Fantastic Fun And Learning
29. Feed Me Numbers Game
It is fun and motivational for young minds to feed something, so use this activity to reinforce number recognition while having a blast. Create a fluffy cloud shape using a shoebox and construction paper. Then make numbered raindrops to feed to your cloud.
Learn More: 7 Days Of Play
30. Fingerprint Math
Create clouds on a page with a number centered in the middle. Use a stamp pad with washable ink or simple fingerpaints and ask your toddler to put the number of fingerprint raindrops under each cloud. Count them out together to develop this critical early math skill.
Learn More: Fun Handprint Art Blog
31. Raindrop Counting Towers
This is a great activity for the little builder while developing counting skills. Use cloud pictures with raindrops. Ask your preschooler to count aloud the number of raindrops under the cloud, then build a tower using the same number of pieces with building blocks.
Learn More: Fun Learning For Kids
32. Bath Time Math Time
This is a new take on an old carnival game. Get a bundle of inexpensive ducks from Amazon. Write numbers on the bottom of them with waterproof markers. Throw the ducks in the bath and one-by-one look at the bottoms to recognize and say numbers aloud. Extend the activity by asking your preschooler what is one more added to that number.
Learn More: Amazon