Activities for Kids on Rainy Days
Activities for Kids on Rainy Days
Camping can be a lot of fun for kids, especially with so many activities like swimming, hiking, biking and fishing. But part of camping to take into consideration is the sometimes unpredictable weather. Yes, I am talking about rain! Every parent remembers what it’s like to be a kid on a camping trip in the pouring rain. You can’t go outside. You are stuck inside with nothing to do except whine and bicker and drive your parents up the wall!
This article contains a lot of fun ideas for things to do when you are stuck inside. Hopefully these ideas will give you just as good memories of your camping trip. You can even incorporate some of them when you get back home! Here we go:
Nature Crafts for Kids
Don’t get worried. These aren’t the crafts you did when you were away at summer camp and brought home key chains to your parents. These are fun crafts that will incorporate nature items and are not only fun, but will hopefully teach kids about nature!
A lot of the materials used for these crafts can be found on nature walks and smart parents will save those leaves and pine cones for just these situations. What seems like only twigs and leaves to most people can become just about anything with a child’s active imagination.
Here are just a few ideas that can transform any rainy day into a happy, fulfilling day:
Nature Walk Bracelet
This is probably the easiest one of all. Kids are always bringing back treasures from their walks and this project incorporates these materials into a pretty bracelet. All you need is electric tape, which now comes in many cool colors; plastic wrap; a hole punch and string, and of course your nature treasures.
STEP 1: Cut a piece of wide masking or colorful electrical tape to fit around the wrist, plus 1/2 inch more.
STEP 2: Wrap tape around child’s wrist, tacky side up, overlapping ends to secure. Press collected items onto tape.
STEP 3: Later, with sticky side up, fold both ends under a few times.
STEP 4: Lay plastic wrap over sticky part of bracelet, and trim excess.
STEP 5: With a small hole punch or needle, make a hole through ends; tie a 5-inch piece of string through each hole. This idea was taken from marthastewart.com
2. Homemade Terrarium: On those days when the kids can’t get out, they can still watch plants grow with this easy-to-make terrarium. Cover the bottom of a jar with gravel, and add 1/4 inch of ground charcoal. Mix 2 parts potting soil, 2 parts peat, and 1 part builder’s sand; add to jar. Dig small holes for small plants that they may have found on their walks. Spray completely with water before putting on lid. The terrarium should retain moisture, so re-watering won’t be necessary, but check the soil periodically to be safe. This idea was also taken from marthastewart.com.
Printed T-Shirts with a beach motif
This idea is a variation on a tie-dyed T-shirt and a lot less messy. Also, doing a beach motif will remind the kids that sunny days are ahead. The materials you will need are sea shells or starfish, or rubber stamps in those shapes if you don’t have the sea shells or starfish; sponge brush and fabric paint.
STEP 1: Cover your work surface with a few layers of old towels (for shells and sea stars) or with paper (for forms).
STEP 2: Brush fabric paint onto part or all of 1 object using a sponge brush.
STEP 3: Print shells and sea stars: Lay fabric flat; press object as if it were a rubber stamp. (Towels allow for some give, yielding a detailed impression.)
STEP 4: Print forms: Lay fabric on form; press with fingers. Remove fabric.
STEP 5: Let set according to paint manufacturers’ instructions. This idea was also taken from marthastewart.com.
This homemade bird feeder can be hung outside your camper, and can also be hung in your backyard when you get back home. The materials you will need are a piece of cardboard, peanut butter and birdseed.
From the cardboard, cut a large star with a circle inside. Poke a hole and add a loop of twine for hanging. Spread peanut butter on both sides of the star. Working over a rimmed baking sheet, coat the star with birdseed. The kids are sure to be delighted to see the variety of birds that are attracted to this simple feeder, bringing nature to them even when it is pouring rain out. This idea was taken from parents.com.
This is probably my favorite craft, as dragon flies are so cool and these look a lot like real dragon flies. The propeller-shaped seeds from maple trees form the wings of these delicate dragonflies. The materials you will need include maple tree seeds, twigs, tacky glue, glitter glue, and any beaded eyes.
For each, place four maple seeds on your work surface with their ends meeting as shown above. Add a drop of tacky glue to each end, then rest a 4-inch twig on top. Let the glue dry. (A hot glue gun can be used instead, if an adult helps.) Turn over the dragonfly and add a line of glitter glue to the edge of each wing. Attach two small glass bead eyes with glue. This idea was also taken from parents.com.
Other Indoor Activities
One thing people don’t realize is rainy weather can be a fun learning experience, especially for those kids who are budding weather forecasters or scientists. By simply asking questions, a lot of ideas and activities can develop from them.
Here are some questions you can ask your kids to make a game of the rainy weather. These ideas came from acacamps.org.
What do you know about rain? About weather generally? What else would you like to know? How can we find out?
- Name some things you can do with/in a puddle.
- Where does the drinking water we use in camp come from? How is it purified? Where does our waste water go? What would we have to do to find out?
- What are some things we could make inside today that we might use outside in the sunshine tomorrow?
- Is there something that needs cleaning that the rain might help us wash?
- Can we conduct the activity suggested without damaging the earth?
- What wildlife would we be more likely to see on a rainy day than on a sunny day? What might those animals be doing right now?
- If at this moment we were backpacking, how would we likely spend our rainy day? What could we have packed or could we be creating that might be making our trip more bearable?
For many parents, this game can be a lifesaver when all other ideas have run out.
Believe it or not, a rainy day does not mean you have to stay inside, especially if there is no thunder and lightning. This last idea, also taken from acacamps.org, encourages everyone to go out and play in the rain.
A rainy-day hike in the woods can give kids a new look at the environment. Before setting out on the hike, ask the kids to demonstrate the appropriate dress for rainy weather. Have a bag filled with various things, such as suntan lotion, sunglasses, swim mask, fins, and snorkel, umbrella, waders, rain boots with tread for safe hiking, rain poncho or coat, and a first-aid kit. As they pull items from the bag, ask them to tell you why some are appropriate and others are not. For example, an umbrella is not much good on a hike in the woods because you need both hands to climb and also the umbrella might get stuck in the branches and hurt someone or significantly slow you down.
Observing the differences
When kids are dressed for the hike, give each person a plastic bag containing a small notebook and pen. Tell them that the purpose of the hike is to look for things that look, feel, sound, or smell differently in the rain. Ask them to write down things they see along the way in their notebook or to make sketches of what they see. Also, remind them to check changes in the condition of the sky. When you return from the hike, have towels ready for campers to dry off. Then have campers share their observations. Can they imitate the sound of the rain, make up their own rain dance, or draw a picture of how rain makes them feel? Follow up by reading a book with a rain theme, such as A Rainy Day by Sandra Markle or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett.
So there you have it: craft projects and activities that will soon make the rainy day blues go away. Hopefully the rain won’t ruin the entire camping trip, and will even make for a more memorable camping experience.
Looking to go camping in Lake George NY? We welcome you to stay at Lake George Escape, a 5 star rated campground in the Adirondack Mountains in Lake George, NY. Give us a call at 800-327-3188 or book your reservation online!