Fun Game Ideas for Rainy Day Play

Wet weather day? Head outside anyway!

kids playing in the rain

Tim Hall / Digital Vision / Getty Images

For most families, a rainy day means being cooped up inside, quiet activities like watching movies, playing video games, making puzzles, or reading a book. But just because it's wet outside doesn't mean you have to spend your day indoors. With some creativity, you can turn a little rain into a lot of fun.

Staying Active on Rainy Days

Study after study has shown that kids do not get enough physical activity. A preschooler (a child between ages 3 and 5) needs to move around throughout the day to help develop growth, motor function, and cognitive skills. On a sunny day, it's easy to head outside for some active fun, but what about when the weather isn't so great?

Fun Rainy Day Games and Outdoor Activities

While you can certainly find plenty of games for inside play, if it's just raining, consider putting on your rain boots and raincoat and heading outside. You can make the most out of the wet weather with these rainy day games that'll keep your preschooler—and you—happy, active, and engaged.

  1. Catch raindrops on your tongue, hands, and feet.
  2. Blow bubbles. Who can make the biggest one?
  3. A rainy day is perfect for looking for worms as they move up to the surface of the earth. How many can you find? Will your preschooler touch one? Will you?
  4. Follow the rain when it falls on the ground. Where does it flow to? Down the street? To a drain?
  5. Take a look at the earth: the dirt, the sand, the grass. How does the rain change these things?
  6. Don't just jump in the puddles; skip, hop, run, gallop, or walk through them. Who can make the biggest splash?
  7. Embrace the wetness and turn on your sprinklers or set up your kiddie pools to play in.
  8. Measure the rainfall by putting out a cup and see how much you can catch. Let everyone guess how much they think will be in the cup by the time the rain stops.
  9. Frogs, ducks, fish, and other animals are always outside in the rain. Pretend to be one of these wet-weather friends.
  10. Try playing some of your preschooler's favorite sports. How does the rain change how the ball moves?
  11. Go for a walk in your neighborhood and ask your preschooler to tell you about how the rain makes things look different. Also, what is the same?
  12. If there are puddles, toss rocks into them. Who can make the biggest ripple? What size rock makes the loudest sound?
  13. Listen to the rhythm that the rain makes and have a dance contest. Give a prize to the person who comes up with the silliest rain dance.
  14. If you don't mind tearing up your yard a little, let your preschooler slide in the wet grass.
  15. Instead of jumping in the puddles, try jumping over them.
  16. Live near a hill? Find a moving stream of water and race sticks.
  17. Take some inspiration from Gene Kelly and sing in the rain. Pick songs that mention rain, from "Itsy Bitsy Spider" to "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" and "Rain, Rain Go Away" to "Umbrella."
  18. Look for animal tracks in the mud. Try to guess which animal made the tracks.
  19. If it's warm enough, go outside in your bathing suits and bring some bathtub crayons with you. Who can draw the silliest things on themselves?
  20. Got a waterproof camera? Take some candids.
  21. If it's raining really hard, wash your hair. (This one is sure to make your preschooler laugh hard.)
  22. Bring out some washable paints and paper and let the rain make a masterpiece.
  23. Set up a wet-weather obstacle course. (Be careful, it will be slippery!)
  24. Make mud pies or sandcastles, depending on your soil type.
  25. When the storm has passed, be sure to look for a rainbow.

Precautions for Playing Rainy Day Games

While you won't melt away in the rain, you do want to take precautions against hypothermia as you will cool down significantly if your clothes get wet, especially if there's wind. Be aware of signs of shivering, clumsiness, and confusion and limit your time outside in wet clothes. Once inside, change into dry clothes and warm up.

Also, be alert to reduced visibility for traffic and take precautions, including wearing reflective clothing or blinking lights when you're walking or biking outside in the rain.

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