You've planned and gathered supplies for all kinds of outdoor activities and then- POOF- it rains! Now what???
Some of the activities will work just fine indoors, but what about that activity where the kids are going to use buckets of water and paintbrushes and paint the building or the sidewalk? So much for that gross motor activity!
And what about the messy, messy, beyond messy art activity that you wanted to do outside?
Well, planning for rainy days will help you to be prepared! Write up 2 detailed activities for each interest center that you will ONLY use on rainy days. Gather the items ahead of time and put them in a Rainy Day Box.
When it rains, you will have everything ready and at your fingertips with a back up plan! Below are some ideas to get you started.
For more information on how to pre-plan for rainy days before the rain even starts, read the article on planning for Rainy Days by clicking the link below:
Materials to gather in advance in your Rainy Day Box: Glue, scissors, scrap paper, AND--you know those odds and ends and leftover pieces of Art/Craft supplies you don't know what to do with or what to use them for? Put them in a box. The children have GREAT ideas!
You can keep it themed, such as suggesting to the children that they Create A BUG for your Bug theme; Create a Pet; Create an Alien!
Do you have ice cubes in the freezer at all times? Well, make some for a rainy day! Fill ice cube trays with colored water. You can mix the water with paint or food coloring. Or, just make plain ice cubes with no color. Cover with aluminum foil. Insert a craft stick into each cube section. Freeze. Label "Ice Cubes for a Rainy Day" so that they are not used by others!
Materials to gather in advance in your Rainy Day Box: paper; powdered paint, jello or Kool-aid (if making clear ice cubes).
On a rainy day, take them out and let the children paint with the colored cubes.
Or, sprinkle jello, Kool-aid or powered tempera paint on paper and let the children paint using clear ice cubes on a stick.
EASEL RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES
Materials to gather in advance in your Rainy Day Box: small, spray bottles, food coloring, paper
Clip paper on your easel. Fill each bottle with water and add lots of food coloring.
On those nice days that you are outside, you may see some great fallen branches or smaller twigs with leaves or leaves! Gather them and place them in a clear, Ziploc baggie and place in your Rainy Day Box!
Materials to gather in advance in your Rainy Day Box: branches/leaves, small bottles of different colors of paint
If it rained and you can't paint outdoors, you are bringing the outdoors IN to paint with!
SENSORY TABLE RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES
Materials to gather in advance in your Rainy Day Box: small container of dish detergent, towels, paper towels
This activity gets your children completely involved in maintaining their classroom cleanliness! They will BEG to do this activity every time it rains!
Choose some toys or classroom materials that could use a good bath! Some suggestions are your baby dolls; dishes and cups from housekeeping; table top blocks; sorters/counters
Place warm water and a few drops of dish detergent. Swish it to make bubbles and off they go!
Glow in the Dark Flubber!
Materials to gather in advance in your Rainy Day Box: Borax (a few teaspoons in a small sealed baggie); teaspoon measurer; clear or white glue (4-8 ounces); 1/2 cup measuring cup; Glow Powder 1/2 tablespoon (optional); Glow in the dark paint
Food Coloring few drops (optional); whisk
To make this, work with the kids to do the following :
Mix 1 teaspoon of borax with 1 cup of warm water.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of the glow powder to the mixture. Or, use 1/2 tablespoon of glow in the dark paint.
Mix for 30 seconds or so with a whisk. The glow powder does not all dissolve, so don't worry--you will find some at the bottom of the bowl!
In a different bowl, pour 4 ounces of glue in. Now fill glue bottle with water and shake to get all the glue out! Add to the glue. Add more water until you have added 1 cup of water.
Mix with a whisk until well mixed.
Add food coloring if desired (a few drops of green and the same number of drops of yellow look cool!)
Add the borax/water solution to the glue.
Mix with your hands....it will form into flubber almost immediately!
Pour out the excess liquid and enjoy!
Variation: Instead of adding the food coloring to the glue, try waiting until you add the borax/water solution to the glue. It will look very cool if added at this step!
SCIENCE RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES
Rocks and Mud
Materials to gather in advance in your Rainy Day Box: Rocks; metal spoons; scoopers
So, it's pouring rain out, correct? Go outside and get some of that awesome mud and bring it into your sensory table! Add the rocks and let them make mud-pies and find rocks!
Yes, this is messy and Yes, this is fun! Just put a tarp under the table and perhaps a bin with warm water for them to swish the mud off before they go and wash their hands in the sink!
Materials to gather in advance in your Rainy Day Box: Clear cups (many!); pipettes, food coloring or many small containers of paint of various colors.
Line up 8 clear cups. Fill half way with water. Place drops of food coloring or paint in each and mix.
Give each child their own clear cup and a pipette.
Let them discover what colors they can come up with!
Suggestion: Have a bin or bowl nearby for them to empty their cups into and let them start over!
GROSS MOTOR RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES
Materials to gather in advance in your Rainy Day Box: If you don't have hula hoops available to you, have jump ropes!
Place several hula hoops out. If you don't have them, shape jump ropes into large circle shapes on the floor.
Play music and have the children dance AROUND (but not IN) the hoops or circles. When the music stops, they need to all stand inside the hoop or circle by the count of 5. More than 1 person can be inside a hoop!
After playing a few times, remove a hoop or circle. Play more.
Continue until you only have one hoop or circle and they all have to help each other stand inside!
Find The Frog
Hide plastic frogs (or other counters/sorters) in the classroom for the children to find. If you have older children, try just hiding a few and have them search in teams!
MANIPULATIVES RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES
What is THIS?!!
Materials to gather in advance in your Rainy Day Box: lots of toothpicks, modeling clay, googly eyes
Let the children create using these materials! Don't instruct them, just let them go at it!
Materials to gather in advance in your Rainy Day Box: Many materials you have extra of! Such as colored pasta, beads, plastic chips, etc.; muffin tins and/or bowls; tongs and spoons
Just put these materials out and let them sort, name, classify, count, etc. in ways they can come up with!
Hey there! Welcome to Preschool Plan It! I’m Cheryl, a preschool teacher of over 20 years.
I KNOW, I know, you spend hours of time developing your preschool themes, activities and preschool lesson plans each week. You are commited to planning preschool themes and activities that are engaging hands-on, interactive, fun AND meet the goal of supporting each child’s level of growth and development.
I am commited to providing you, the preschool teacher, with everything you need to develop preschool lesson plans and preschool activities for your classroom all in one place!
You’ll receive a weekly email with planning tips and teaching ideas. You'll also receive (on the 1st of each month) a free theme starter pack with some printables and activity ideas to get you started planning a theme!