10 Rainy Day Nature Activities for Kids
If you live in England then you’re no stranger to a bit of rain. Often people start the school holidays with great intentions of getting their children learning and engaging with nature, but that soon changes when the weather takes a turn for the worst. The rain doesn’t have to mean hours spent indoors staring at the television though!
Following on from my post of nature activities to do with kids I’m back with another list to keep you busy on the wet and rainy days.
Make Magic Wands
Whether you’ve got little fairies or wizards, there’s no shortage of imaginary fun that can be had once they’ve got their own wand to play with! Using twigs you’ve collected on your outside adventures. You can paint them, wrap them with string, glue on pressed flowers, add beads, glitter, and anything else you’ve got lying around!
If your children are older you can teach them some DIY skills by showing them how to whittle down and shape the wood or if you’re not quite ready to show them knife skills then even just sanding it down can help create a smoother wand. A wire is a great way to attach things like beads and crystals, and if you’ve got the tools you can always drill holes through the wand for them to attach things to!
Jump in Puddles
If you’re feeling up to braving the rain (it’s really not that bad once you get out in it!) then go puddle jumping. Sure, you’ll end up with some extra clothes to wash, but they’ll end up with memories that last a lifetime and a new appreciation for the wet weather that they’d never get sat inside staring at a screen.
Make Nature Impressions in Clay
Press flowers, leaves, seed heads etc. into air dry clay, homemade salt dough, or an oven-bake polymer clay if you want them to last a little longer (make sure you take control of the baking though, I don’t want to be responsible for burnt fingers!). If you make a hole in them they can also make great gift tags or jewellery, especially if you decide to paint them afterwards. Experiment with rolling pine cones and other objects across the clay to make repeating patterns. If you’re not bothered about keeping them you could also use PlayDoh or Plasticine.
Learn About Constellations
A great way to teach kids about the night sky is to punch out constellations from cardboard and then shine a light through them in a dark room, creating stars on the wall. A quick Google search will bring up plenty of star maps for you to print out if you don’t fancy drawing them out yourself, which you can then make holes in using a pencil or a needle. Turn out the lights and shine a torch through your new map and watch as stars light up the wall behind! You could also get the kids threading a string through the holes to draw out the constellations. Why not take it up a level by searching for glow in the dark string or adding glow in the dark paint over the stars?
Make a Nature Mobile
Make a + out of sticks tied together with string, then add things you’ve found on your walks like feathers and pinecones. You can add to this over time or complete it in a day… If an art journal isn’t your thing why not use this as an alternative collection of nature memories?
Start a Nature Journal or Scrapbook
This is great for keeping all the nature inspired art your kids do in one place as well as keeping track of what they learn on their adventures outside. I plan on doing another blog post or YouTube video on this topic in the future, but there’s no need to wait until then to start… The only limit is their imagination! Why not use it as a place to research more about their favourite animals and plants, or keep a log of what they’ve seen on their walks or out of the window on a rainy day.
Make Nature Paintbrushes
Making paintbrushes using things you’ve collected on your walks and experiment with mark making! This is a great way of sparking their creativity! Using string or elastic bands attach leaves, grasses, etc. to sticks, dip in paint, and enjoy! How many different kinds of marks can you make?
Animal or Garden Themed Yoga
If they’re stuck indoors because it’s raining then why not get them active by getting them to try out some nature themed yoga poses? A lot of them already have animal names (downward facing dog for example) so it’s easy to make them more fun by getting them to impersonate the animal noises etc. too. Squat down and pretend to be a frog, or stand up tall and act like a tree.
Make Art Using the Rain
This is a fun one to do on a rainy day. Cover a piece of paper in a water soluble paint or pen and then put it outside in the rain and watch how it changes! This can be great for making different patterns. Once it dries out you can use it as a background or stick it in your nature journal!
Create Homemade Bird Feeders
There’s a lot of different ways to do this, but the simplest is to grab some good quality bird seeds and suitable nuts (make sure you get the ones for birds, not the ones for human consumption as they often have salt and other additives), some lard, and an old yoghurt pot. Carefully make a small hole in the bottom of the yoghurt pot that you can attach some ribbon to. Cut the lard into small pieces then warm it up to room temperature, before mixing in the other ingredients. Squidge it into the yoghurt pots and hang outside!
Got any other suggestions? Let everyone know in the comments!
I’ll be creating more lists like this over time and I’d love to hear what you’d like on the blog! What free printables would interest you most? Would you like step by step instructions or more information about any of these activities? The more fun ways we can get the future generation to appreciate and look after the natural world the better so make sure to let me know what you want to see!