Rainy Day Drawing Fun

Rainy day painting | SimpleKids.netI’m so pleased to welcome Melissa Camara Wilkins as a guest poster.  Enjoy! – Kara

We love rainy days. Six kids and one mama all wearing thick socks, sipping hot chocolate, listening to the tap-tap-tapping of rain on the skylight. It’s charming… until it’s been going on for three days in a row, we haven’t set foot outdoors, and we’re starting to go a little stir-crazy.

That’s when we know it’s time to break out our best rainy day activity ideas. Here’s one of our favorites:

Rainy day painting | SimpleKids.net

Large-scale drawing

Coloring on big, huge pieces of paper feels so different than working with our usual 8.5×11” sheets—we can use sweeping arm motions, we can dream bigger, we can collaborate more easily.

For a quick, large canvas, we turn to paper grocery bags. If you don’t have any on hand because you always remember your reusable bags (good job!), consider foregoing the totes for just one grocery run and asking for paper. Otherwise, craft stores often stock rolls of kraft paper that will work, too.

For grocery bags:

1. Cut the bag open along one seam, from top to bottom.
2. Cut the bottom off the bag entirely.
3. Carefully tear off handles, if your bags have any.

You should be left with a large rectangle. Repeat with as many bags as you’d like.

Get to work (or play!)

We like to cover our living room floor with paper bags and create giant collaborative art projects. If you don’t have hard floors, you could cover the kitchen table.

Painter’s tape helps to hold things down without leaving tape marks on the floor. (But do check to see if it’s compatible with your surfaces before going all out!)

Rainy Day Fun |SimpleKids.net

More fun to try

When you’re ready to change things up, you could:

– Trace the outline of your child’s body, so they can fill in the details.
– Encourage your kiddo to draw the biggest thing they can think of. (I love to see what they imagine!)
– Turn your papers into a map of your neighborhood, or an underwater scene, or draw a skyline to fill in.
– Introduce new drawing materials. Crayons, colored pencils, oil pastels, chalk, and markers are all fun. Just make sure your markers don’t bleed through the paper—we don’t want to leave rainy day graffiti all over your house. That’s an entirely different sort of activity.

What are your favorite rainy day play ideas?

Melissa Camara Wilkins has six kids and lives in Southern California. She believes that life is funny, that motherhood is pretty cool but also very messy, and that sleep is something other people get to do. She blogs about family life, DIY projects, and activities for kids.

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

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  1. Thanks so much for having me, Kara! 🙂
    Melissa Camara Wilkins´s latest post: About our lifestyle of learning

  2. We love huge paper projects, too! Lately the snow has kept us housebound – we’ve used big papers to make maps of imaginary places and, an oldie-but-goodie – trace our bodies and draw all over ourselves. Always tickly and engrossing! 🙂
    Robin from Frugal Family Times´s latest post: Family Time Reboot: Winter Tech Getaway

  3. Love this reminder to go big! We love pastels for big projects. They move so easily along the paper and the colors are so vibrant!!

  4. Seeing your baby there on the floor right along with the big kids makes me think I can probably do this activity with my one-year-old twins. I’ve been careful not to leave crayons lying around in case they pick them up, but come to think of it, it’s about time they hold one and see if they can make marks on paper. It’d be hard to get them to do so on a letter-sized paper, like you said, but the paper bag idea would be awesome. I don’t have any paper bags on me right now, but the minute I do, I’ll do this activity 🙂
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    • That will be so fun! Evelyn (in the photo) is eleven months old, and she seems to think crawling-and-crayoning are a pretty good combination.

      Isn’t it funny how fast they grow, so that one day we realize we want them to START trying all the things we wanted them to STOP trying six months ago?! I always love that. 😀
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  5. Oooh, I love rainy day projects.
    Paper bag puppets
    Window crayons
    Flour on baking sheets as snow storm for matchbox cars and trucks, spoon to scoop it into muffin tins
    Colored water and eye droppers, lots of empty bowls
    Balloon volleyball
    Caution tape limbo (never too young to question authority)
    Bean bag toss
    Make the beds with a long flap-the-sheet–over-kids segment
    Fairy house construction and decoration
    And when it dries out, we do large scale painting with feet. Outside. Because come on.
    Enjoy your rainy days!
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