I’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:
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!)
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.