25 Fun Rainy Day Activities

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“Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down” as The Carpenters once sang.  Well, for me they are half right.  The latter part on Mondays definitely gets me down!  I used to dread Rainy Days because that meant we weren’t able to get outside to release some of that bundled-up energy, however lately with these 25 fun rainy-day activities, my mind has shifted a bit.  

There are tons of items on this fun list that works well not only in the rain but also on sunny days too!  However, let’s face it…rainy days are dark and gloomy.  What better way to bring in some light than with fun, engaging, often hands-on activities to bring some sunshine to those rainy days!  I love #8, #9, and #13. I cannot wait to hear which ones are your favorites!

1 – Write the Room Activities

I feel like if you have ever read any blog of mine you will find two common themes… movement and social-emotional learning.  Well not to ruin anything, SURPRISE… you will be getting them AGAIN!  I am opening up with one of my favorite movement activities and closing this blog with my favorite social-emotional learning activity.

Write the Room has been my go-to activity all throughout Covid, rain, snow, wiggles, and more.  It is the true activity that fits every situation.  Allow students to work at their own pace with clipboards (aff) around the room. This resource from Education to the Core, not only has Kindergarten options as well as a First Grade set but also focuses on numerous ELA and Math topics!

2 – Flashlight Reading

What is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of a dark, gloomy, rainy day?  FLASHLIGHT READING!  It is already dark and cloudy outside, so I don’t have to shut the shades on our windows to try to make it dark.   Any reason to keep the lamps turned on in our room and bring the flashlights out – the students are all about it!

My students love to read in the dark!  Sometimes we read whole group together, but sometimes split up in pairs for students to read to each other with their flashlights (aff) leading the way!

3 – Directed Drawings

Raindrops falling down that window?  Don’t see that rainbow outside yet…draw one instead!  If a rainbow isn’t for your class this unit or week..guess what?  You have hundreds of other images to choose from!  Yes, I did say HUNDREDS of others!  With Volume 1 and Volume 2, students will love the easy-to-follow directions on how to draw an image.  Educators will love that it also comes with space to write as well as vocabulary and grammar options for each picture.  Not sold yet?  Don’t just take my word for it, there are 10 Reasons to Try Directed Drawings in Your Primary Classroom!

4 – Play Board Games

One thing I have noticed in our Fearless First Grade, Fearless Kindergarten, and Fearless Second Grade Teacher Groups on Facebook is the interest in “old-school” board games.  You know the ones I’m talking about!  It is a flash from my past because I grew up with them as a kid (totally not age-ing myself though!)  Games (aff) like CandyLandChutes and LaddersTroubleConnectFour, and more!  Educators are now altering the rules of these games a bit to make them even more academic in nature!  These educators are writing sight words on the CandyLand cards or real/nonsense words on the blocks in Chutes and Ladders.  Let your imagination run wild with these games, or just let your students work on their Social-Emotional Learning skills the old-fashioned rules way!

5 – No Prep Centers

Are your students driving each other nuts while stuck inside on a rainy day?  Perhaps they need their own space to work on individual tasks with their own materials?  Don’t stress out because these are easy, no prep centers!  No extra cutting, laminating, organizing!  These are so popular and such a student favorite that we keep adding to these centers!  Be sure to check out some of the newest centers below!

Print the activity mats you need that week, add in the manipulative, and be done!

6 – Virtual Field Trips

Don’t get wet running to the bus through the raindrops!  Take an impromptu adventure together.  Here is a great list of Amazing Virtual Field Trips for Primary Students. No bus ride or family permission slips are required!

7 – Transformation Stations

If you don’t have these Transformation Stations yet, run to get them!  Allow your students’ creativity to shine on the darkest of rainy days.  With 90+ pages of creative designs and guided instructions, your kids will think outside of the box in no time! Just hit print and let their cleverness burst through.

8 – Indoor Beach Party

Are Summer plans in your mind yet? Me too!  So let’s plan an indoor beach party!  You can plan some fun ‘beachy’ snacks.  Consider even bringing in an inflated pool (aff) or palm trees (aff) to fulfill the beach fantasy!  I love a good theme and like to bring in some odd materials to write with or in.  Consider filling some trays with sand (aff) during your beach party.  Your students can practice their spelling words, sight words, phonics, and more by writing in the sand.  This idea pairs so well with #4 in 13 Fun Ways to Get Reluctant Writers Writing!

9 – I Spy Activities

“I Spy, with my little eye”….something that is fun and engaging!  I Spy Math and I Spy Phonics is both the perfect rainy day activity.  These I Spy resources have built-in differentiation, flexibility, and comprehensive. Strengthen your students’ visual discrimination, while building their attention and focus while staying indoors on a rainy day.

10 – Guided Movement and Breathing Breaks

Guided movement breaks are literally my jam.  My students love to learn different yoga poses. My students LOVE to try animal poses or even Superhero poses!  Be sure to check out the blog on how to Focus and Reduce Stress with 30 Breathing Exercises for some great ideas to relax, focus and even energize!

11 – Spring Color By Number

This resource includes 20 ELA and Math color by code pages in two grade spans.  With a Kindergarten through First Grade and a Second through Third Grade option for you to choose from.  Educators can easily meet the differentiated needs of all your students. Make your spring a breeze with these no prep spring color by code pages!  Students won’t even notice that the rain stopped outside when they are so engaged with these color by number resources!

12 – Play Dough Day

Remember #8 above?  I love a theme day and here is a super easy one for you to plan with me.  A Play-Dough Day!!  Start off with this great Neon Glitter Play Dough Recipe that you and your students can make together.  Afterward, you can use this playdough to form letters of the alphabet. Spell their next set of spelling words.  Use it as manipulatives to solve math problems.  You can even use it to let your imagination roam and write about your creation!

13 – STEM Challenges

If you haven’t read my blog: STEM Challenges in the Primary Classroom, then you haven’t heard about my epiphany on STEM challenges!  Lately, I have been obsessed with these challenges and so have my students.  I LOVE incorporating a book into any lesson!  Once I plan a lesson I am looking to pair it with a text.  Wait, a second… ETTC’s STEM Challenge Stories does this already?!?  I’m fully in.  I took the plunge.  Quite literally a plunge, because my students and I completed the STEM challenge: “A Boat That Floats”.  There are so many more challenges I am waiting to fit into my schedule, that I am hoping for a rainy day soon!

14 – Dance Party

You’d be surprised how many songs from the 80s and 90s your students will know!  Toss on your favorite mix of jams and have a dance party!  Let that rain pinging off of the window act as your rhythm to get students tapping on their desks while you set up the “DJ Booth”.  If you don’t have the energy to create your own playlist, just type in “80s classroom dance music-clean” or any type of music you want with the words clean and classroom on YouTube.  Pre-made lists are already populated for you!   As a heads up, you will have to keep an eye out for ads that may or may not be appropriate for your classroom.  Want to take it a step further?  Try out some black lights or strobe lights to make the dance party even more fun!

15 – File Folder Games

Are you looking for some fun hands-on activities to complete for your rainy day?  In a digital world, ETTC still focuses on hands-on activities alongside those digital moments! Students learn through play and they often need a lot of repetition and practice on many of these skills.  File Folder games provide that practice and repetition.  With 35 ELA Games and 39 Math Games, you will be sure to find something to meet the needs of ALL your students!  See??… this rainy day isn’t a complete washout!

16 – Indoor Obstacle Course

You can make an indoor obstacle course that is as simple or elaborate as you wish it to be.  All you need is a ball of yarn and some furniture.  I just tied one end of the yarn to a table leg and created a large web back and forth between all of the furniture in my classroom.  I did an entire unit on spiders and at the end of the unit, I had an activity where students needed to enter the spider web to grab a fact to place on the appropriate column of the chart.  They absolutely ate it up!  If this isn’t for you and your students, don’t skip over this idea just yet.  You can borrow some items from your physical education teacher!  Borrow some hula hoops, cones, pads, etc., and create an indoor obstacle course in your classroom or hallway.  Have students follow oral directions to complete various tasks.

17 – Flip Book Activities

Another great resource that Education to the Core has… or should I say resources are Flip Books!  With a variety of topics, students will be able to create their own flipbooks they can bring home to show off to their families!  What a way to review and practice skills than for students to be proud of something they could make themselves!

18 – Create Your Own Sensory Bins

Here is a great activity to keep little hands busy on rainy days!  Sensory bins are surprisingly easy, and fun to make, and kids love them! The best thing about creating your own sensory bins is that you can grab some random objects beforehand or find things around the classroom.  Fill the sensory bins (aff) with beans, rice, play sand, and anything else you can find. I like to add letter cubes or beads as well as other small objects for students to find. Hair gel in a ziplock bag with glitter and beads is also fun to make too!  Be sure to tape up the ziplock bag so nothing is “accidentally” opened!

19 – Weather and Seasons Unit

Mailpersons aren’t the only ones working through “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night”.  Let’s cover ALL the weather and seasons with this amazing unit!  With over 50 adventurous activities included in this unit, you will be amazed at all the cross-curricular items inside.  My students were amazed at the Make Your Own Cloud science experiment, and I am waiting for the next rainy day to have my students Build Their Own Rain Gauge!

20 – Indoor Scavenger Hunt

You may have conducted an Outdoor Nature Scavenger Hunt before.  Did you ever think about doing one inside of your classroom?  Students can work together in pairs, small teams, or even individually.   I like to conduct indoor scavenger hunts like #1 on this list of Write the Room.  Grab a clipboard, safely and slowly work your way around the room.

21  – Interactive Notebooks

#17 inspired me to include these resources on this list as well.  I have a small confession to make.  I LOVE interactive notebooks that I use throughout the entire year…not just on rainy days!  Shhhh!  However, I wanted to include this because it truly is a great rainy day activity as well as a sunny day.  Phonics Interactive Notebooks and Grammar Interactive Notebooks offer a hands-on activity to reinforce a taught skill.  Here is another great resource for students to show off to their families as well as an opportunity to continue to reinforce those skills. It is definitely worth students having their own notebooks to add each activity in one notebook throughout the year.

22 – Reader’s Theatre

How do Reader’s Theatre and Rainy Days go together?  Why not?!?  Reader’s Theatre is a great activity and can be super fun for students. I would like to preface this activity with truly knowing your students.  Reader’s Theatre may not be for everyone; some students may experience anxiety and the thought of reading in front of a group may be intimidating for them.  Others may shine and love the opportunity to show off their acting skills!  Either way on this next fun rainy day, students can extend their scripts into other theatre aspects!  Consider allowing students to design their own costumes.  Have large rolls of paper for bulletin boards in your school?  Grab a roll and let students draw and design the backdrop of their play.  What better way to work on character development than by adding some special theatrical elements!

23 – I Have, Who Has Games

I Have, Who Has Games are a great way to get your students focused and engaged during these upcoming rainy days.  Practice new skills or review old ones.  45 skills are covered with this great resource and your students will have a fun whole-class or small group game to pass by those spring showers!  This is an interactive activity that is sure to bring smiles to everyone’s face.  You’ll have a bigger smile on your face because these are easy prep and ensure improving students’ listening skills!

24 – Play In The Rain

I’ve always felt a little jealous of educators that can take their classes out in any type of weather.  Whether it is snowy and you bundle up or rainy and you wear your rain boots – they are out playing in it.  Unfortunately, I am not part of that crowd.  Our district has some limitations and guidelines set in regards to weather, where they frown on taking students outside in the rain.  We also have temperature limits where we cannot have students out if it is colder than a certain degree.  However, there are definitely schools out there that you can be out in whatever.  So if that is you… grab those rain boots, and umbrellas and get outside to play and dance in the rain!

25 – Social-Emotional Learning

As I stated at the beginning of this blog, there are two passions of mine.  Movement and Social-Emotional Learning.  You read the movement aspect in #1 and others, now let’s close with the SEL side of things.  ETTC has a yearlong SEL resource for K-2 and 3-5.  This resource covers the scope and sequence in pillars of Self Awareness, Social Awareness, Responsible Decision Making, Self Management, Relationship Skills, and Growth Mindset.  Start each day off with a student slide that has daily check-ins, mindful moments, and other fun activities.  The educator’s guides have conversation cards, cross-curricular activities, book lists, read-alouds, hands-on activities, and printables.  This resource has it all and covers such an important topic and skill set for all students.

On a rainy day, I LOVE to bring out the parachute!  Work on some self-control/impulse skills during indoor recess by tossing some light balls into the middle of the parachute.  Have your students follow directions by lightly shaking the parachute so that the balls don’t fly off.  Other impulse-control games you can find in this pillar are red light/green light, musical chairs, and even some math and reading games are included in the educator’s guide as well!  That is just one category in one pillar!

Don’t let the rain get your down!  Keep your head up high and “the sun will come out tomorrow”.  Which activities from this list are you going to be bringing into your classroom making those rainy days fun again?  What are the go-to rainy day activities that you like to do with your students?  Be sure to share them with us in the comments below!

Written By – Christopher Olson

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Welcome! I’m Emily, Founder of Education to the Core. We are all about helping K-2 teachers by providing unlimited access to affordable printables for every subject area.