14 Fun OUTDOOR Rainy Day Play Activities for Kids (Toddlers Too!!) (2023)

by Stacy Bressler

I know that MOST rainy day activities you’ll find are all about staying indoors.. but this time, we’re going to talk about how to have OUTDOORs in the rain!

Now, it’s no secret that I tend to be a “fair weather camper” as my friend once put it (afterall, I did just put out a sweet list of things to do inside during it rains!) but there’s something to be said for finding ways to make lemonade out of lemons.. or in this case, actually finding fun things to do in the rain.

My son and I were gifted an awesome raincoat from my husbands cousin which has really helped our rain experiences, so I hope that you’ll find a good coat (or in a pinch, a poncho or even a bag with a hole in it!) and enjoy some of these awesome rainy day outdoor kids activities!

P.S. I have a super cute free printable RAINY DAY scavenger hunt for you to download at the end!

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1. Paint with the mud

Use a paintbrush, stick, or whatever other methods you can find (including hands!) and get a bowl of mud paint – aka a bowl of mud! Then give your kids a piece of paper, or just let them paint the trees, porch and anything else they can find using the mud paint!

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2. Give some animals a mud bath, then clean them off!

Using a bowl of mud or a really awesome mudpit, give some plastic animals a mud bath! My guy preferred to use his paint brush and paint the animals muddy… and then of course clean them in the rain!

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3. Make a boat and decorate it!

Cut off a small one inch section of pool noodle and then decorate it! Put some sticks in the foam and attatch leaves and flowers for “sails”. See who can blow their boat across the puddle the fastest!

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4. Leapfrog to the puddles

For those who really want to enjoy the splashing, try to jump from puddle to puddle! This might only work on really rainy days, but it’s kind of fun pretending the ground is lava and the puddles are safety!

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5. Use a syringe or turkey baster to transfer water from the puddles

Small things like syringes (like the kind you get from kids Tylenol bottles, not the pokey kind of course!) and turkey basters are a fun way to transfer water from super shallow areas that a cup couldn’t get to! It also gets to be quite the hand work out so is great for some fine motor skills!

6. Make rain art!

Get a paper towel and decorate it with markers, then just set it out in the rain!

My guy wanted to do this one over and over “Let’s see what the rain does to it!” he’d say as he tried out a new design! He eventually was so intrigued he just put a plain paper towel out to watch the rain drops hit it!

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7. Save the worms! (and other stranded bugs!)

Worms tend to try to avoid the water by going to dangerous dry places like roads and such, or sometimes they just end up floating on top of the deeper puddles. Encourage your kiddo to let you know (or if they’re old enough, do it themselves!) when they see a bug or worm who needs help, and show them how to safely move it to a safe spot!

I am an absolute bleeding heart when it comes to animals and bugs, so I hope to pass along the compassion for every life (no matter how small!) by encouraging my kiddo to move worms and other bugs that get displaced by the rain!

8. Create rain soup!

This is a staple no matter where we go – sensory soup! We normally just fill up a bucket and the kids can add whatever nature items they find, however with rain, it makes it even more fun! Ask you kiddo to collect “fresh water” as my son calls it and find some nature goodies to mix in!

See alsoMountain Footprint Craft for Kids!
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9. Build a bridge across a deep puddle

Gather some nearby rocks and sticks to make a bridge across a puddle for their toys to walk over! Your kiddo might need help depending on their age, but it’s a fun time to talk about things that sink or float, and how to use the materials the right way to build a mini bridge!

10. Make a mudpie

I’m sure you know this, but do you know how much fun a kid can have with this simple idea? I could probably not even mention ANY other ideas besides this and your kiddo would be happy during the whole rain storm!

If you have some to spare, get some bowls and spoons, then ask them to make a mud pie1

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11. Observe the types of leaves that collect the raindrops (and talk about why!)

This is probably more interesting for the big kids (….like me!) but it’s fun to talk about which kind of plans “funnel” the rain drops, and comparing those leaf designs to other plants!

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12. See who can make the best muddy footprint

If shoes are on, this will still work! See who can find the best texture of mud – not too runny, but also in the right kind of dirt – and see who can create the darkest, most detailed mud print! It’s interesting to experiment with different kinds of mud!

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13. Collect rainwater in various containers

The fun of this one was looking around and seeing where the water was collecting and funneling down. He ended up loving our gutter drain as it was lots of water easy!

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14. And of course… catch some rain in your mouth!

I STILL do this, and I’m 29 years old! The simple joy of feeling the rain drops hit your tongue is always so fun!

See alsoFun Printable S'more Camping Game (That Even Toddlers Can Play!)
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Here’s a free printable rainy day outdoor scavenger hunt to get your kids excited to go out!

Not going to lie, I was skeptical at first of how much you could really do in the rain… but it’s actually sort of magical! And even if I hated it, it would have been worth it to see the joy in my son’s eyes when I said I was going to come out and play in the rain with him! We stayed up past his nap (while his sisters were sleeping!) for some awesome rain play!

Click this link to be taken to the PDF of this Rainy Day Scavenger Hunt so you can download one for yourself!

Check out these other fun things to do with your kids outdoors!

  • Learn how to camp with your toddler and not spend the whole trip chasing them around!
  • Check out 53+ camping themed crafts that will get you excited to get out and about this season!
  • If you love nature play, then you’ll love these sensory soup and rock rescue ideas… that are pretty much hands off for you!
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Stacy Bressler

Stacy Bressler is an avid outdoorswoman, wife, and mother of three who lives in Jackson, Wyoming. She loves all things camping and enjoys sharing helpful tips, fun activities and laughable learning experiences she finds along the way! Navigating the outdoor life through the lens of humor and positivity, she chronicles it all on her website "The Crazy Outdoor Mama"

Latest posts by Stacy Bressler (see all)

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