Little Squirrels: outdoor play for rainy days

Most rainy day activities are cosy things to do indoors but today we wanted to do something a bit different and suggest some easy ideas to do outside when it’s raining.

As we all know, getting outdoors, even when the weather is grotty, is hugely important for our wellbeing and for building our connection with nature, but it can be hard to find the motivation when it’s raining! We hope these activities help get you in your wellies and out of the door. 

A wet weather scavenger hunt

Make yourself a list and head out of the door to see how many rainy day things you can spot. Here are some of our ideas of things to hunt for:


  • Something floating in a puddle
  • A puddle too big to jump over
  • A worm
  • A bit of blue sky
  • Mud! 
  • A reflection
  • The sound of dripping
  • Rain collecting in a leaf or flower
  • Someone with yellow wellies
  • A puddle too deep to wade through
  • An umbrella
  • A footprint
  • A rainbow
A six year old wading in a huge puddle
Painting with raindrops

There are a few ways to do this depending on what materials you have available, but the general idea is to create some artwork – a picture or pattern – then pop your creation outside to let the rain blend the colours and create unique effects. 


What to draw with: Most water-soluble art materials will work – try watercolour pencils, inks, felt-tips, liquid water colours, water soluble pastels, powder paint, or water-based paints (thicker ones work better). 


What to draw on: Use card, thick paper, or crap fabric as thinner paper tends to fall apart when it gets wet! You can also use coffee filters if you have them


How to do it: Draw all over your paper, card or fabric and lay it flat on a tray out in the rain. Check on it regularly and bring it in to dry once you’re happy with the effect. Or, put all your colours at the top of your sheet and pin it up on a washing line or fence to watch the colours trickle down. 

Colourful watercolour paint mixing together
Green and purple watercolours
A green blue and purple dyed fabric

A few more tips:


  • Try combining colours that won’t run – such as oil pastels or wax crayons – with ones that will to see what effects you can produce. This technique would work well if you were drawing something like a cloud and raindrops, a jellyfish, and or a tree.
  • Try and overlap some of your colours to see how they blend and mix. 
  • Colours will behave differently on different papers, cards and fabrics so experiment with whatever you can find around the house. 
  • Once your rain painting are dry you and draw or paint on top of them – they make great backgrounds for landscapes and under the sea scenes. You could also cut them up to use for collage. 


Float a twiggy boat

Designing, building, and sailing little homemade boats is so satisfying! You’ll need:



Large leaves

Natural string or wire

Optional: Pieces of bark, flowers for decoration, little people (such as lego people) to sail on the boats. 

Start by gathering your materials and chatting about how to make the boats so that they float. 


Make the body of the boat. You can either tie or wire sticks together in a flat raft or in a bundle, or use a large flat piece of bark. 


Next make a sail by pushing a twig through two points on a large leaf. You could also use a piece of junk mail to make a larger sail. 


Fix the sail to your boat by pushing the mast between the twigs, or by making a small hole for it in your bark. 


Decorate your boat with flowers if you wish! Then find a good puddle, or maybe even a stream, and see how your boat sails. Can you make it move if you blow? 


What do you like to do in the rain? Let us know! 

Would you like us to come and run an eco make and do activity with your group? Alternatively we can provide your team with training – online or in person – to run your own activities. Get in touch using the form below. 

Tell us a bit about who you work with, what kind of activities you're looking for, and what format would work best for you.

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