Rain or Shine
Activity: Water Drop Race
Set a piece of waxed paper on the table. Draw a start and finish line at each end. Using straws, can you and a friend blow water drops across the race course?
Activity: Maple Seed Race
In the spring, rain isn’t the only thing that falls from the sky. Seeds from maples, elms, and cottonwoods fill the sky. The seeds of the maple tree are little air spinners. Their special shape lets them spin gently to the ground. Why do you think spinning seeds are good for maple trees? Because the seed spins slowly to the ground there’s more time for the wind to carry it away, perhaps to a wide-open space with lots of sunlight! Throw some up in the air. Which one will land first? Is it always the same one?
Activity: Pitter Patter Band
Make a band by placing hollow containers in the rain. Place metal coffee cans, pie plates, and plastic food containers upside down in the grass. Lay empty milk containers on their side. Do all the containers sound the same when the raindrops hit them? If it isn’t raining, create your own rain by pouring water through a plastic sieve or spraying a light mist with a hose. Ask your tot to make it rain with a meat baster or eye dropper. Show your tot how to drip the ‘rain’ into the containers. This is a great way to practice fine motor skills.
Activity: Raindrop Landing Pad
Combine 1 cup of flour with 1⁄2 cup salt. Fill a pan with about 1⁄2 inch of this mixture. Hold the pan in the rain for a few seconds (or drop water by eye droppers) to catch a few drops. Wait a few hours; then, use a fork to carefully lift out the doughy wet spots. Set them on a plate in a warm place to dry. What shapes are the raindrops: balls, or blobs, or egg-shaped ovals? Arrange your drops in order from tiny to huge.
Activity: The Four Seasons
Listen to The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi. He wrote music to match the seasons of the year. Dance to the music. Can you guess which season you are listening to? How does a wild storm, the bright sun, or softly floating snowflakes make you want to move?
Activity: Cooking with the Sun
Place a marshmallow on a skewer or straw. Cut the skewer and set in a shiny metal bowl (or bowl covered with foil) so that the marshmallow doesn’t touch the bowl. Cover the bowl with clear plastic wrap held on with a twist tie beneath the bowl. Set the bowl facing the sun so that the sun lights the entire inside. Prop the bowl up with a towel or rock. Check every 15-30 minutes. When the marshmallow feels very soft, it’s ready to eat. Compare with a marshmallow that has come directly out of the bag.
Activity: Up the Water Spout
Make a water spout and a spider to crawl up it out of a paper towel tube, egg carton section or pompom, pipe cleaners and string! First punch a hole in the top of the tube and thread yarn through it. Make a spider from one section of an egg carton or pompom. Attach 8 pipe cleaner legs. Glue the spider to the yarn that is hanging out of the center of the tube. When glue is dry, your spider will “go up the waterspout” by pulling on the yarn. Use your spider and spout when you sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider.
Activity: Rain Rhythm Stick
You will need a paper towel tube, two plastic milk jug lids, masking tape, beans, rice or cereal, markers, and stickers. Have your child decorate the paper tube with crayons or stickers. Close off one end of the tube with a milk cap. Secure with masking tape. Partially fill the tube with beans, rice, or cereal. Close the other end with a cap and secure with tape. Shake! Shake!
Activity: Me and My Shadow
On a sunny day, introduce your little one to his/her shadow. Is it big or small? Play a game of follow the leader with your shadow. Run, jump, tiptoe, sit, walk, then turn around. See how big and strong you can make your shadow look. If your tot can stay still long enough, trace his/her shadow with a piece of chalk.
Activity: A Rainbow in Your Room
Make a rainbow in your room. All that is needed is a glass of water and a sunny day. (Be sure to use a clear glass. The wider the mouth, the better.) When the glass is placed in sunlight, there should be a rainbow where the shadow would fall.
Spread newspaper on the floor. Give your child a full sheet of white or pastel construction paper. Place the paper on the newspaper. Put a dab of red, yellow, blue, and white tempura paint on each paper. Next, give your child a small piece of cardboard. Help him to push, pull, turn, and twist the cardboard through the paint puddles to create windswept strips and patches of color. (This is a good outdoor activity).
Activity: Rainstorm Art
Collect colorful bits from old art projects: glitter, hole-punched paper, cloth scraps, fine-colored gravel, etc. You can also use bits of grass, sticks, flower petals, or other “scraps” from nature. When you have a good selection, roll out a large sheet of craft paper on the floor. Place one large puddle or several small puddles of glue on the paper. Spread the glue. Have your tot sprinkle their leftover scraps wherever they want on the paper. You can help your child to sprinkle the finished design generously with glitter or confetti for a REALLY BIG rainstorm effect.
Activity: Rain in a Bottle
Fill an empty, clear water bottle with confetti-sized scraps of colored paper. Screw on the lid of the bottle and let you child shake. Shake your bottle gently to make a light spring rain or shake your bottle hard for a rainstorm!
Activity: Milk Jug Watering Can
Kids love watering things: Flowers, grass, trees, sidewalks–and themselves! Make a quick, easy watering can for your toddler by punching holes near the top of an empty gallon-sized milk jug with a large, sharp nail. Let our child decorate it with stickers. Now fill with water and have your child give the garden a drink.
Activity: Nature Sun Catcher
Take a walk with your child. In a paper sack, collect twigs, rocks, grass, leaves, and other things that interest your child. At home, put your nature findings on contact paper. Cover with another piece of contact paper and smooth out the air bubbles. Trim the contact paper in a circle shape and hang in a window so that the sun shines through it.
Activity: Warm Weather Sensory Box
Fill a large container with water. Use cups, containers, and spoons, to fill and dump just like you would a sandbox. Can you make rain with the slotted spoon or colander?
Activity: Cold Weather Sensory Box
Fill a large container with sunny-colored cornmeal and cracked corn. Use cups, containers, and spoons, to fill and dump just like you would in a sandbox. Can you feel around and find the hidden items?
Activity: Indian Rain Drums
Use empty oatmeal or Quaker cornmeal containers, shoe boxes, peanut cans with lids, Pringles cans with lids, or other household objects to create drums for you and your tot…one for you and one for him. You act as leader to start: tell your tot to help you drum the “sprinkle song” by tapping lightly on the top of your drums with the tips of the fingers. Drum a little harder and a little louder for the “rain song.” Then show him how to make a rainstorm by drumming hard and fast on your drums Once he becomes familiar with the “songs” and their drum patterns, let your child make the calls.
Five umbrellas stood by the back door,
The red one went outside, then there were four.
Four umbrellas pretty as can be,
The blue one went outside, then there were three.
Three umbrellas with nothing to do,
The green one went outside, then there was one.
Just one umbrella alone in the hall.
The purple on went outside, and that was all!
Softly, softly falling so,
This is how the snowflakes go.
Pit pit pat,
Down go the raindrops
On my hat
Rain, Rain Go Away
Rain, rain go away
Come again another day
Little (name of your child) wants to play
Itsy, Bitsy Spider
The itsy, bitsy spider went up the waterspout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
So the itsy, bitsy spider went up the spout again!
Will You Read To Me?
Take time to enjoy a book.
One Windy Wednesday by Phyllis Root
Millicent and the Windy by Robert Munsch
The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins
A Bed for the Wind by Roger Goodman
April Showers by George Shannon
In the Middle of the Puddle by Mike Thaler
Activities provided by:
E Resources Group
2550 Stagecoach Road
Webster City, Iowa 50595-7375
Toddling on the Wild Side was supported by REAP-CEP.
spring, summer, fall
Iowa Early Learning Standards:
1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 7.3
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