Rainy days getting you down? When the kids can’t go outside, they may end up zoning out in front of the television or computer. Provide them with an intriguing craft instead, and you can engage their brains and cut down on screen time. The right rainy day crafts for kids are easy enough to complete in one sitting, have a lot of play value and yield a result that can be used or proudly displayed. Some of the best activities also combine a learning element or chances for creative, critical thinking.
Prepare a few rainy day crafts in advance by planning and gathering supplies ahead of time. You can store them in a box or bag, then pull out a ready-to-go activity at the first sign of rain this summer. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite rainy day craft activities to help you get the kids away from the television and engage them in some fresh, creative play instead. Designed for preschoolers to teens, these crafts for kids are perfect for a wide range of ages. The results can also be proudly displayed when complete.
7 Fun Rainy Day Crafts for Kids
1. Upcycled Book Flowers
Don’t toss those old books out — recycle them for summer crafts for kids project instead! Cut petals from books that are no longer useful for their intended purpose; text, illustrations and even full-color photographs make beautiful flowers. Use floral stems and tape to create blooms that will never fade and that have their own quirky charm. Older kids and teens will love this one and will enjoy finding “just right” pages and images to use in the flowers, too.
2. Tissue Paper Stained Glass
Use colorful tissue paper in a rainbow of colors to make abstract or complex images on glass. This is a good project for mixed-age groups; younger kids can have fun with colors and shapes, while older children and teens can create pictures and images.
Use plain white PVC glue to attach tissue paper to glass Mason jars or other glass pieces. Tape a simple picture inside the glass if you’d like guidelines; otherwise, just add colors where they look best. Once complete, add a faux votive candle; it will shine through to create a stained-glass effect.
3. Paper Bookmarks
Use decorative scraps of paper to make traditional and folded-corner bookmarks. These are great to use immediately, given to friends as gifts or even saved to use in the coming school year. Young kids will love decorating a bookmark with stickers and markers, while older kids can fold and create more complex, clever themed corner marks, like these, which feature the four Hogwarts houses.
4. Recycled Robots
Gather up all those old paper towel rolls, containers, and leftovers you’ve been saving and let the kids build their own 3-D robots. Use masking tape to assemble them, then decorate as desired. Once complete, the finished robotic people can be used for indoor play or display.
5. Marshmallow Shooters
Combine a dash of STEM learning with sturdy and colorful paper cups, balloons and a few household supplies and you’ll end up with both a craft and some games. Build the shooters first, then set up a few more cups as targets and have fun firing marshmallows around the house until the rain stops. Worried about playing with food? Substitute small pom-poms for the marshmallows and fire away.
6. Homemade Play-Doh
Choose your favorite recipe and whip up a batch of colorful Play-Doh you can use again and again. Whether you go with a traditional recipe you need to cook on the stove, one that yields a porcelain-like finish or a colorful one packed with essential oils and glitter, your kids can help measure and combine ingredients and get the clay ready for play.
Once complete, the Play-Doh can be used for hours of rainy day fun; just slip into a sealable food grade container and you can reuse it the next day, too.
7. Painted Rocks
A few rocks from the garden, a dash of paint and a handful of markers and you have the makings of a fun painting activity for kids of all ages. Rocks don’t need any special preparation to paint — they just need to be clean.
Paint rocks with abstracts splashes of color, or design them to look like animals. You can use a paint pen to add inspirational sayings or popular phrases such “keep calm and __”. Spray the painted, dried rocks with a sealant to prevent fading. Then use them to adorn houseplants, as paperweights or to decorate the garden.
These painted rocks can also be used for art abandonment. Art abandonment is a movement to create art and leave it for others to find. Older kids and teens will enjoy packaging the finished crafts for art abandonment; just slip a finished rock into a clear plastic candy bag, add a ribbon and a pretty tag and leave behind when you visit a park or other setting. Art abandonment gives the maker the joy of creating and the finder a fun, artistic surprise to brighten their day.
With these delightful summer crafts for kids, they will love being able to put their artistic skills to work, and you’ll love the reduced screen time that results from these engaging rainy day craft activities. Paper Mart has craft supplies for all ages and skill levels, so stock up now and break into your stash whenever the summertime blahs strike.