I don't enjoy wet days that much, but I love doing literacy activities about rainy weather. Enjoy these with kids at home, in the library, or at school as April showers fall!
- Rain by Robert Kalan and Donald Crews
In this classic picture book, a blue sky turns gray and rain falls on everything. When the storm ends, a rainbow appears. The illustrations are especially appealing because the individual rain drops on each page are actually the word rain typed over and over. This book also makes a really good flannel board.
- Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle and G. Brian Karas
This rhythmic story tells how, when a storm descends upon the city, people seek shelter in the subway and make friends with strangers while they wait out the rain.
- Split! Splat! by Amy Gibson and Steve Bjorkman
The sing-song text of this book includes lots of fun sound words that describe what it feels like to be out in the rain and mud of spring. A bit of a tongue twister, but worth the practice it takes to pull it off!
- Rain Dance by Kathi Appelt
This toddler-friendly picture book counts animals as they react to a rainfall.
Action Songs & Rhymes
- I Like to See the Raindrops Fall
In this song, kids can create a storm of their own with simple hand gestures. Fingers wiggle in a downward motion to make raindrops, hands open and close to make lightning flashes, and loud claps serve as thunder.
- Itsy Bitsy Spider
This favorite nursery rhyme tells a simple story about what happens to a spider in the rain and how he bounces back.
- Rain is Coming Down
This action rhyme from the May 2009 issue of Highlights High Five Magazine emphasizes the sounds rain makes as it falls. (Link is to the audio version of the magazine.)
Songs with Props
- Rain Rain Go Away (with zoo puppets)
When it rains at the zoo, some of the animals wish they could play! Sing this song as follows: "Rain, rain, go away. / Come again another day. / Little lion wants to play. / Rain, rain, go away!" Substitute any zoo animal for lion. Use hand, stick, or finger puppets to show kids the animals.
- It's Raining, It's Pouring (with a rain stick)
Use a store-bought or homemade rain stick as an accompaniment to this soothing rainy day song.
- I Can Sing a Rainbow with colored flags
Play a recording of the song, or learn it for ukulele or guitar, then invite the children to wave colorful flags as they sing along.
- Red Umbrella Keeps Me Dry
This song, sung to the simple tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb teaches colors using umbrellas. See a picture of this flannel board in use in my It's Raining, It's Pouring Drop-In Story Time plan.
- Who is Tapping at my Window?
In this poem, the tapping on the window comes not from the animals, but from the rain itself. I have yet to try this one with kids, but Bridget from What is Bridget Reading? has a post about it!
- My Spring Garden
This piggyback song by Jean Warren is sung to the tune of "Skip to My Lou" and it emphasizes the role of rain in the growing of spring gardens.
- Paper Plate Umbrellas
Use half of a paper plate as the top of the umbrella, and a pipe cleaner, straw, or candy cane as the handle. Decorate with pictures of objects beginning with the letter U, or with decorative stickers. (I originally adapted this idea from these two pins on Pinterest for use in this story time.)
- Rain Cloud Sewing Cards
Provide pre-cut clouds with pre-punched holes and encourage kids to sew around the edges using yarn. (This idea was originally used in my Up, Up, and Away preschool story time.)