Thursday, April 2, 2015

15 Literacy Activities for Rainy Days

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. 

Flannel Boards


  • 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.)
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