Rain painting is a great activity to do with toddlers and preschoolers. Right now it's the rainy autumn season where we live -- spring's also a great time to do it.
Depending on the mood of the children, they can either roughly scribble a few colors and then see what happens when they mix or they can draw a nice outdoors scene and then let the rain streak it artistically.
I'm sure I don't have to tell you that Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate! So if you've carefully prepared the project and checked the weather forecast for rain only to have the day turn out bright and sunny, remember that you can achieve similar effects using a watering can (my daughters have always loved using the watering can -- my flower pots are grateful!), a spritz bottle or flicking drops of water with a paintbrush/toothbrush.
The last time I rain painted, I ended up with a spectacular and exciting failure. My "rainy day" turned into a half hour hail storm! My young nephew turned to me at the end and whispered in a hushed sort of awe, "I think maybe we shouldn't do that craft again." It was his first experience with hail and I think he believed we'd caused the whole thing with our "rainy day activity". *laugh*
No two kids are the same. Some are fascinated by the runny, drippy outcome of the project but some are devastated by the way the rain "ruins" their art. If you're concerned about this, then just have them put "blobs" of color instead of carefully drawing a picture!
- paper or paper plate,
- something to color with that is water soluble (children's markers are my favorite) OR food coloring OR powdered tempra paint,
- rain OR a watering can/spritz bottle
- Prepare your dry artwork:
- a paper plate works wonderfully but regular paper is fine too
- you can just put a few drops of different colors on it (food coloring or powdered tempra paint) and see what happens
- you can draw a nice picture with water soluble markers
- Just as a quick note on powdered tempra paint -- it used to be much easier to find. Don't search high and low for it... water soluble markers (regular kids markers) work just fine for the project.
- If it's raining lightly (with no thunder), you can hold your paper plate in your hands and walk out into the rain for a minute (it's fun!!) Then come inside to let it dry.
- If you don't get the rain you need, you can sprinkle the project with water from a watering can or spritz bottle or flick water at it with a paintbrush.
- I usually use an old cutting board to carry the papers if I use paper instead of a paper plate. That way, the paper stays safe and flat while it dries.
- Let your project dry.
- You can also try this project overnight if you live somewhere with heavy dew or fog!
Drip Rain Painting (red and blue food color drops on paper):