When you have a full schedule of events and activities exploring the great outdoors, a rainy day can be rough to wake up to. But, with the right preparation, you can make these days just as exciting and fulfilling as any other. Here are some ideas to keep the fun going until the rain goes away.

Tips for Success

If you only have one main hall for all the kids to shelter from the rain, then that can get overwhelming quickly – both for your counselors and your kids. Here are a few ways to start your day on the right foot.

  • Break into groups: Put your kids in groups for the day. In addition to helping more introverted kids bond with their peers, you’ll be able to stagger the activities so that some may be coloring or reading quietly while others are chatting and collaborating.
  • Get creative with space: Are there any areas outside under cover that could hold a few kids at a time for an activity? What if one counselor took small groups into the kitchen or nurse’s office for a demonstration? In addition to reducing the number of campers in the one large space, your kids will be fascinated with this peek behind-the-scenes!
  • Plan extra activities: When you take out the time you usually spend going to and from activities, you might be surprised that you’re burning through activities sooner than expected! Have some backups in mind, switch up activities more often, or even present multiple options to keep your campers engaged.

Physical Activities

One of the best things about outdoor activities is that it gets the energy out of kids! So what now? Here are a few ways to get the kids to burn some energy while staying safe and dry inside.

  1. Relay Races
    Break the campers into groups and set up a series of tasks. Each kid will have a chance to burn off some energy while the rest of the group cheers them on. Tasks could include hula hooping, jumping jacks, backwards racing, and somersaulting. You may want to break the relays into multiple events with cool-down quiet times in between! 
  2. Dance Parties
    You probably already have a number of songs that the campers sing together. Choreograph some full-body movements to go along with them or even try out something they’ve never done before, like a line dance. Be sure to wrap up with a dance-however-you-want song to get the last wiggles out.
  3. Ice Cream Making
    Who doesn’t want a sweet treat? Make ice cream in a bag by preparing the ingredients first and letting the kids shake until ice cream is made. Of course, have other treat options ready to give the kids that don’t eat ice cream.

Thinking Activities

These activities will still engage in small groups, but maybe at a few sound levels lower than the physical activities.

  1. Teach Something New
    Sure, kids might see camp as a break from school, but you don’t have to tell them that they’re learning! Show close-up photos of weird bugs in the area, play bird calls of local birds, or explain what mushrooms actually are. Teaching about local ecology can make kids excited to look out for these things next time they go outside.
  2. Categories
    Stand in a big circle and say a category, like colors, foods, or animals. Go around the circle and each person says one item from the category. If they can’t think of one, say a fake one, or repeat one, they sit down. Keep going around and changing categories until only one or a few winners remain. Everyone has to stay quiet and listen! 
  3. One-Word Stories
    In smaller groups, sit in a circle and tell a story together. Each person only says one word at a time! The adult leader can help guide it by telling them it’s time for the beginning, action, climax, and ending, and write it all down to retell it all together at the end. For younger kids, prepare some Mad-Libs instead.

Quiet Activities

These require no explanation, they’re just some good old fashioned inside voice activities!

  • Reading
  • Coloring or drawing
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Lanyard making
  • Puzzles
  • Activity sheets
  • Clay building

We hope these rainy day ideas help you to prepare for the next time weather gets in the way of your favorite activities!

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