Make the most of ‘less than awesome’ weather with this easy and cheerful rain art project made using our free umbrella template. Get kids to create their own design or copy our rainbow decorated umbrella and get outside to create this weather activity that’s perfect for brightening up their day. Plus check out our tips to ensure this activity is a success!
Our rain art project is easy enough for preschoolers to try but perfect for school age kids to have fun creating too.
RELATED – Weather Art For Kids
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Living in England, wet weather is pretty much a constant, at least that’s the way it feels this last week or so, we certainly haven’t had much in the way of sunshine recently!
Weather crafts and activities are always good ones to do with children as they’re ones that you can do the whole year round, either as a weather topic or as something more seasonal.
This rain art activity uses our umbrella template to make it easy for you to prepare but of course there are lots of different ways you could adapt this and I’ll share some of these in this post as well as some tips to help make this work.
Free Umbrella Template
You can get our umbrella template here and print as you’d like. It’s perfect if you are working with a group or want something that’s easy to prepare.
What Pens Should You Use?
For this activity I used Crayola washable pens* as I know from experience that they will wash out of things quite easily (normally my kids clothes) and I wanted to make sure that the rain would have an effect on the picture. However as you will see in my tips for this activity they were arguably a bit too effective.
How To Make Your Rain Art
Print out your umbrella template and colour it in. Don’t worry too much about keeping inside the lines or having it looking perfect as the rain will make the colours bleed through the lines anyway!
I recommend putting the drawing onto a clipboard* (see my tips below) and then put it out in the rain.
Check back on it after a while to see your rain art and then bring it in to dry.
Tips For Making Rain Art With Kids
I made this activity using washable pens* as I felt that it was pretty much guaranteed that the ink would be affected by the rain. And I was right. A little too right it turned out.
On my first attempt at this activity I left the picture outside for over an hour and when I checked on it the paper was blank with just the umbrella template.
All the ink had washed off it!
I would therefore recommend putting your artwork somewhere outside where you can keep an eye on it and check on it regularly. Another option is to pop on coats and wellies and go and hold the picture outside in the rain.
You could look for places in your garden that the rain water drips off too, this is perfect for getting those bigger drops of water to help make the ink run! You could even experiment in looking round to see what has the biggest effect on your picture, rain from the sky, raindrops falling off something, standing under a tree etc.
My other tip is related to what I learnt from my first attempt too. I laid my picture on to a carrier bag in case the ink ran however the ink did run… towards the top of the picture making it look like the rain was going upwards. Oops!
On my second attempt I leaned my picture up against a wall to make sure that any water would be running towards the bottom of the image however as the paper gets wet it will naturally become heavier and start to flop over. If you look carefully you might even be able to see that my paper tore slightly due to the saturation.
A great way to deal with this would be to put your umbrella picture onto a clipboard* and lean that up against a wall to ensure that it stays up the right way.
My final tip would to be that when you bring your rain art back inside to place it on an old tea towel to dry in case any of the ink leaks off it. If you’ve used washable pens* then this should be fine to then wash out in a washing machine if it does but it will also help protect your table or whatever else you put your picture on while it is drying.
How Can You Make Rain Art If It’s Not Raining?
Like the sound of this activity but it’s not raining where you are? Why not try using water droppers* to drip water onto your painting or maybe try a water sprayer* like the ones you can get for plants.
How Can You Adapt This Activity?
- Colour in the background of the template rather than the umbrella itself and only colour or paint the umbrella once the rest of the picture is all dry to give the effect of rain in the background.
- Once your picture is dry why not add a drawing of yourself under the umbrella.
- Instead of using our umbrella template you could use our rain cloud template.
- Don’t use a template at all! Try writing your name in big letters, drawing a rainbow or just make a pretty coloured pattern and see how the rain effects it.
Weather Crafts For Kids
Grab our rain cloud template and try out some of our rain crafts for kids, I love the cotton wool clouds in this one!
This snowflake twirler is a great way for kids to practice their scissor skills too and is a craft my daughter really enjoyed making.
This super cute paper plate sun is a craft my kids made together when my daughter was a toddler and my son was in preschool.