raindrop collage

Saturday was a gorgeous day, and then the rain came pouring down on Sunday. Amidst a full circuit of rainy day activities like treating patients in our tented doctor clinic and practicing gymnastics on the furniture, we conducted art experiments in the rain. A shift in weather can captivate young minds with questions about seasons, popping bulbs, falling leaves, flurries of snow, and pounding hail. The elements provided us with an improvisational opportunity to celebrate the excitement of rain, get a little wet, and play with a cause and effect relationship (i.e. IF I open an umbrella in the rain, THEN I will stay dry).

raindrop collage

We each worked on our own piece, gluing strips of bleeding tissue paper to our papers. N noticed that a little bit of glue was still showing on my artwork, and did a good job covering it up. Phew!

raindrop collage

We had a bowl of dry pasta on the table from another activity, which she decided to incorporate into her piece. Nice 3-D touch!

raindrop collage

Then she put them out in the rain to let the raindrops do their work. I asked her to think about how the rain would affect our pictures.

raindrop collage

Once dry, we took a good look at them. When I again asked what happened when the rain landed on the collages, she said, “It smeared the colorful paper, but not the big paper.” Righty-oh!

raindrop collage

For a prettier after-effect, I’d recommend glue sticks over white glue. Just keep in mind that glue sticks add extra friction to tissue paper, making them more difficult for little ones to use.

More improvisational weather activities

Windy Day: Make long streamers  or wind socks to blow in the wind.  Or, fill a large ziplock bag with small pieces of tissue paper. Put a straw in the bag and zip it shut. Blow into the bag and watch all of paper fly around. Discuss how the wind works in a similar way.

Rainbows: Create rainbow-colored marble paintings.

Snow: Paint directly on the snow with spray bottles and food coloring.

What are your favorite weather-related activities?


  1. I love Rainbows! Great investigation/exploration ideas with Art and Nature. We have snow out here. Every winter, we bring snow indoors, and play around with sculpting, scooping, pouring water on, and whatever else comes to mind. Thank you for these provocations.

  2. We’re heading to the East Coast this winter, and I’m hoping for snow so we can sculpt it, scoop it, and paint with it. So fun!

  3. I really like this! We’ve taken washable marker artwork into the rain, but this looks like it creates a much more dramatic result. With the rainy season upon us, I’m always looking for ways to use the rain. Thanks.

    • I hadn’t thought of washable markers — so simple!

  4. This is a fun project. One variation that I have done with students in the past is to wet the surface of the paper first, then add the tissue which the students had already pre-cut in geometric or organic shapes. The tissue sticks to the wet paper and bleeds its color creating interesting patterns and shapes. The next day after the paper is dry just brush off the tissue and Ta Da! Abstract art. I have had older students look for negative spaces and fill in with India ink, or just use the colorful paper as the background for a fall leaves contour line lesson.    
    Keep up the good work!

  5. oh I really like this idea

    Thanks 🙂

    • my pleasure! and thanks for stopping by!

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