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).
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.