12 Clever Rainy Day Craft Ideas for Kids

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We all know how exhausting it can be coming up with enough fun activities to satisfy your energy-overloaded little ones.

And nothing’s quite as daunting for parents as a rainy day. Realising the family will be cooped up in the house all day can leave you feeling as dark as the clouds outside.

Fear not! We’ve created this little stash of tricks (that’ll fit neatly up your sleeve) for whenever stormy skies strike.

And the best thing? They're simple, (relatively mess-free) and great value, with all the products available on eBay. You can thank us later...
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1. Pirate Cork Boats

What child doesn’t dream of setting sail on a voyage of mystery, merriment and buried treasure?

These miniature pirate ships might not quite make it across the seven seas, but fill the bath and let your little ones watch with wonder as they drift majestically across the tub.

See if they can make through the ‘Waterfall of Doom’ (that’s the tap to me and you!).

Strap the corks together with a rubber band, pierce your decorated craft foam and secure to the corks to make a mast. 

Shopping list:
Corks
Elastic bands
Craft foam 
Cocktail sticks 
White paint
Black marker pen 
Washi tape
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2. Toilet Tube Animals

The weather might have scuppered a trip to the zoo, but what’s to stop you making your own menagerie of fluffy, feathered and ferocious creatures at home?

Some careful snipping, gluing and painting – plus a pair of googly eyes – will provide hours of entertainment for the kids. 

Shopping list:
Toilet roll tubes
Kraft card 
Acrylic paint
Pipe cleaners 
Glue 
Googly eyes 
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3. Wax-Paper Lantern

Not only is this project a great way to teach your children about light and colour, but you’re left with a beautiful creation that you’ll be proud to display on the mantlepiece.

Place crayon shavings between four pieces of wax paper, folded-over. Gently melt the crayon shavings and fuse the paper together by gliding over with an iron on a low-medium heat (an adult-only step).

Cut your four pieces to size and add a lollipop-stick frame. Finally, tape the frames together from the inside and pop an LED tea light inside.

Shopping list:
- Wax paper
- Crayons
- Lollipop sticks
- Tape
- LED battery tea light
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4. Rainbow Rainy Day Art

This one actually makes use of the drizzle outside by letting the raindrops transform your child’s painting into a colour-run rainbow.

Take some watercolour paper and let your little one doodle away with an array of colours.

Leave it outside in the rain for a few minutes until the colours bleed into one another, then lay it flat to dry and voila, a mini Monet!

Shopping list:
- Watercolour paper
- Watercolour paints
- Paintbrushes
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5. Homemade Silly Putty

The beauty of this project is its amazing value and how quickly it comes together.

Mix 4oz. glitter glue with 4oz. water. Separately, mix one teaspoon of Borax with a further 4oz. of warm water.

Pour this into the mixture and stir until it starts to become gel-like. Pick up the goo and handle until it becomes like silly putty - hours of fun!

Shopping list:
- Glitter glue
- Borax
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6. Cardboard Castle

This enchanting little project will send your kids’ imaginations on a magical quest to faraway lands. Plus, it’ll teach them the beauty of recycling. 

Remove the top of a cardboard box and using scissors, snip around the top to resemble a castle.

Create a drawbridge by cutting a flap at the front - leaving the bottom still joined to the box - and use ribbon to mimic the chains and handle. Then, add a window and a few of their favourite things.

Shopping list:
- Cardboard box
- Heavy duty scissors
- Ribbon
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7. Handprint Butterflies

Handprint crafts are a classic, and this one is one of our favourites.

Little ones can learn about the butterfly life cycle as they watch their modest dolly peg transform into a beautiful butterfly.

Paint your peg and add some black eyes, then set aside to dry. Trace your child’s hand on felt, then cut out. Cut out some antenna shapes and glue your felt pieces to the peg.

Add some sparkle, and viola! 

Shopping list:
Dolly pegs 
Felt
Glitter glue
Paintbrushes
Acrylic paint
Felt glue
Black marker pen
- Sticky gems
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8. Paper Plate Fish

The world really is your oyster when it comes to paper plates – coat in lashings of yellow paint and you’ve a smiley sunshine or add some eyeholes and you’ve got a fun mask.

But this fishy number really caught our eye for its sheer simplicity.

Cut a triangle out of a paper plate (this is the tail). Paint the larger piece orange and leave to dry.

Stick on the tail, and add a dorsal fin. Cut the cupcake cases into quarters, layer them on your fish and add an eye. 

Shopping list
Paper plates
Paintbrushes
Acrylic paint
Black marker pen
Cupcake cases
Glue
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9. Wacky Sacks

Part toy, part stress ball, you might find this a therapeutic craft for you, too - especially when you have to clear up after a day of crafting indoors!

Creating these malleable characters is simple. Fill your balloons with a handful of Play-Doh, flatten with your hands to squeeze out the air, then tie a knot. Top tip: Roll out lots of little sausage shapes with the Play-Doh so it fits easily through the neck of the balloons.

Add a face with black marker, and hey presto! 

Shopping list:
- Play-Doh
- Party balloons
- Black marker pen
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10. Pipe-Cleaner Peacock

The rich colours and shimmering plumage of this proud peacock will be hypnotising to little eyes.

They’ll love putting this one together and they’ll especially enjoy learning that the male peacock does this to impress the ladies (snigger)!

Cut a bird shape from some glittery card. Add googly eyes, a yellow tuft and a beak.

Using a glue gun (you’ll need to help with this), stick the feathers and pipe cleaners to the back of the bird. Attach the lollipop handle, and add sequins for extra sparkle.

Shopping list:
Glitter card
Yellow card
Googly eyes
Glue gun
Coloured feathers 
Glitter pipe cleaners 
Lollipop sticks
Sequins
Glue
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11. Goldilocks And the Three Bears Spoon Puppets

These adorable little spoon characters will make a sweet, long-lasting addition to your child’s toy box.

They lead perfectly into story time, where they can hear all about the characters they just crafted.

Paint the tops of your spoons in the base colour. Once dry, add details such as the bears’ ears, Goldilocks’ hair and Baby Bear’s bow-tie.

Use coloured markers to add the finer details like eyes, nose, mouth and pigtails. Seal with a layer of découpage glue to protect your designs. Ta-dah!

Shopping list:
- Wooden spoons
- Acrylic paint
- Paintbrushes
- Coloured marker pens
- Découpage glue
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears book
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12. Toilet Roll Skittles

Possibly the thriftiest craft yet, this creates your very own bowling alley in your house. (Don’t worry, the balls are no where near as destructive!). Strikkkkke!

Take ten toilet roll tubes and wrap each in a different colour paper, then trim to fit.

Stick a foam letter on each (or alternatively use a marker), and indulge in a family game of ten-pin bowling!

Shopping list:
- Toilet roll tubes
- Origami paper 
- Double-sided tape
- Sticky numbers
- Toy ball
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