“Rain, Rain Go Away”, the words of this familiar children’s tune can ring in loud and true when camping in the Pacific Northwest. If you’ve got rain in the forecast for your next trip, or if you just want to be prepared, try bringing along some items to help keep your little ones entertained in the dry shelter of your RV. Here are 5 ideas we love and use, to get you started.

  1. Play Dough

Play dough is loved by kids of all ages. Place some towels or a cover over your dinette benches to keep any play dough from getting squished in and then with laminate floors and table tops, clean-up is really simple. If you’re looking for something quick and easy to pull out, store bought play dough is great. Just bring along a couple containers of your child’s favorite colors and let the fun go from there.


Who Doesn't Enjoy Play Dough!

With older children making homemade play dough on the stovetop can be such a fun experience too. If the rain has left you with extra time to spare, this extends the entertainment even further. As a previous nanny for three children, this was an all-time favorite past time. There are tons of online recipes for homemade play dough- but this one is my go to for fail proof play dough that holds up great long term. Just store it in a zip top bag or air tight container and you’ll have it for the long run! No more crusty, crunchy play dough.

Personalize it - choose your color with standard food coloring or neon food coloring which is also found in your regular grocery store. Want to add some sparkle to your play dough- stir in a bit of store-bought glitter during the cooking process. Trust me- the glitter stays in the play dough, not on the hands, counters, etc.

Bring out some play dough tools or kid safe kitchen gadgets and you’re all set for play dough fun! Cookie cutters, mini rolling pins, plastic utensils- the sky is the limit.

  1. Music Party

Need to get up and moving? Put on some tunes in your trailer or on your phone and have a “dance party” with your little ones. Just make sure to keep your music from disrupting your neighbors. It’s a great way to burn off some energy and keep everyone from going stir crazy. Crowded camper? For extra space on the dance floor, open up the awning of your RV and dance underneath. Getting some fresh air while still staying dry.

Not the dancing type? Let your kids put on a dance performance while you watch. Or let everyone take turns calling out simple dance moves to do. The robot, the swim, or the mashed potato keep everyone on the same page, without revealing if you don’t “got the moves like Jagger”.


Get Your Move On!

For little ones, simple sing-a-longs may be more up their alley. Sit or stand under the awning playing or singing songs with hand motions such as the Wheels on the Bus, If You’re Happy and You Know It, Sunday School songs, or other favorites. The motions will keep them active and excited, even when they’re confined under cover from the rain. Want even more excitement- bring along some small musical instruments for your little ones to play as you sing together. Sand blocks, Egg shakers, finger cymbals, and more can be so fun for kids to play, without getting too loud for you or your neighbors.

  1. Coloring/Activity Books

Another childhood favorite is coloring. Make things more exciting on a low budget by bringing along a fresh box of crayons or a new book from the dollar store. For added variety look for books with stickers or activity pages such as dot to dots, mazes, or coloring charts with numbers that help your child decipher which color goes on which associated number for the picture.


Activity Books are Great

Got little painters in your life? Activity books such as Water Wow’s are a totally clean cross between coloring and painting. Just wet the brush and rub on the page and it reveals the color underneath. No run off or mess of watercolors whatsoever. It’s awesome! So fun for littles! And the best part is, when it dries the color disappears again- allowing each page to be re-used again and again.

  1. Make a Craft - Puppets

While you’ve got the art supplies out, take things one step further and make simple puppets. Let your child draw and color their own puppet or cut out a colored image from a coloring page. Next simply tape a popsicle stick to the back of the image and they have their own puppet. Then let the fun continue as they enjoy their creation, make up stories and put on their own little puppet show. My sisters and I loved this growing up and even found some of our precious popsicle stick puppets at our parents’ house in the past few years.


Make Some Puppets and Tell Your Story

  1. Visual Story Time

A couple years ago I stumbled across such a cool story telling device called Moonlite.  It essentially functions as a slide projector but does so by projecting pictures from an app on your phone through the light of your phone’s flashlight. You start off by purchasing a starter pack and then from there you can purchase additional stories separately. Moonlite products are available in a variety of story reels and once you download the app you simply use a dark area and read the story you purchased with visual aids projected on a flat surface (ceiling, wall, etc) and sound effects. This is such a different spin on traditional story time and is sure to capture the interest of your little ones.

The next time rain strikes on your camping trip, use some of these ideas to keep the fun and excitement going even in the midst of a down pour. No need to stay cooped up and bored. And no need to resort to TV or movies. Your little ones will love these active, creative, and stimulating activities. No need to fear when things start raining on your parade. You’ve got a whole list of tricks up your sleeve to keep the fun going. Wishing you all the best- rain or shine.

Emily Helgeson
Author: Emily HelgesonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Emily Helgeson lives with her husband and two children in Eastern Washington. They enjoy adventuring together and are learning how to use their RV to continue this lifestyle with their growing family.

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