Rain yesterday. Lots of rain today. And more rain in the forecast all week.

Sound familiar?

That's what the weather looks like in my town this week.  ut as long as the thunder and lightning stay away, I see no reason why a little rain should keep us stuck inside. Here are five great ways to get in some rainy day play.

Try rain painting. Unless you really are made of sugar, there really is no reason why you can't get out for a little bit of fresh air on a rainy day. It may not be the best day for a hike or trip to the playground, but it is the perfect day for rain painting. This awesome craft from Housing A Forest gives you all the inspiration you need to grab some paper, art supplies, and your kids and head outdoors.

Set up camp. If you have a decent outdoor tent, set it up outside, preferably before the rain starts. Then you will have the perfect shelter to ride out the storm while listening to the soothing sounds of rain all around you. Alternate options: Set the tent up in the living room or simply build a living room fort to wait out the weather.

Make a mud pie. I know, I know. The last thing you want to do today is send your kids out in the rainy to squish in the mud. But the amount of joy they will get out of this project — particularly if you join them — is immeasurable. Trust me on this one. It may seem like just a giant mess to you, but to your kids it is math, science, art, and fun — all rolled into one. So throw on some old clothes and give yourself and your kids permission to get downright filthy. Be sure to follow this activity up with a nice long soak in the tub!

Build a rain collector. Use toilet paper tubes, paper towel tubes, spare pieces of PVC pipe, funnels, and anything else you can think of to collect water from a backyard tree or building into a bucket. Challenge kids to see who can get the most water into their bucket or ask them to estimate how long it will take for their buckets to fill.

Go for a walk. It may sound like an odd idea to go for a walk on a rainy day, but there are actually lots of cool things to look at in the rain, things that you wouldn't be able to see on a boring old sunny day. Look for worms, rainbows, puddles, muddy footprint, and animal shelters. Watch how the rain pours off of leaves and petals. Look to see which animals are out and about and which ones are taking cover. Smell the rain. Splash in a puddle. And feel the rain on your fingers.

Photo credits

Rain painting: Housing a Forest

Tent: Jay Gooby/Flickr

Mud Pie: Let The Children Play

Rain drop: ZoofyThJi/sxc.hu

Rain boots: Phil Roeder/Flickr

5 ideas for rainy day play
Don't let a little rain keep you and the kids indoors. Here are some great ways to enjoy the rainy weather outside.