It’s been very rainy this week and while I grew up in wet, wet Washington state and love the much-needed gift of rain–even a rain-lover can begin to go stir-crazy during this weather! So if it’s “too wet to go out and too wet to play ball,” we like to get creative inside and snuggling up with a good book and doing a story-related project seemed like a perfect rainy day plan! Read on to learn about one of our favorite rain-themed books and then make your own paper-pieced umbrella craft or rain boot craft with the printable template below.
Rain by Linda Ashman contrasts a buoyant boy (in his green frog hat) who soaks in everything wonderful about a rainy day, and a grumpy old man who curses everything about the gray day. Through the vibrant paper-cut images and simple text, the head-to-head examples illustrate different rainy day perspectives and show how moods (good and bad!) can be contagious.
We love this book and the read-aloud can inspire great discussion! Here are just a few of the things we chatted about during and after the story:
- Our own feelings about rainy weather
- What illustrates the boy’s attitude about rain
- What illustrates the man’s attitude about rain
- What cheers us up when we’re sad
- Ways to cheer others up when they’re sad
- Fun things to do on a rainy day (inside or outside!)
We also took some time to examine the illustrations. At first glance, the paper-pieced art seems simple, but take a few minutes to observe the shapes and colors with your kids. We paid particular attention to the mixed media Christian Robinson used to create his art–noticing mostly painted paper collage with black paint stroke details.
(Side note, Christian Robinson’s retro-inspired paper-pieced illustration style will likely become even more recognizable since his recent release just won not only a 2016 Caldecott honor award for best picture book, but also the 2016 Newbery Medal–the prestigious award for literature typically given to novels!)
The sweet story of Rain and rainy day artwork inspired us to create some of our own rainy day paper pieced art.
To create an umbrella or rain boot craft, you’ll need:
- Umbrella or Rain Boot Printable Template
- white paper or card stock
- (optional) colored card stock or patterned paper
Print Umbrella and Rain Boot Craft Templates
Print the umbrella or rain boot template. We prefer to use white card stock for a sturdier project.
Color or Paint Umbrella and Rain Boot Templates
Color or paint the umbrella and rain boot template pieces. For this rainy day craft we chose tempera paint.
Cut Umbrella and Rain Boot Craft Template Pieces
Then cut around each piece.
Assemble Umbrella and Rain Boot Craft Pieces
Assemble the basic pieces first, then decorate the umbrella or boot with the “optional decoration” pieces, if desired. My kids like customizing their projects with these extra pieces, and I love how their creativity with the shapes makes each project so unique!
Mount Umbrellas and Rain Boots for Display