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Coffee Filter Umbrellas

With spring flowers brings showers, so have the kiddos get ready by creating their very own “umbrellas!” Using coffee filters, markers and water, the children will explore colors and build a one-of-a-kind creation that’s as educational as it is adorable.

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Explore some science while having fun with color!

This is a fun activity to do on a rainy day. Children will use markers and a coffee filter to create a colorful umbrella. This activity is full of teachable moments, as the children will learn how spraying the filters with water affects the colors, as well as piquing their interest to learn how rain is formed in the first place!

✂️ How do I adapt this exercise for older kiddos? This can be an independent or assisted activity. Try having older kiddos help with the preparation and construction of their umbrellas, or use hand-over-hand for the little ones.

📷 Picture-perfect reactions. Have your camera ready for when you spray the coffee filters to capture your child’s reaction as they watch the colors move all around!

📚 Books to explore: It’s Raining by Gail Gibbons, Split! Splat! by Amy S. Gibson, and April Showers by George Shannon.


For this activity you will need:

  • Coffee filters

  • Colored markers

  • Spray bottle

  • Construction paper

  • Scissors

  • Glue stick

Learning Outcomes




Cause and effect exploration.


Responding with joy to the predictable outcomes of exploration.


Step 1:

Fold a coffee filter in half.

Step 2:

Have the child use markers to color the coffee filters, encouraging them to use all of the available colors.

Step 3:

Fully saturate the coffee filter by spraying it with water.

Step 4:

Let the coffee filter dry over several hours or overnight.

Step 5:

Cut out an umbrella handle from the construction paper.

Step 6:

Glue two sides of the coffee filter to the umbrella handle cutout.

🖌️ Be as creative as you’d like! Children can color all over the paper or draw patterns and illustrations — whatever they choose!

Let the learning pour in. Use this opportunity to explain how water evaporates to form clouds and then turn into rain.

Playful Questions

  • What color should we use next?

  • What will happen if we spray the paper with water?

  • Where does rain come from?

  • How are clouds made?

  • Why can’t we see the sun when it’s raining?

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