Only in the Rain

When the weather’s not so great, and you want to stay inside, you have lots of options to keep you busy. I outlined several in a previous blog post. But what about when you want to enjoy the rainy weather? There are some things that can only be done on those dreary, wet days!

GET WET

Kids love water play, and that shouldn’t change just because the water is coming from the sky! Toys that can be used in the bathtub or swimming pool can certainly be used in puddles. Encourage kids to take it a step further with some creative building, and have them make boats for their toys, or build a dam to stop a stream of water. See if they can use only items they find in nature – sticks, rocks, leaves, etc. – in their creations.

Grab some empty bowls, cups, and containers, and have the kids fill, pour, and splash. With all the comparisons and measuring, they’ll be learning some math along the way!

Finally, don’t underestimate the simple pleasure of stomping in puddles. The bigger the better! Your child can also experiment with splashing by tossing some items, such as rocks, into puddles. How big a splash can he make?

GET MUDDY

For some messy fun, encourage your child to play in the mud! Make mud pies, draw in the mud, even make mud angels! Mud can be a great sensory experience, and its squishy firmness makes it a great medium for art projects. Give your kids permission to get messy, and you’ll be amazed at what they can create – and how much fun they’ll have!

BE A SCIENTIST

With an abundance of water available, take this opportunity to experiment. What materials sink or float? What materials dissolve in water? If you draw or paint, how does the rain affect your pictures? Does the color look the same? Does it even stay, or does it disappear?

Go for a nature walk and see how different nature can look when it’s wet. Do you see the same animals you would normally see? Are some hiding? Are some others – like frogs, ducks, or worms – popping up when you wouldn’t usually see them?

Use your senses. How does the rain feel against your skin? Does it feel differently on your head, where your hair is? Or through your clothes? What does it taste like? How does the world around you smell? Feel? What can you hear? Does it sound the same as it does on a sunny day? What’s different?

HAVE FUN

As tempting as it can be to just sit inside and stay dry, Playing and exploring in the rain can be a memorable experience for you and your children. Give it a try and have fun! If you’d like more ideas on how to enjoy the rain, check out these sites:

And, finally, a disclaimer. Always make sure to stay safe! As fun as the rain may be, if you hear thunder or see lightning, stay inside. If the temperatures dip, be sure to stay bundled up and warm, and keep feet dry. And when you’re done playing outside, be sure to dry off and find some inside fun!

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