When the black clouds roll over and the rain begins to fall, don’t stay inside - don’t let rain stop play!
The outdoors on a rainy day is a wonderful playground full of adventure and learning as well as being lots and lots of fun! We’ve put together a few tips and ideas for rainy day play.
Although rainy day play can be as simple as splashing, a little bit of preparation, the right clothes and footwear are important. That said, whenever children play in the rain you should expect them to get wet no matter how you dress them! So pull on the puddlesuits, pop on the macs, wear the wellies and grab an umbrella!
rain and your senses
Things smell, sound, feel and look different in the rain – get out and encourage your little ones to investigate. Dirt in the park is now squishy, squelchy mud, the pavements are shiny and slippery, puddles and even little streams appear, and even though people shelter inside, creatures like snails and worms come out to play.
making a splash
Go for a puddle-jumping walk and encourage children to jump in! Jump right in with them - see who can make the biggest splash and try to splash all the water out. Puddle jumping definitely needs a pair of wellies – try ones with handles at the top which little ones can pull on themselves.
easy as mud pie!
Let children play in their sand table in the rain or if you’re feeling brave in the mud - it really does just wash off! Take out the sand toys to dig muddy roads, squish and mix mud pies and build muddy castles with rain-filled moats.
paint a picture
Sprinkle paper with powder paint or even food colouring, take it outside and watch the rain paint a picture. Tip the paper and see the colours mix together to make a rainy rainbow masterpiece! Paint with mud on the floor with paintbrushes (children will love mixing up the muddy ‘paint’ in a pot) or draw with chalks on a wall and watch as the rain blends the colours together.
buckets of fun
Experiment with the sounds that rain can make – put bowls, buckets and cups of different shapes and sizes outside and listen to the raindrops landing. Do they sound louder as they land on metal or plastic, softer in a big bucket or small? Take a bucket and see if you can fill it up with rain, have a race to see who can fill theirs up first. See if it fills up quicker if you stand still, run around or maybe try jumping up and down?
we’re going on a worm hunt
When it rains children will be excited to see lots of worms, snails and slugs wriggling around above ground and young children often decide that each and every one needs rescuing – again and again! As children are excited by the wriggly creatures and will be tempted to pick them up in their not so gentle little hands, you need to supervise your little bug hunters. Why not build a worm farm or even just little worm houses with sticks and leaves and assure the children the worms will find their own way home when they’ve finished playing.
Build a rainy day shelter in the garden with transparent tarps or plastic sheets. As you shelter inside, watch the raindrops moving and trickling down. Pick a raindrop each and ‘race’ them to the ground watching how they move, trickle and join together as they go. You could hold out the plastic sheet like a parachute game, wait until some water collects in the centre and then fling it up into the air.
As the saying goes ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing’ so get you and your little ones kitted out for some rainy day fun, get out there and have a splash!