Don’t be sad if it is raining outside; remember that rain is going to give us May flowers. I’m convinced that if it is good for the flowers and the soil it is also good for us. Recently, a magazine interviewed me about how children deal with being outside in all kinds of weather.
The question reminded me that I have yet to meet a child who didn’t love puddles. I think children learn from us adults that rainy days and mud are “yucky”. Do you remember your best childhood memory? Maybe it was set in the middle of a big muddy puddle. My favorite memory was making channels and little streams out of puddles.
Start creating childhood memories now. Here are some ideas you can do outside during rainy days.
The rainy world is your ocean.
When it is raining or after a rain, uses the puddles as ponds and rivers. Make sailboats out of pieces of wood and leaves or fold pieces of paper into a boat. (how to fold a boat) Let them free play with the boats and explore. Maybe they can use a stick to steer the boat. Children learn about cause and effect and it is also full of opportunities to learn about the natural sciences.
Change the landscape
Use buckets and spades to help divert the “river” into other puddles. It might sound strange for us as adults, but every child we have done this with, loves this play. (They are experiencing one of their favorite games. What happens when I do this?) This isn’t just a game for boys, as little girls like to do this just as much. It also is a great example of how you can educate children about mathematics, physics and the world around them with outdoor play.
You probably did not know this, but in Germany they host puddle-jumping contests as a sport. Cover up with rain pants, rain jacket and rubber boots and invite some friends to find the biggest puddle and jump! See who makes the biggest splash and who can jump in the most puddles. Getting wet and dirty isn’t an issue if they are wearing the right outerwear. Tip: Commercial fishermen put thick rubber bands on the cuffs of their rain pants that are over their rubber boot to help keep the water out. When you are tired head in and make some hot chocolate.
Mud pies… hearing those gooey words floods my mind with childhood memories. I remember playing in the mud forever. When it is muddy we head out and find the closest squishy puddle and bring or stash of pie tins and sand toys. For decoration we use flowers, pebbles and sticks.