A sudden downpour doesn’t have to mean the end of outdoor fun. When Mother Nature (literally) rains on your parade, don’t take your kids inside. Do one of these fun rainy-day activities instead, and see how much fun you can have getting wet. You may even feel like a kid again yourself.
1. Go Puddle Jumping
Grab some boots, put on some old clothes, and take the kids out for a walk, seeing who can jump in the most puddles. You can award prizes for most puddles jumped in, biggest splash, and most mud on boots.
2. Look for Worms
Don’t get squeamish. Hunting for worms can be a lot of fun even for the most slime-a-phobic parents. Have kids count how many they see on the sidewalk, or get down alongside them on the ground to watch how they move around. It’s like a live biology lesson.
3. Play Tag
Yes, you’ll slip and slide and probably get a lot of mud on your clothes. But as long as you’re doing it on the grass where no one can get hurt, your kids will have a blast chasing after one another while also trying not to wipe out.
4. Draw with Sidewalk Chalk
And your kids thought sidewalk chalk was fun in sunny weather. The chalk gets soft and makes dark, interesting designs when it’s wet, giving new dimension to their usual rainbows, stars and hopscotch boards.
5. Listening Game
Sort of like “I Spy,” but this game involves another sense as well: hearing. Encourage your kids to listen to the raindrops hitting the ground, the way birds and animals around them are reacting, and how the car tires sound when they drive down the wet street. Then ask them to describe these things in their own words.
6. Make a Fort
This isn’t your usual fort, however. This one is made of umbrellas, and while it may not stay up very long, your kids will enjoy building and rebuilding it every time the wind knocks the fort over.
7. ‘Cook’ a Mudpie
Whether you’re a professional chef or a social security attorney, you’re qualified to help your kids make mudpies. Dig up the mud and shape it into a circle; boom, you’re done.
8. Watch for Animals
Ever wonder what squirrels or chipmunks do when it rains? Challenge your kids to play detective and try to find these furry friends to see whether they, too, are enjoying the shower.
9. Go on a Nature Hike
It doesn’t have to be long, but going on a hike is a fun way to find new things in nature. The rain adds an unexpected element, and rain could help you uncover something interesting (like a rock that had been hidden by mud) you wouldn’t have otherwise seen.