Stuck inside with restless kids because it’s pouring down with rain outside? We all know how unpredictable the British weather can be…but don’t let the…
10 Amazing Rainy Day Activities
Whatever the Weather
“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, and snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” John Ruskin 1819-1900.
As educators of young children, the sooner we realise that learning is constant for all children and that they are able to learn anywhere and everywhere, the sooner we will begin to see the potential of all environments, whatever the weather. Don’t stay inside and suffer cabin fever, there’s so much fun to be had outdoors, pull on your wellies and waterproofs, and head out into the rain, it really is all about the right clothing and a great attitude.
Rainy Day Activity Ideas
Bikes are always a good bet, children love riding round in the rain.
Bring out the powder paints, a great excuse to decorate the playground using rain as the mixer. Sprinkle onto paper and walk around in the rain creating runny, colourful puddles – the effect is fab as the raindrops bounce off the paper.
Play in the puddles. Where and how can you make the biggest splash outside? Make your own puddle, can you do a better job than nature? Bring out the shower gel, jump in the puddles to make scented bubbles.
Shelter from the rain. Where can you find shelter from rain? Look for places outside. Is it drier or wetter under a bush or a tree than in the open? What is the driest walk you can take on a wet day? Build a waterproof den only using natural materials, no waterproof sheets allowed!
Bring out the tarps, ground sheets or shower curtains. Tarps and wet weather go together like bread and cheese. Transparent tarp will allow you to observe the movement of water in different ways. Other tarps can be used to make splash pools and wet alternatives to parachute games.
Raindrop Races. Follow a raindrop down a window. What happens to it? Have a raindrop race with a friend. Pick a raindrop at the top of the window and see which one makes it to the bottom first. How many raindrops can you catch on your tongue? How many can we catch all together and how can we find this out? Pretend cry, look at the raindrops trickling down your cheek and make a sad face.
Channel the flow of water, make a water wall. Guttering and pipes are great, attach to fencing or trellis and use rain water collections to create water walls, channelling water horizontally as well as vertically. Take photographs to help children explain their designs to others.
Rain Dancers. Dress up in waterproofs, add an umbrella and get those rain dance routines perfected. Remember puddles make great wet stages for a good rain stomp. Try and tap dance in time to the rhythm of the raindrops.
The Sound of Rain, Experiment with the variety of sounds that rain can make by putting different types of bowls on top of your head and listen to the raindrops land. Which bowls make the loudest and softest sound? Compare to the sound of a rainstick? Does all rain sounds the same?
Make a mark with chunky chalk. Footpaths, driveways or other hard standing areas could become a canvas for budding artists. Wet chalk has a thicker consistency than dry chalk and is almost paint-like. As the rain splashes onto the cement, the colours mix beautifully, plus clean-up is taken care of. If the area is sloped, you get the added fun of watching a rainbow of colours flow off downhill.
Things to Remember:
- The outdoor environment offers space, this is particularly important to children who learn best through active movement, i.e. most young children!
- Learning outside the classroom supports the development of a healthy and active lifestyle, by offering opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement, and a sense of well-being.
- Learning outside the classroom gives children contact with the natural world, and offers them experiences which are unique to outdoors, such as direct contact with the weather and the seasons.
- So, no ifs and buts, get waterproofed, wellied and wet, but most of all, enjoy!