10 fun games to play in the rain
There’s nothing I love more than getting my children outside – even when it’s raining.
In fact, we particularly like going out when it’s raining, because the garden transforms into a whole new wet and wonderful world to play games like…
1. Jumping in puddles
It’s a classic. Just don some welly boots and go hunting for some puddles. It’s great exercise and gets your little ones thinking about which puddles make the biggest splash!
2. Creating some rain art
Draw a design onto paper towel using water-soluble felt-tipped pens. Once you’ve decorated your paper towel, take it outside to allow the rain-drops to fall on it. The colours will start to separate and spread across the paper. This is a great way to teach your child a bit about the science of colour.
3. Serve up some mud pies
Rain turns the mud becomes a fabulous consistency that’s perfect for making mud pies. Give your children some old kitchen utensils, pots and pans and let them get to work on their mud pies. Perfect for some squishy sensory play.
4. Creating a multi-coloured river
What happens when you add food colouring to puddles or channels of running water? Another great activity to nurture your child’s curiosity.
5. Making a worm farm
You should find lots of worms come to the surface when it rains. Fill a glass or clear plastic container with mud and carefully pop a few worms in, plus a bit of food on the top (e.g. lettuce, coffee grinds). Your children can see the worms up close and learn a bit about their habitat. If they get really attached, their new worm farm can foster a sense of responsibility too.
6. Building a den
Woods have lots of natural shelters – look for the dry patches underneath trees to see which one makes the best umbrella to protect you from the rain. Once you have found an area, have a go at building your own den to hide from the rain.
7. Sailing a paper boat
Make up some little origami boats to take outside with you. Pop them on a puddle and see if they float, or race them down a mini stream! Try out different sizes and designs to start exploring the physics of floating (and sinking…).
8. Making a rain gauge
Here’s a simple way to record how much rain falls in an hour or a day. This is a great maths activity for developing children’s ability to read scales. You can encourage them to record their findings in a table or graph too.
9. Catching raindrops
Go outside and catch raindrops in umbrellas, on tongues, on hands, on fingertips or on noses. This is a lovely sensory activity and you can take it further by asking your child how the raindrops feel – how many words can they think of to describe it, or can they even make some words up.
10. Making bubbly puddles
Outdoor rainy day play provides many learning opportunities for children. Just because it’s raining or a little cold outdoors doesn’t mean educators and parents need to keep children inside. A rainy day reaches out to our senses in different ways.
Squirt a little washing-up liquid into a few puddles, give your child a whisk and show them how to create a puddle full of bubbles. This sensory activity can really get curious minds racing.
Many of us worry that our children spend too much time indoors looking at screens, and not enough time outdoors. And there are some very real consequences for children who don’t play outside enough such as Nature Deficit Disorder.
By getting our youngsters outside and experiencing nature – even when it’s a bit soggy – we are building their curiosity about the world they live in. So instead of children scared to go out in the rain, let’s raise a generation who revel in it!
This post was written by Claire Gillies