Playing in the rain. Create a splash through free play and learning.
Rain, rain, come again, pitter patter on the window pane; Little shumee loves to play, please can you a little longer stay?
As adults, our first reaction to rain may be to run for cover. Those expensive office clothes, the shoes and phones and the things we must protect from water. But have you seen the sheer joy and wonderment on the faces of kids as they watch the rain? For them, it is another experience. A way to play and discover more about life.
So here are some free play activities that you can incorporate on your rainy day schedule.
Jump into the puddles instead of skirting them – Works better if a mom does not have to think about washing clothes after. So maybe you can put on some old clothes first.
Search for soggy froggy animals. Look for animals that love the rain and come out mostly during the monsoon. Animals like frogs and snails can be fascinating and different for kids to spot and know about. Try locating them in the garden after a shower.
Do some wet chalk drawing on the sidewalk - Draw with chalk on a damp surface and see how it lasts. The colors are more vibrant, and the chalk is easier to draw with too!
Paint with mud. Brown and red and colors in between! Print little shoe prints or tiny handprints with mud on paper. Get the colors of nature.
Rain dance. Pump out some sweet tunes through a window and do a rain dance. Or better yet, let them imagine their own music and dance to that tune.
Jump over puddles. Change pace, rather than jumping in puddles, try to jump over them this time. Who can jump the farthest?
Let the rain paint for you. Smear a little color on a page and keep it out. Let the raindrops do the rest. Let the water runoff and see the effect.
Sing in the rain. Rhyme with the pitter patter of rain. Let your musical side bloom in the rain!
Take your bath toys outside. Play with bath toys out in the rain and the mud puddles. Who says they’re just for playing in the bath?!
Make boats. Make nature boats and then float them in puddles or streams created by rain.
Make a mud pie. If you have plenty of mud around, mud pies are a must in the rain!
Search for rainbows. The best time to search for rainbow is just after it rains. Can’t find any? Make your own!
Make some music by putting different containers outside and letting the raindrops hit them. That is the real sound of music and great fun for kids.
Come on, the rains come just once a year and so let yourself go and enjoy them in other ways than just hot drinks and pakodas. And like all free play, playing in the rains also teaches your child several lessons. It engenders a joy of nature in children. Shows them to navigate on slippery terrain and as we want to build good motor skills in children including balance, the experience of playing outdoors in the rain helps children learn to test slippery paths before stepping on them.
It helps activate learning through their senses. That scent that tells you of the first rain, the sound of the rain against different surfaces, feel of raindrops of different sizes and frequency, the taste of rain dripping into the mouth are all opportunities to awaken the senses.
They develop a healthy respect for the power of nature and weather as they learn about rain through the first-hand experience. As also independence and responsibility for their belongings that get wet in the rain.
So let the child in you out in the rain along with your child! Enjoy the rains without inhibitions. Play freely! Rain, rain, come again…
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