Sunday, April 3, 2011

Splish-Splash Rain Play

The challenge to play outside every day in the month of April is on.  So far we have had good weather, but it is April and we will get rain (and maybe even worse) in Iowa.  So Danielle at Can You Come Outside to Play? has challenged us to brainstorm ideas about how to get outside in the rain this week.

I am wearing two hats for this monthly challenge.  I am both a mom of three young boys and a preschool teacher.  I find it easier to get out in the rain with my own children.  We have multiple changes of clothes on hand and it's no big deal to strip down and take a shower if we get muddy.  Plus I am okay with them getting wet.  I'm not concerned about the mud or the chance of them getting a cold.  As far as the preschoolers, we have gone out in some light rain, but we normally stay inside.  I'm going to be thinking about that this month.

So what can you do to get outside when it is raining?  Really, you can do the same sorts of things in the rain that you can do when it is not raining.  Playing on the playground and taking a walk become new, exciting activities in the rain.  Playing in the sand and making canals, dams, or sandcastles becomes a science lesson and a lesson in cause and effect.

Splashing in puddles, squishing mud between your toes, and making mud pies are activities that are easier on a rainy day.

I did a quick google search and found these art suggestions.  Drawing with chalk on a wet pavement is a different experience than drawing on dry pavement.  The chalk becomes more vibrant and almost paint-like.  Another idea is to sprinkle a few drops of food coloring on a paper plate and wander about the yard allowing raindrops to mix the colors.  No two plates will be the same.

A science activity would be to go to a pond or stream to hunt for frogs, turtles, and other rain-loving wildlife.

Lots of rain themed songs have been passing through my head as I have been typing.  I would love to just go out in the rain and sing and dance with my kids.  Here's a few song suggestions from a few different genres (I have quite eclectic taste):
Purple Rain, Prince
Rockin' With the Rhythm of the Rain, The Judds
Blame it on the Rain, Milli Vanilli
I Love a Rainy Night, Eddie Rabbit
Singing in the Rain, Gene Kelly
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Judy Garland (though there is a newer version by Isreal something that is catchy.  I think it is the version that played on ER when Dr. Greene died.)

So a rainy day does not have to mean that you can't go outside.  Certainly, you should watch the skies and avoid outdoor play in lightning or other severe weather.  But usually sometime during a rainy day you could get out and enjoy the rain.  Think of those memories you are making...


  1. What fun ideas! I agree that it is easier to commit your own children to play outside on rainy days. There are logistical issues of changing 10-20 little ones out of muddy clothes into nice dry ones.

    Thanks for linking up to our site! -Danielle

  2. We save worms on rainy days...we rescue them before they roast!

  3. Stacey, Thanks for the good ideas about playing in the rain, soon we will have our rainy season in Saskatchewan, Canada, so I'll keep these in mind.
    I enjoy using "adult" songs with my children as well, they especially like some of the early 60's music, such as "My boyfriend's back", etc. with their simple beat - good for dancing!
    Have a great day!

  4. fabulous post!! I am a fan of playing in the rain if its warm out, this chilly stuff.. not so much :)