Running Through Raindrops

It's raining again here in Southeastern, Massachusetts. It's been raining off and on for most of the week and many parents have told me their kids are getting antsy. I, too, am often guilty of staying indoors when it's raining (My high school yearbook didn't say 'I love long walks in the rain!').

Yet, once summer rolls around, there's no reason to insist your kids stay inside. The air is warm so there's no danger of getting too cold. In fact, many kids love being given permission to run around getting wet and playing in mud puddles.

So if you live here in the northern hemisphere and it's warm and raining today, why not encourage your kids to go play in the rain?

Here are some tips:

  1. Make them go barefoot so they don't ruin their good sneakers. Or have them wear old "play sneakers," crocs, flip flops or other sandals that can get wet.
  2. Have them wear bathing suits or old clothes.
  3. Have towels ready at the door so they won't track mud and water all over the house. Perhaps lay an old towel on the floor, as well.
  4. Have warm clothes ready before they go out so they can warm up, if necessary, when they come in. I know my kids will swim or play in water until their lips turn blue and still insist "I'm not cold!"
What to do in the Rain
First and foremost, I encourage you to let your kids do what they want, as long as it's safe.  Don't try to direct them- just let them play. Free play is great for developing brains. (And even grown-up ones!)

BUT... some kids may come back after a couple of minutes saying they don't know what to do.

Some suggestions:
  1. Make mud pies.
  2. Take a "shower." Give them environmentally safe soap and let them wash up. I loved doing this as a kid.
  3. City dwellers might especially like this- but is does require parent involvement for safety. See if they can follow the path of the raindrops once they hit the ground. In other words, which way does the water flow? Down the street? Through a park? Into a gutter? Stand in different areas and track the flow of water.
  4. See how many animals you can find. Which ones are out and active (such as worms, salamanders, or frogs). What animals can you find hiding? (Perhaps insects under plants?)
Do you have other ideas for outdoor rain activities? Please suggest them in the comments.