How to Spend a Rainy Day
It’s spring in Pittsburgh and that means rainy days are coming. On a rainy day you may be tempted to curl up indoors until the sky clears, but now more than ever we need to take advantage of every opportunity to get outside and embrace mindful movement. Besides, your kiddos probably need that outdoor time a little bit more than you need that snuggle up in a big chair time!
A rainy day offers an amazing opportunity for your littles ones to get active and creative. It can be hard to keep creating new activities and games to keep your kid engaged, active and learning. It can be especially difficult when the demand for new activities is at an all-time high because we are all doing our best to stay home and stay safe.
Here are six activities that you that will have your little ones looking forward to a rainy play day!
- Create a rain gauge! Build your own rain gauge to measure how much it rains. This is a fun way to incorporate STEM into your child’s play. Turn it into a scientific investigation! How much did it rain in one hour? One day? Keep the experiment running even longer and measure how much it rains for the whole week! Learn how to make your very own rain gauge from an old water bottle here!
- Splash around in the puddles. Jumping in puddles is inarguably the best part of playing in the rain. Turn your puddle jumping into a game! Take a walk around your neighborhood looking for puddles. Direct your child to either hop, jump, or leap in and over the puddles! Incorporate ‘Simon Says’ and ‘Follow the Leader’ into your puddle jumping adventures. This is a great opportunity to practice listening skills and important gross motor skills. Try giving directions like these: Hop with one foot into the middle of the puddle! See if you can leap over the entire puddle! Let one of the children take a turn being the leader. It will make everything much more fun, if you jump in, too!
- Practice your wildlife photography. Take some time to explore nature in the rain. It is easy to appreciate nature when the sun is shining, but take some time to explore the plants and wildlife in your backyard in the rain. You will be surprised how many critters are moving around when it rains.
- Race sticks! This might sound silly but growing up this was one of my favorite games for a rainy day. All you need are a few sticks, some ribbon or tissue paper and a body of water. Have everyone choose a stick or a leaf and tie a piece of ribbon onto the bottom so you can tell them apart. Next place your racer into the water. If you don’t live near a small creek just find a large puddle! Try throwing rocks into the water to see how that impacts the progress of your stick, or maybe impedes the progress of your competitor’s stick!
- Organize a rainy day symphony. Search around your house and grab anything you think might make a sound when the rain hits it! Pots, bowls and even foil are all great materials for accentuating the sounds of the rain. Have your kids experiment with the shapes and placement of the items to see how it changes the sound. Try setting up under an overhanging part of the roof where the water flows more heavily and see how that sounds.
- When the rain subsides and the ground has had a chance to dry, there is one last rainy day-related activity for you, before heading on to sunny day activities! Send out a worm search & rescue team! Worms tend to crawl out of the ground onto stable surfaces so that they don’t drown during heavy rains. They can get stranded on sidewalks and driveways- so get busy rescuing! Move them back to their homes in the earth. Maybe you will want to relocate some into your garden beds where they will help make the soil extra rich and good for your plants!