For the first Wild Wednesday, it just happens to be raining buckets. But, that’s not going to stop Cora and I from going outside. One of my fondest memories as a child is playing outside in the warm summer rain. We would get on our rain boots (which came off almost as soon as we got outside), old clothes and run wild.
So here are ten of our favorite ways of taking advantage of a rainy day. And no, I’m not talking about activities to pass the time away inside!
1) Puddle Jump
This one is the most obvious. Go puddle jumping! We like to dig our own holes and watch them fill up. And of course puddle jumping is the most fun when done barefoot if it’s warm enough.
>> This kid-friendly shovel set was given to us by a friend and it’s been perfect for Cora. You can get it here. One note is that it is made in China, and I couldn’t find information on how it was manufactured. I searched high and low for a sustainable/green shovel set with no luck.
2) Singin in the Rain
There is just something about signing in the rain, it really is a glorious feeling. Cora and I like to sing Rain Rain Go Away, but with just slightly different lyrics:
Rain, Rain Stay All Day
Come Again Any Day
We Want to Play
Rain Rain Stay All Day.
The best songs are spontaneous so give the kids a few ideas and let them belt it out! Make it more theatrical by having them sing it while standing on a stump or chair.
3) Host the Rain Olympics
These Games are so much more fun in the rain. Some events can include: who can kick a beach ball the farthest, barefoot or rain boot races, leaf collecting (who can collect the most in a minute), and whatever else you can come up with! Of course both sides need to shake hands when it’s over (hint: a mud handshake is always a great way to end The Games).
4) Tree Showers
One person should shake a low hanging tree branch while the other person takes a “shower” underneath. They can even use a rock as “soap”. Or, let their imagination run even wilder – when the “magical” water is shaken down, it has the power to transform the person underneath into their favorite animal or super hero.
5) Paint it Up
Bring some watercolors and paintbrushes outside. Find some water pooling in the concrete or on the deck and start painting! The rain will wash it away pretty quickly, but the kids will have a create time seeing the colors run together.
Alternatively, before it rains, get a big piece of white paper and bring it outside. Put a brick on every corner of the paper to weigh it down and then sprinkle some paint powder in patterns on the paper. Explain that this is a collaborative art piece with the greatest artist of all – Mother Nature! After it rains, bring the masterpiece in to dry.
>> Eco Kids Paints are really amazing. Made from all nature materials – we’re talking potatoes and carrots here! Here is the set we have.
6) Nature Walk
Any change in weather transforms the environment. Notice the beads of water pooling in the leaves and flowers. Notice what animals are out and which are hiding away. Is it windy? What direction is the rain coming down?
>> We love our waterproof notebooks for making observations on rainy days. My husband is a Soil Scientist and uses this Rite in the Rain brand for his work.
7) Symphony in the Rain
Time to make music alongside Mother Nature. Bring out different sizes and types of bowls and place them upside down (metallic bowls make for an especially nice sound). Use spoons to play the sides of the bowls. If more accompaniment is needed, bring your own homemade instruments outside. For some extra fun have the boys wear bow ties, and choose someone to be the “conductor”.
8) Worm Saving Mission
Rain brings the worms up to the surface, and so many of these incredible creatures get stuck on the pavement and sidewalks. We used to go on worm walks and save tons of these little guys by helping them “cross the road”. You can even keep a tally of the lives you’ve saved.
9) Rain Dance
This has gone the best for me when I’ve checked the forecast for the week ahead and done a little preparation. You can pre-make some musical shakers, gather some feathers and watch a traditional Native American rain dance. Here’s one for the Thunderbird Native American Institute. Right before it looks like it’s going to rain, get everyone out there and start dancing!
10) Puddle Floating
We love making paper boats, but it is even more fun when we take them outside on a rainy day and find some puddles to float them on. Best when accompanied by a pirate accent and talk of, “Storms on the high seas!”
>> Wonderful (and simple) DIY instructions to make your own boat out of corks. It really floats! Get the instructions here. We didn’t have the glue, so we just used two big rubber bands to secure the corks together. No bamboo skewers? Use a toothpick.
The key to all these activities is to let loose and have fun. I would love to hear your ideas of what you and the kids do outside on the rainy days!
Your Woman Gone Wild,