Why Not Turn Dreary into Fun?
Make memories you'll talk about for years to come.
Living in the northwest, we learn early on, we can’t let the rain dowse our fun outdoors. Just make sure you all have play clothes, so you don’t have to worry about messing up your good ones.
Yesterday I was waiting for Terry, standing outside JoAnn's Fabric (he hates to go into fabric stores as it reminds him of when he was little and getting in trouble while his mom was looking through Simplicity pattern books). It had been raining hard and the parking lot had many shallow puddles. I watched a young, harried mom with a sleeping infant in her arms and a two-year-old by the hand, heading into JoAnn's. She was hell bent for fabric. The two-year-old was thrilled with the puddles he managed to stomp in from the car to the store. It made me think, 'we're always going somewhere and what would it be like if we weren't?' What if we set out to have fun? Just think how inexpensive it would be to take your kids to a parking lot after a heavy rain and let them play! I wish you could have seen the joy in that child's face with that quick to the store!
Whether it's just misting or pouring cats and dogs make the most of the wet weather and play with your kids in the rain with these family-tested outdoor activities.
1. Puddle Play
Mom, you usually discourage your kids from jumping in puddles, so they’ll be shocked and excited when you suggest a splashing contest. Get your play clothes and rain boots on and head out looking for the biggest puddles you can find. Let your kids get soaking wet! Let the child who makes the biggest spray, get to pick the movie the family will watch or be freed from some chore. Give points for the one who gets the wettest. If you’ve got dancers in the family, have them practice some steps they’ve learned.
COME ON Mom, get in the puddles with them! Motherhood is not a spectator sport. Let your kids splash you. All it takes is saying, “Don’t you splash me,” in a way they know you’re daring them to do it. Oh and just think how good a hot shower will feel after the fun!
2. Sprint through a storm
When was the last time you ran in the rain for fun? Get your play clothes on and run with the kids. Dare to get soaked! Kids love fantasy. You could pretend you’re all dressed up to go to church and you’re caught in a storm. “Oh, no, we’re getting soaked! Run!” Kids also love to pretend they’re in trouble. “Oh, no, Rachel! You’re all wet!! What’ll we do now!”
3. Out with the bath toys
Bath toys like Rubber Ducky, toy boats, squirt guns and balls are just as much fun to play with outside in the rain. Your kids will love getting to take their bath friends outside. When you hear the forecast for rain, put out some containers and let Mother Nature fill them for some good outside bathtub fun!
4. Shooting on a rainy day
Photography, that is. Give the little photographers in your family disposable, waterproof cameras so they can capture the stormy weather on film. Spring rain provides a perfect opportunity to capture rare images of water droplets, beautiful cloud formations, reflections in puddles, and colorful rainbows. Let them shoot away, then drop off the cameras at a same-day photo processing center and go home with the prints for lasting memories. Or use your smart phone.
5. Raindrop art
Let Mother Nature’s spring showers assist in creating works of art. Start by putting several colors of powdered tempera paint into empty containers with plastic shaker tops. Give each of your little artists a sheet of heavy white construction paper and allow them to sprinkle their choices of color onto the paper and lay them out in a light rain. They’ll love watching as the drops turn the powder into liquid as very interesting abstract art appears. Bring finished art inside to dry.
6. Don’t forget the mud
Mud is one of autumn’s gifts to children. Kids and mud just go together. Loan them some of your kitchen utensils and let them stir up some tasty mud pies. Who knows, today’s kids in the mud could be tomorrow’s chefs. Mom, don’t be a fuddy, muddy duddy, let’em get dirty.
7. Swimming in the Rain
Pull out the plastic water slide and let the rain fill the inflatable pool. Unless you’re in the tropics, let your kids play in the pool in their play clothes until they get cold and want to come in.
Hope this makes you want to get out there and play in the rain, but don't forget this time of year is a great time to get everybody organized and get the kids' rooms streamlined. It's also time to get all the summer clothes organized and stored and given away. Here's a blog I wrote about cleaning out closets, cupboards and drawers.