We have had rain today. Loads of it! Well, I say loads, it came down like a bucket had been tipped over in the heavens and now I am actually writing this looking out at the evening sun (not a hint of the earlier grey day).
It got me thinking about rainy day activities, because, as we know, there is nothing worse than kids stuck inside when it rains, is there?!
As a creative educator, you probably know that I believe strongly that being inside when it rains is NOT a great idea, but I also wouldn’t be one to force you all outside if that’s not your thing (yet! 😉). So, let’s see if I can cover both in and out options with some creative learning ideas…
Getting outside in the rain!
Setting up a weather station is a great idea for bringing curiosity into your child’s education. It may be something they do at school but extending their learning and giving them opportunity to take sole responsibility for the recording means they will take it in and therefore learn more.
Start with something as simple as a rain gauge. Use a 2L bottle and cut the top third off to be your funnel. The bottom two thirds will be your collecting receptacle. On the bottom part, you will need to mark some measures, so you can record the rain you collect. Use a jug and fill with 100ml water.
Actually, doing this activity is a great way for your child to build the understanding of what 100ml, etc. looks like – something they will be asked in some form during school assessments.
Add this to the bottle and mark with a permanent pen. Add another 100ml and mark, then repeat until you have the bottle marked. Use the water to water the garden! Use weatherproof tape to attach the funnel to the top of the bottle upside down. Your rain gauge is ready to put outside.
You need it to be as much in the open as possible, so it can accurately collect rain. You will need to secure it. To do this, try placing in a plant pot and put some stones or object inside the bottle funnel. The rain will run over the stones and down the funnel into your collecting part.
Now to wait for the rain! 🌧️ Oh, and get those welly boots ready too, so your child can rush outside and watch the rain being collected, as inevitably they will!
Rainy days are obviously fun for splashing about in puddles and let’s face it, children seem to absolutely LOVE being wet!! Today at school, at least two classes had to be called in from the downpour because they didn’t want to come inside – they were having too much fun just getting absolutely soaked!! When did we lose that love for life?! (hey, maybe you didn’t, so apologies for including you in that! Complete respect if you still have it! 🙌).
How about a walk in the rain? Notice things around you. I mean really notice. Watch raindrops, watch the rings in puddles, hear the rain splashing on the leaves, look for insects who like the rain too (are there any? If not, why?).
Prefer to stay dry(ish)?
Try some painting. Paint a sheet of paper different colours, but then before it dries, place it outside in the rain. Let the rain make its magic and see what you end up with! Let it dry before you pick it up though as it might be quite delicate.
Making rainbow pictures on a rainy day not only brings some sunshine to your day, but allows for discussion about colours, maybe songs, or even scientific questions about why. And remember, it's not about you having the answers, it's about learning together!
Write poems about the rain. They don’t have to rhyme remember! Or just make up funny stories about the rain. You say a sentence, then your child says the next and repeat… I wonder which way your story will lead! Lol!
My final idea is a little more scientific and gets your child to think about what materials keep you dry. If you have some different materials (and by this I don’t just mean fabric, try foil, film, paper, card…), try wrapping a toy in different ones, or making an umbrella out of them and then use a small watering can and a bowl to test which is best. Watery fun without getting (too!) wet.
However you plan your rainy days, make sure to check out the Grow A Creative Child Academy for more ideas to keep hands busy, no matter what age! Find out more here.
See you soon and hope that this inspires you to enjoy the rain!