We all need to get outside more than ever. With the self-isolation orders going into its sixth week, getting fresh air is more important than ever before. Sadly, we’re also in “rainy day” territory. Under regular circumstances, it’s easy to justify keeping the kids indoors for a few rainy days.
But rain isn’t going to keep us inside! Kids need their outdoor time, and we need to give them an outlet to burn off as much energy as possible. So we need to find a way to get them outside, rain or shine.
As long as you’ve got some waterproof boots and a raincoat—hey, even a garbage bag will do!—here are 15 activities you can do outside that take advantage of the fact that it’s raining.
Jump in a puddle or two
We’re always telling our kids not to jump in puddles—it’s messy, they’re always trying to do it on the way to school, and really it can make your life a little harder. But giving them permission to skip, hop and jump through every puddle they can find is a great way to bring a little joy into a rainy day.
If you’ve got some dirt to spare in your garden or backyard, it’s time to let the kids get dirty! Grab some shovels, some Tupperware, and start making mud magic. From mud castles to mud pies, your kid’s imagination is the limit—just have a warm bath and the laundry machine ready to go.
Paint the rainbow
Have you ever wondered what happens to chalk art in the rain? Stop wondering and test it out! Take your sidewalk chalk outside and let the kids experiment with all the colours of the rainbow. The colours will blur and intensify, creating a whole different rainbow than the dry sidewalk chalk your kids are used to.
Float some boats
Whether you choose to make paper boats or bring your own boats outside, your kids will love watching their boats float in puddles. Take it one step further and bring your kiddie pool outside, let it fill up, and let your kids explore their own little lake.
Build a magic world
Let your kids bring some of their toys outside and encourage them to forge from around your home. Grab pinecones, sticks, leaves, flowers, and whatever else you can find and create a magical world that bridges the world of nature and their imaginations.
A lot of fun critters come out to play in the rain. Go on a zoological exploration of your backyard or neighbourhood and see what you can see—keep your eyes peeled for frogs, worms, and even birds.
Whether your kid is a soccer player, a baseball fan, or a basketball star, who says you can’t play sports in the rain? Grab your sports equipment and spend some time shooting hoops, playing catch or shooting goals in the rain.
Water the plants
Of course, all of your outdoor plants are going to be enjoying the rain already, but it’s a great chance to give your indoor plants a little love too. Get the kids to help you bring all your indoor plants outside so that they can enjoy the rain and then have the kids help bring them inside once the plants have had their fill.
Singing in the rain
It’s a song for a reason! Get your favourite music playing, sing, and dance along while splashing, jumping and having an amazing time in the rain.
Bath time outdoors
No, you’re not going to give them a full bath outside, but let them bring their bath toys outside—there’s nothing more fun than watching your favourite boat or ducky float in a puddle.
Measure the rain
Get a little scientific and put a little STEM into your rainy day. Measure the rainfall over different time intervals—an hour, a day, a week. Your kids can get involved with making your own rain gauge by securing a ruler to the inside of a clear cup or mason jar.
Play in the sandbox
If you’ve got a sandbox at home, let it get a little wet and have your kids explore the sand. With the wet sand, they will be able to build sandcastles. Just remember to get their clothes off before they come inside… avoid the extra work of cleaning up a sand mess!
Bring some different sized pots and pans outdoors and turn them upside down. See what amazing music comes to light when the raindrops hit the pans.
Flip your umbrellas upside down
Take your normal rainy day accoutrements and literally flip them on their heads! Use your umbrellas to see how many raindrops you can catch. Use your rain gauge and turn it into a contest—who can capture the most rain.
Kids LOVE bubbles, it’s an undeniable fact. Now add to that the fun and excitement of rain—they’re going to go wild!