April 14, 2011

3 outdoor play ideas for rainy days

Who says kids need to stay inside on rainy days? Guest blogger Kari Marie Svenneby (pictured left), outdoor play group expert and founder of ActiveKidsClub, shares three great rainy-day play ideas.

April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring new outdoor play opportunities. Many of my fondest memories from childhood involve mud puddles, and I’m happy to say that I’ve passed this love of rain on to my children. One of my daughters even started a survey in her class to change her school’s indoor recess policy on rainy days.

Children play most creatively in settings they can manipulate. Mud and water serve as ideal raw materials for creativity and sensory exploration. So what can we do out in the rain?

Navigate the "ocean"

The rainy world is your ocean. Make sailboats out of pieces of wood and leaves or folded paper, float them in puddles, and use sticks to steer.

Change the landscape

Use buckets and spades to help divert the “river” into other puddles. This activity is a great way to explore the natural properties of water and water movement and manipulation.

Make mud pies

Hearing the words "mud pies" floods my mind with gooey childhood memories. Find the closest squishy puddle and bring a stash of pie tins and sand toys. Decorate your mud pies with flowers, pebbles and sticks.

Got rainy ideas to share with us? We’d love to hear from you on ActiveKidsClub.com. You can win $100 worth of outdoor clothing in our April Shower Contest.

See Kari's on-demand online workshop, "Get Outside!: an All-Weather Guide to Outdoor Playgroups."

active kids club, play outdoors, rain, guest blog, water play