Rain doesn't have to mean staying in all day. Nature transforms in the rain, bringing new smells, sounds and textures; puddles appear and creatures come out.... The outdoors on a rainy day is an endless laboratory full of learning potential, and in the right gear is heaps of fun!
10 Outdoor Adventures for Rainy Days
1. PuddlesNumber one for a reason, who doesn't love splashing in Puddles! Count how many splashes it takes to get ALL of the water out of the puddle! Bring out the bath toys or go mini scientific and play "It Sinks v It Floats" - gather things from nature sticks, pebbles, pine-cones, leaves and see which ones float...
2. Boats!Make paper boats & float them in puddles or race them wherever the rain runs into mini riverlets! Here's how to make easy boats. I used my to-do -list and it felt good! But any paper will do, a bit of crayon waterproofing and you are good to go!
3. Worm HuntWorms come to the surface when the ground is wet. Some people believe this is for migration, as the worms can travel more quickly above ground when it is wet. Some believe that the worms mistake the vibrations made by the rain for underground predators like moles, so they come to the surface to escape. Whatever the reason, little ones love wiggly worms and during or after a rain shower is the best time to find them.
4. Make Rain Art!There are lots of ways to make beautiful paintings with the rain. Splodge paint onto a board and lean it against something outside – let the rain run the paint then bring it in to dry. OR Sprinkle some drops of food colouring onto a paper plate, leave it out for the rain to splash the drops around and watch as beautiful patterns appear. Bring it inside to dry flat. Chalk becomes more vivid when it's wet so just after a rain shower is a good time to create street art with chalk.
5. Make Rain Music.If the rain is heavy, leave some upturned plastic buckets and metal pans outside and listen to the noise they make. Place them under a big drip for the loudest sound.
6. Have a Raindrop Race.It's mesmerising to watch the rain trickling down a window pane, even for very young babies. Choose a raindrop each and follow its journey down the window, see who's droplet reaches the bottom first!
Take some old pots & pans outside and play mud kitchens. Let their imagination run riot and try and forget about the washing! This kind of natural, sensory play taps into a child's natural curiosity. Mud is even more fun than playing in sand or water for a little one, so let them go for it!
8. Make a Rain Gauge.Get a jar and each person makes a mark on the outside to guess how much rain will fall in a set amount of time (one hour, one day etc) the person who's mark is closest wins.
9. Go for a Walk
Head to your local green-space or the woods, you'll be surprised how enjoyable it is in the pouring rain! An extra idea is to take a pop up tent and a Thermos of hot chocolate for a cosy stop off!
10. Singing in the Rain
There are lots of great songs about the rain and they can be made even more fun by singing them out IN the rain. Here are some of our favourite weather songs:
Winter weather clothing for babies, toddlers and kids
There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing - Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes
Enjoying the rain is easy when you have the right gear. babies, toddlers and kids lose heat more quickly than adults do due to having a comparatively higher size to weight ratio. To enjoy the outdoors year round in any weather a superlove merino base layer is ideal. On wet days merino clothing makes the best thermal clothing for babies, toddlers and kids as it draws moisture away from the skin and into it's core - where it later transfers outward releases and evaporates leaving the wearer comfortable and dry feeling. Merino can take on up to 60% of its own weight in moisture before feeling damp to the touch, but the real magic comes from an effect known as 'heat of sorption' whereby the presence of moisture triggers a natural reaction in the wool fibre that actually generates a small but noticeable amount of heat (about 1°C). This, coupled with a superior ability to insulate, is why merino wool keeps those lucky sheep (and us!) so warm in cold weather and yet another reason why merino is nature's super fibre. On cold wet winter days layer a superlove base layer under outdoor clothing for warmth and comfort, whatever the weather. For more information on layering little ones in cold weather check out our layering guide here