Raindrops are such funny things.
They haven't feet or haven't wings.
Yet they sail through the air,
With the greatest of ease,
And dance on the street,
Wherever they please.
Autumn is here! The skies are grey…..the clouds are gathering and it's raining, it's pouring! So how do you make sure that you continue to provide your children with access to high quality learning experiences outside and motivate the adults to join them?
Here are some simple and easy to use ideas to get both adults and children enjoying those rainy days outside.
Creative Ideas for a Rainy Day
Make a rain catcher from a plastic bottle. Cut off the top of the bottle and keep till later. Mark lines on the outside and then put the lid into the bottom of the bottle upside down to create a funnel. Record the water levels every day using standard and non- standard measures
Create a weather station where children can record the colour of the sky, how much of the sun is visible, the shape of the clouds etc
Carry out a cloud experiment – fill a clear glass with water and on the top add a shaving foam “cloud”. Drop food colouring on to the foam and watch as it “rains”
Paint in the rain! Secure some pieces of card outside. Put drops of food colouring on to the card and let the rain create a picture
Leave cornflour in trays outside and mix with rain
Make moon paint bombs – take a paper napkin and place powder paint inside it. Tie it up with string. Once it has started raining throw the bombs and watch the colours mix
Make boats and float them in puddles
Hold a splash competition – who can make the biggest splash by jumping into a puddle? Try to find ways to measure your splash
Mix rain water with mud to create some very sticky mud pies!
Pour washing up liquid in to a puddle and then blow bubbles in a puddle with a straw
Make a puddle print – drip food colouring into a puddle. Stir gently with a stick and then gently lay paper over the puddle to take a print
Hold a competition to see who can collect the most rain water while it is raining
Listen carefully to the sound of the rain. Compare the sounds of rain on different materials such as metal, plastic or glass
Rescue some garden superheroes from the rain. Go out and look for worms and snails and find out why they appear more frequently in the rain. Ask the children to build a shelter to protect them
Challenge the children to make a shelter to keep out the rain
Make your own rain – pour 2 inches of very hot tap water into a glass container and cover it with a plate. Wait a few minutes and then place ice cubes on the plate and watch what happens
Carry out an experiment to catch a rainbow – pour milk onto a plate. Add 5 drops of yellow food colouring to the centre of the milk. Add 4 drops of red food colouring next to the yellow. Add 4 drops of blue next to the red. Add 1 drop of washing up liquid and watch what happens to the colours
In my experience there are very few children who do not show a natural curiosity about the natural world and its ever changing weather! The fact that rain provides a natural source of water to explore and investigate should be an even greater incentive to get outside and get wet!
Remember there is no such thing as bad weather……..just unsuitable clothing and unimaginative adults!