play in the rain

How to Play in the Rain (Safely)

Remember the joy of jumping in puddles? How about making mud pies? If it’s warm enough and lightning-free, there’s no reason to make kids stay indoors on a rainy day. In fact, it can be an especially memorable time to go out and play. Here are some ideas for how your family can play in the rain together!


Safety First

Remember–don’t go out when lighting is either occurring or predicted. Also, remind your children that whenever they’re playing outside and hear thunder, to head indoors. Also, if there’s a threat of heavy downpours and flash flooding, you’ll want to stay warm and dry inside, too. People sometimes get injured or worse when flash floods suddenly fill culverts or ditches.

What about the old idea that getting cold in the rain can lead to catching a cold? As we now know, colds and other illnesses are caused by viruses and bacteria, not by getting wet in the rain. However, there is recent research that shows becoming cold can make you more susceptible to the cold virus and to some bacterial infections. A group of scientists at Yale University found that cold temperatures weaken our immune defenses. So dress warmly or, if it’s too cold, opt for a game or craft indoors.


Ideas for Rainy Day Fun

But if it’s a warm day filled with gentle showers, get outside and family fun. Some if it will even be educational! Here’s a list to start with.


Explore Nature

Create a dam. It can be fascinating to find rivulets of water and try to direct them with homemade dams. Or try to create little pools by controlling the flow of water with sticks, bricks, rocks, or whatever material you and your child find to make dams.

Go for a wet animal nature hike. It’s easier to spot certain animals in the rain, like earthworms, frogs, and snails. Take your kids for a hike to observe them. Plus, see how different their favorite outdoor spots, like the park, look in the rain.

Plant seeds. Seeds always need to be watered when you first plant them, so a gentle rain is a perfect time to add to your garden!


Get Artsy

Sing and splash. Dancing is always good exercise but add “singing in the rain” for a fun moment that kids are likely to remember and want to repeat.

Chalk art. It’s much easier to slide chalks across a wet sidewalk and the colors are more vivid too. You kids will enjoy making masterpieces in the rain.


Fun with Science

Float your boats. If the water is creating mini streams in your yard or driveway, it’s lots of fun to make homemade boats with paper or popsicle sticks or bring out some of your bath toy boats for races. Try to predict which ones will float best or travel fastest.

Make a rain gauge. Check out this DIY guide for kids to make a rain gauge. It’s easy and they’ll enjoy measuring and telling you the results.


Just Enjoy Getting Wet

Slip and slide. You may already have one of these toys, or you can make one with a tarp or any sturdy, large piece of plastic. Slip and slide in the rain rather than using the garden hose.

Water balloon and water gun fight. You don’t have to worry about getting too wet from a water gun battle or water balloon fight in the rain–the wetter, the better!


So the next time you’re facing a stretch of rainy days without lightning, there’s no need to feel trapped indoors. Take your kids outside for an extra special play day in the rain!

PHOTO: Holeysockart / CC0 Public Domain

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