Posted tagged ‘playing in the rain’

5 reasons to enjoy rain

January 15, 2013

This post offers good reasons to enjoy the rain. For more info about my book Homemade Kids, with lots of ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children click here or follow this blog.

Singing in the rain room (an art installation where you get to control the flow).

Singing in the rain room (an art installation where you get to control the flow).

1 It makes you sing. From Here comes the rain again to Singing in the Rain there are zillions of classics that make the best of the weather.

2 You miss the rain like an old friend. A friend born in India says his first memory is of the monsoon – how all the kids ran into the street and jumped around screaming with joy when the big rains came. Nell, 11 and Lola, 14, agree – they were willing to queue for two hours at the Barbican to experience Random International’s rain room at the Barbican ( cost free, dates 4 Oct 2012 – 3 Mar 2013). Once in the downpour (like a giant shower except that you control the rain so wherever you walk you don’t get wet) it was amazing to see how everyone reacted with childlike excitement. They smiled, kissed, tried to do little gigs (and sometimes slipped over which made everyone else giggle). Lola whirled around – a dry whirling dervish. In contrast Nell ran trying to defy control and was rewarded by getting very wet.

3 Splashing in puddles is a favourite activity for little people. Let them do it, let them get wet and then change their clothes if you need to do so. Or just organise decent fitting waterproofs to start with.

4 It’s your private orchestra. Try listening under a bus shelter, tent awning, skylight roof and see what you hear. You’ll soon be launching into songs from Les Miserables. “Can you hear the people sing…”

5 It’s life affirming. Rain causes floods, it washes away. It drowns. But in the end it’s life affirming. After the flood there’s the rainbow… even on a saturated farm with 600ha of flooded potato crop.

Ways to play out when it’s wet

October 6, 2012

Horse chestnut trees drop their conkers after rain.

This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. This post suggests it’s time to get out in the woods, or just listen to a tree. For more info about my book Homemade Kids, with lots of ideas about parenting click here.

My dad hated taking a walk where he might run into people – so he used to take the dog out in the dark, and when it was pouring.

Perverse, yes, but it did make me look forward to bad weather so we’d have fun outside. Even if you don’t much like rain, it’ll pay off to try and convince your children it’s more fun outside when it’s raining as it gives them a chance to let off steam. So, just in case it starts tipping down again – and the long distance weather report suggests it will – here are a few ideas to make trips out in the rain something to look forward to.

1 Dress for the wet (rather than the cold) – waterproof the bits that touch the ground, fall down or want to splash. Crawl suits (all in ones) are excellent. For walkers wellies (gum boots) are perfect, and the posher brands are comfy enough to wear all day. If your children can do laces (or you don’t mind retying them) walking boots. I’m a fan of gore tex (waterproofed) trainers – if it wasn’t for a school uniform policy that forbids them that’s what my kids would be in until they ran away from home just to get their toes into winklepickers…

2 Little children love splashing in the rain, and big storms can be incredibly exciting to experience. So if it’s raining cats and dogs just go outside anyway and enjoy hailstones, fat rain drops and gushing drains. Just remember not to stand under trees if there is lightning/thunder.

3 If you want to sit down at the park or playground, take something you can sit on. Newspapers are great impromptu lining for cold metal seats but they go soggy quickly in the rain and drizzle. A nappy changing kit can double up if you want to pop a little child on the swing without leaving them with a soaking bum. Or grab a bit of pvc (chop up one of those spare kitchen aprons into a decent sized rectangle, or just take the apron) and use it on all the playground rides, even the slide. Watch out, you may go fast. Or not at all.

4 Would your child enjoy weather watching? Paint occasional diary entries for whatever the season throws at you – and add in seasonal pleasures too. Conkers, sweet chestnut and apples litter the ground after rain, if you know where to look. Or just put different sized containers in a spot where they can fill up with rain. Then pretend to be weather gurus. How long do they take to fill? Is it a record? What creatures start living in the containers?

How to play conkers

It’s a traditional autumn game for two players. Both need a conker which has had a hole pierced through it. Through this thread a 30 cm approx length of garden twine (or similar) and knot at the bottom to stop the conker falling off.

Player A holds the end of the string so their conker dangles beneath them. Player B tries to whack Player A’s conker with their conker. It’s much harder than it looks. You may get a few satisfying strikes. Or you may get bruised knuckles.

The winner is the player who doesn’t give up, or whose conker does not break. A champion conker gets named after its number of victories – onezy, twozy, threezy so on (or 1er, 2er, 3er). Beware of players who claim this is a 79er – they clearly mean business.

5 Hang up damp/soaked clothes when you get in so they dry. Turn damp wellies upside down and leave in a warm spot, or better still stuff with scrumpled up balls of newspaper. Dry clothes = everyone ready to play again tomorrow…

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