Have you heard the old saying ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing?’. A healthy child’s immune system will actually protect them from colds, no matter the weather, so why not pop on your ‘winter woollies’ and wet weather gear and head outside to play!
Playing outside in the rain is not only fun for all ages, but it is an important part of developing a child’s growth, wellbeing and senses.
Benefits of playing outside in all weather include:
- Helping to stimulate a child’s immune system
- Building stable sleeping patterns for babies
- Provoking the senses with new sights, smells, textures and sounds which stimulate brain development
- Encouraging creative thinking and gross motor movement skills.
Children can use resources in their environment to create play experiences with very little help from adults. They just need to be given the freedom and permission to experience outdoor play during the cold and rainy weather.
If you’re looking to encourage outdoor play with your child, try experimenting with these creative suggestions:
Outdoor song and dance
Children love describing their surroundings through song and dance, and this is a fantastic form of self-expression. Go outside and engage with your child in some rain themed songs including ‘Rain, rain go away’, ‘I can see a rainbow’, or ‘I’m singing in the rain’.
Bring out the bath toys
Puddles can provide endless fun and exploration – there is always something new to learn when we play in nature! Pool and bath toys can be fun to play with in rain puddles. Your child will love the novelty of using their favourite bath toys outdoors.
Catching rain drops
Do you remember running around outside as a child, mouth open looking up at the sky? Catching rain drops on your tongue is a fun and mess free activity. Sometimes the simple pleasures are the best!
Mindfully engage the senses
Take a few moments to observe the rain. Notice everything about it. The sights, sounds, smells, feel and taste. This will provoke your child’s use of sensory play.
Go for a nature walk
Put on your gumboots and take the family on a beautiful nature walk. Make sure to look out for those special animals that love the rain like frogs, snails and worms.
When you and your family are all done having fun outside in the rain, head inside for a warm bath and a hot drink. Curl up with a blanket, and enjoy how great it feels to be warm and dry after a day of fun outdoors!