This post is all about embracing your inner child. Sometimes you need to splash in every puddle and get a little muddy! It is time for RAIN ADVENTURES!
As a family of desert dwellers we view rain as an awesome opportunity to play. I still remember the first time it rained after we moved to the desert. I was pregnant with Ruby. It was around midnight and the rain started. It was a June night and we ran outside and danced around in the rain like we were kids. The rain lasted less than 10 minutes. We had a blast and came in and dried off and got ready for bed. I guess that appreciation of desert rain, the wonderful smell of desert rain and the fun of going out and really enjoying it stuck with me. We cheer for rain. We clap for rain. We giggle when it starts raining. Rain is a reason to stay up late. It is a reason to skip nap. It is a reason to get up super early and go outside and get wet in your pajamas. There is nothing better. During the rainy season, I try to keep an eye on the weather so we are prepared for rain opportunities. Of course, not all rain is for playing outside in. We avoid going out during thunder or lightning or during a haboob. We talk about what conditions make it unsafe to play outside. When we have to stay inside, we still appreciate the rain by watching the storm roll in from the safety of our house. We try to take full advantage of your every day, run of the mill rainy day or more often the rainy 10 minute burst.
Knowing that the rain sometimes only lasts a matter of minutes where we are, we have the attitude of just diving in and having fun when the moment strikes. We drop everything and just go for it. We stay prepared by having our rain gear ready to go. I even toss it in the car during rainy season, that way if it starts raining and we want to play, we are prepared.
My rainy day car kit includes rain boots, a raincoat, little umbrella, big umbrella for myself, a change of clothes in a gallon sized plastic bag, and a towel. If I am extra prepared I even add a change of clothes for myself. Now, you don’t really need any rain gear and sometimes those unprepared moments are the best. We just find rain gear a fun addition to our rain play, especially a pair of fun rain boots. The gear Ruby has on in these pictures is from Target. We bought it on clearance a few years ago and we were smart and bought it a little big and also bought the next size up so we would have rain gear to last for years.
Are you wondering what to do in the rain?
Play in the Backyard- Duh! I know it is obvious but it is so much fun to explore your backyard in different weather. Where does the rain pool to make puddles? Are there fun areas to make mud? What do the plants look like covered in rain? What animals do you see out and about? Is it different than those you see when it is sunny? What do your outside toys look like in the rain? Which ones are just as fun to play with in the rain? Which ones are more fun?
The great thing is you don’t need to spend a single penny to make this happen. You just need to open your door. You can go barefoot or wear a pair of old shoes or snazzy rain boots. You can wear your regular clothes, old things that can get muddy, go naked, or wear a snazzy rain coat. My favorite little kid combination is no clothes and just rain boots or no clothes and just rain boots and a raincoat.
Go for a Walk- It sounds really basic but it is probably our go to activity and it is free. Walking around looking for puddles and jumping in them is the best.We can spend a long stretch of time outside exploring our neighborhood. We now know where some of the best puddle spots are. Our favorites are on a local walking path where we can hop off path and splash in grassy puddles and hop off path at the local elementary school and stomp around on the baseball diamond.
We even like to travel prepared. If the forecast calls for rain during our vacation, we pack accordingly with rain gear and clothes that can get wet and muddy. We don’t let a little rain cramp our style. We roll with the punches and have a rain adventure instead. This Minnie umbrella from Grandma was a huge hit.
If you want to get out of your backyard or neighborhood, the world is your oyster. We happen to love going to the zoo while it is raining. 1. The zoo is empty. Everyone stays home. We have the place to ourselves. 2. It is interesting to see which animals are more active and which animals are hiding and which animals are inside. It sparks lots of discussion. 3. The real reason we go is that the zoo has the best puddles. The asphalt paths are not slippery like the cement can be. There are lots of different spots with puddles and we can walk a loop and splash away. Other places to check out are parks, playgrounds, botanical gardens, and nature centers.
Collect Rain– Put out containers to collect rain that you can then use to water plants or you can be scientific and measure how much rain you get. We have this rain gauge on our wish list. You just stick it in the ground. If you have a deck, you could get a rain gauge that attaches to the deck.
Play in the Mud- Yes, it is messy. Yes, it is so much fun. It is a great sensory experience and it is a great place to investigate what is happening under the ground. You can dig and find worms or they may be popping up to say hello and celebrating the rain with you. The great thing is you can hose off in the backyard or just jump in the shower or tub for a quick rinse down. I have lots more “Mud Play” ideas to share with you. Those will all come in another blog post.
Get out there and enjoy the rain. Feel those rain drops on your face. Splash in a puddle or two of your own. Connect with your inner three-year old. I promise, it is lots of fun.
How does the rain make you feel? What do you like to do in the rain? Did you just check the forecast?