Playing in the rain is great for children. So, when the sky turns and droplets start to fall don’t bundle children indoors, let them enjoy the experience and continue playing out in the rain.
Of course, we’re not suggesting you let them get soaked and poorly as a result! If it’s really coming down or if there’s a bitter storm, it’s better to keep playtime indoors. But, a little light rain and some playing in the wet can actually be really good for children’s physical and mental development.
Benefits of playing in the rain
There are lots of benefits of allowing children to continue playing in the rain. Just make sure they’ve got their waterproof coats and shoes on, and there’s a warm towel (or even a bath!) waiting for them when they come back inside. It’s really important to keep children warm while they enjoy the rain to keep them fit and healthy.
Provides new experiences
Playing in the rain gives children experiences they might never had before. If their only experience of water is from the tap or bathroom they won’t have a good understanding of where our life-bringing, natural resources come from.
Mud kitchens are fantastic for use in the rain, and for getting children interacting with new materials and textures. Plus, as the rain keeps coming down, you won’t need to worry about wiping your mud kitchen clean after use!
Teaches them about the natural world
Playing in the rain can be used to teach children about the natural cycles of the world. You can explain why it rains and where the water comes from. Puddles, as well as being really fun to jump in, teach children that water always finds its own level.
They’ll also be able to see how different surfaces respond to the rain. Children will be able to observe how different densities and dryness of soil will soak up the water at different speeds, and that water can’t absorb into concrete or metal.
Helps them make choices about their safety
Letting children respond to the rain and nature helps them to understand what is and isn’t safe. They’ll get an understanding of the difference between a light drizzle and a torrential thunderstorm. Children will experience for themselves how slippery a wet surface can be, and how rain changes how well they can see.
Develops their balance, strength and agility
Moving about on wet surfaces takes more concentration, strength and agility. As children play in the rain, their developing their bodies and are able to grow more confident in their movements.
Gives them a taste of responsibility
Being out in the rain also teaches them a little individual responsibility. They’ll learn to move items that might get ruined in the rain somewhere dry, and discover the importance of hanging wet clothes to dry.
Enhances their sensory experiences
A wet day and a dry day have very different sounds, smells and sights. Keeping children inside when it’s raining limits their experience of the world. There’s so much joy to be had listening to the splash a puddle makes when it’s jumped in. New wildlife comes out in the rain for children to see, and things smell and feel different when it’s raining.
So, don’t keep children cooped up inside just because there’s a little rain. Get the wellies on and head out for some active play!