Monday, April 25, 2011

Outdoor Adventures: Puddle Jumping and Rain Showers by Erin Uda

April’s coming to an end, and if your month was anything like ours, there should be a ton of flowers this May! Needless to say; it’s been incredibly wet here in Utah and the forecast isn’t changing much through the end of the month. So pull on your Hunters (or Wellingtons) and a waterproof jacket – we’re going to get wet!

The best thing about rain, in my opinion, is the fabulous smell afterward. The air is clean, the worms are out in force (along with the birds), and everything feels refreshed.

The second best thing about rain is the amazing variety of puddles left behind. You can find them everywhere – and no two are ever alike.

There is something incredibly youthful about jumping in a puddle and allowing yourself to get wet and make a mess. So go ahead, indulge your inner child and start splashing.

Fun ideas to keep your child’s attention after the first few splashes:
  • Biggest Splash
  • Loudest Splash
  • Biggest Puddle Finder
  • Smallest Puddle Finder
  • Wettest Person
  • Dryest Person

If you prefer not to get wet, go on a nature walk after the rain and show your child how different the world looks. Point out the worms (and possibly help a few back into the dirt), enjoy the clean, fresh air, and squish your toes into the wet ground. Bring a camera with you and see what kind of pictures you can take to document the changes caused by the rain. Put them together in a book or album to document your adventure.

If possible, arrange to go outside while it’s still raining. (This is best done later in the summer when the rain is warm.) You can wear your rain gear or just go out in your bathing suits. While you’re out there, watch the way the raindrops hit the ground, the grass, and the flowers. Try to catch some on your tongue. Fill up a jar or glass with rain water and see how much you can capture. Is there anything in there other than rain? If so, talk about how it may have gotten there.

If your child still has a lot of energy left after sitting in the house through all the rain, try to make your own rainstorm by following the directions found at this link:

Explore the world with all your senses – it’s the way we were meant to live!

Suggested Books:
  • Spring Goes Squish – Marty Kelley (ISBN: 9781559333153; Call #: P Kelley)
  • Puddle Wonderful: Poems to Welcome Spring – Mary Morgan (ISBN: 978-0679814931; Call #: P Morgan)
  • Puddles – Jonathan London (ISBN: 9780140561753; Call #: P London)

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