Don't Let Rain Stop Play!
Eureka! The National Children's Museum is an interactive museum and educational charity based in Halifax, West Yorkshire. The executive staff are all leading experts in play and the role it has in the wider development and wellbeing of children.
What is the month of April best known for? April fools? Easter eggs? Many would say April Showers, as the Easter holidays can often end up as a bit of a damp affair for many families. At Eureka! we’re great believers that play can, and should, happen come rain or shine. So how can you turn a grey day into a play day when you and yours and stuck indoors? Here are a few ideas to get playing, whatever the weather.
- Little rainbows Get raiding your wardrobes to create your very own little, human-shaped rainbows. Can you find an item of clothing for each colour of the rainbow? Even better, can you run through the colours from head to toe? If there is a group, you could take one rainbow colour each using your brightest, most colourful clothes. All dressed up? How about you sing the Rainbow song to celebrate.
- Create your own rainmakers Take a kitchen towel tube or an empty cereal box, seal one end with sticky tape and drop in a few handfuls of dried peas, pasta or rice. Secure the other end with sticky tape. Now it’s time to get creative. Grab your felt-tips and decorate the tubes and boxes. You could draw on patterns, easter eggs and flowers or maybe even raindrops and clouds. Now gently tip your rainmaker from side to side to create lovely rainy sounds.
- Watery Water colours For this you’ll need a set of water colours and a BIG sheet of paper. Work together to create a large-scale water colour painting. When everyone is happy that the picture is finished, it’s time to take advantage of the bad weather to turn your creation into something a little more impressionist – Pop it out into the rain and let it get wet through. Grab your brollies and watch as the picture changes into a whole new piece of rain art.
- Rainy day sing-song Set your family a rainy day challenge: How many songs do you know that feature the weather? One point for each, with an extra point if you can sing them, and another bonus point if they mention the rain.
Altogether now: “Incy-Wincy Spiiiiider…”.
- Street art Looks like it’s going to rain? Grab those water colours again, or some coloured chalk or even powdered paints and find an area of path, concrete or patio. Before it the downpour starts let your creativity run wild, and when the rain starts grab your brollies (or watch through thewindow) as the colours blend and wash away. No paths to draw on? A big piece of cardboard will work just as well.
- Rainy Day Creatures We might not like the rain but lots of other creatures do, so get your coat, hat and umbrella and go exploring in your garden or park. Venture out on a wiggly worm hunt, see who can count the most slimy slugs and dodge the snails on the pavements!
- Puddle Stomp Peppa Pig isn’t the only one that’s a fan of jumping up and down in muddle puddles – it’s good fun and a great way to get your children active. Make sure you’ve got your wellies on, then get splashing! Who can make the biggest, loudest SPLOSH?
- Raindrop target Set up some targets, like laundry hampers or empty waste bins. Now you need some ammo such as rolled up socks and scrunched up balls of paper. The targets are clouds, and the ammo is raindrops – let’s get the rain back into the clouds! The more difficult the target, the more points you can award for a direct hit.
- Digital Rain One for your budding photographers - The world can look really beautiful in the rain with dramatic clouds, rainbows, reflections in puddles, so get wrapped up, umbrellas in-hand and go outside on a photographic mission with your digital cameras or mobile phones. If you’ve got a printer you could make a rainy day photo album when you get home, or draw pictures of what you’ve seen.
- Raindrop races An oldie, but a goodie… Choose the biggest window in your home and announce the start of your raindrop races. Each choose a raindrop at it hits to top of the glass and watch as it makes its way down the pane of glass. Ask your children what happens to the raindrop as it makes its way down - does it get bigger or smaller, run faster or slower? You could even liven things up by taking it in turns to be the commentator, putting on your best TV commentator impersonation.
There are always way to liven up a rainy day, so just get creative and playful and see where it leads you – it’s what we do every day at Eureka!