Outdoor play allows children endless amounts of engagement in an environment which tests them both physically and cognitively, but when you add water the possibilities for play-based learning are both fun and engaging. The first thought of allowing children to play outside in the rain is that they will get cold, however this won’t make them sick- this is just a myth. Wet weather play enables them to explore, imagine and be creative in their outdoor environment as well as engaging them in a not everyday experience. As quoted by John Ruskin ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, just different types of weather.’
Imagine looking at wet weather play as an open experience that allows them to explore nature in a totally different way, so rather than dreading “the bad” weather or saying it’s “too wet” to go outside introduce gearing up in wet weather gear and going on an adventure outside. Why not get a bit wet jumping in puddles or racing leafs down a stream or even playing in the digging patch or sandpit making channels and watching the water flow. Wet weather play is something that children should be given the opportunity to participate in, they can experience their environment in a completely different state and it helps them to develop through a unique learning experience to what they may be used to for everyday weather. It allows them to be creative and physically active at the same time as testing their limits and challenging them to think outside the box with activities they would normally find easy in dry weather and then different when it’s wet.
Helpful tips for allowing children to participate in wet weather play both at your home and at their childcare centre include:
- Dressing them in appropriate clothing (gumboots, raincoat, packing a spare pair of clothes etc.)
- Having activities planned
- Offering wet weather resources (buckets, shovels maybe even a creek nearby)
Take a look at some of these websites, they provide a whole lot of information about the benefits of wet weather play and why it is so important.