By Amy Doyle, Learning Vine Preschool Director & Lead Teacher
As adults, not all of us are comfortable with the idea of being wet and dirty. Yet, young children often relish the chance to play with the many messy elements in nature. It provides them with the opportunity to get comfortable in all sorts of environments! At our Learning Vine outdoor based preschool, we see firsthand the joy that children take in being outside and messy. Here are some thoughts for parents and caregivers:
Don’t be afraid of the rain. Children LOVE to play in the rain, especially splashing in puddles!
If that’s a little too messy, fear not! You can still find so many ways to have fun in the rain with your children. With a little preparation and the right rain gear, you can make play time learning time too. Being outside in all types of weather helps children appreciate the natural world around them. Here are some great ways to enjoy the rain:
- Pop a raincoat on, or grab an umbrella and take a walk in the rain. Notice how the rain creates streams of water in your driveway and road.
- Become a rain collector! Take a bucket or other container and place it outside in the rain, and see how it fills up. You can even measure how much rain you’ve collected.
- Give shaving cream a try! Spray the shaving cream on any surface and have children drive matchbox cars through it, or draw pictures with their fingers. They can even practice writing their name! This will help strengthen their fine motor skills while having fun at the same time.
- Take out some kitchen utensils and make mud pies. Order up!
Resist the urge to keep those kiddos clean, let them revel in natural sensory play, as long as the conditions are safe. And remember, if you’re away from home, make sure to pack extra clothes!
Now, get out there, and get wet and messy!