Today's guest blog comes from Playworks in Portland, Oregon, the rainy city. Development Manager Doran Whipple and Program Manager Jory Card share their tips for play in the rain!
What is play when play involves rain? In the Pacific Northwest, rain play is simply a way of life.
And one thing a kid who lives in this rainy, muddy area of the country knows as inevitable is this: there will be lots of rain puddles year round. They also know that a bit of rain doesn’t mean the outdoor games stop.
Here are a few lessons the moss-covered kids of Portland, Oregon and beyond can share with the rest of us about making rainy days manageable and chock full of safe play:
- Identify safe play spots: Wet asphalt and muddy grass are all risky, slippery spots where kids can fall and do serious damage to their noggins. Make sure to find safe play spaces with good traction before embarking into the great, wet unknown.
- Dress to get wet: Because getting wet is inevitable on rainy days, dressing your kids in appropriate clothes is they key to making the fun last-think raincoats, rain boots and warm socks. Choose clothes that cover the skin but won’t get too heavy once wet.
- Slippery when wet: Stay off play structures which can be deceivingly dangerous when wet.
The rain goes on... and so do the abundant raindrop-friendly kids games we’ve got for you:
- Try tag games which are great for movement. Relays are fun as well.
- Speed walking, skipping and hopping are fast movements that increase body temperature and heart rate, while providing opportunities for kids to stop quickly and safely on their feet.
- Find some puddles for stomping around. Unpaved trails in parks or empty parking lots can provide great opportunities for splashing--just make sure you’re safe about it!
- Go on a forest hike in the rain. You’ll likely see all sorts of interesting species you might never see on a dry day. And you’ll enjoy the benefit of tree cover to make this form of rain activity...a little less rainy.