It’s raining, it’s pouring, but rain is never boring ! Not with the right attitude. And most often, children have just the right attitude ! Let’s join them.
During our summer adventures, we are encountering rain… FOR REAL here in Lakeland, Florida, as it IS the rainy season… as well as in each of our summer Kindermusik programs.
In Our Backyard with our families, we’ve been having fun using rhythms to make the sounds of the rain with our bodies and our mouths, as well as with drums and other instruments (see below). And we have found there can be so much fun playing in the puddles, finding and being wiggly worms, planting seeds, and Dancing In the Rain.
Just do it… next time it rains and you have a bit of time to get messy with your child. Put on the music, open up the windows, and really… GO DANCE In The RAIN !
One of my favorite songs, Unwritten, shares these powerful thoughts: “Feel the rain on your skin. No one else can feel it for you, only you can let it in. No one else can speak the words on your lips. Put yourself in words unspoken, live your life with arms wide open. Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten.”
And, of course, Gene Kelly’s “Singing in the Rain” is a classic inspiration. I love it when he realizes a police officer is watching him. Enjoy the video !
One of my favorite books about playing in the rain and mud is called “Muddigush“. The artwork is delightfully fresh, the story is clearly about enjoyment of the rain from the first drop of rain until the mud dries, and the poetic prose is FUN to read. “Smucky mush, smacky mush, ooshy gooshy mudigush !”
During our Busy Days with babies, we find the drip drop of rain showers to be a rich sensory experience, whether through experiencing it through fun rhymes during bath time, during instrument play, or when you get caught by the rain at the park.
On The Road with our 3 – 6 year olds, we’ve found, and are making, many games that can be played in the car on our road trips, as well as inside our vacation abode when it is raining, be it cottage or tent or under cover at the beach. These, and many more, give us a great variety to choose from:
- “I Spy” with colors and shapes,
- “Hangman” – enjoying the alphabet with lots of three letter words
- “The Shell Game” – sit in a circle and continue to hand the shell to the person to the right… chanting “She sells seashells by the sea shore.” getting faster and faster. Try it with other tongue twisters that you know. (we also learned 3 other shell games!)
- Storytelling with sound effects ! Make up a simple story that has a defined beginning, middle, and end. Discover how to make sounds with your mouth, your body, or instruments of some sort to accompany the story.
Enjoy exploring the following rhythms by tapping on knees or on a drum, or find the right sound you can tap in the car !
- Drip… Drop… (slowly pat both hands) (half notes or quarter notes)
- Pitter Patter Pitter Patter (tap alternating hands on each syllable – steadily) (eighth notes)
- Whoooooo (make wind song with the voice, wave hands in air, or scratch on drum) (whole notes)
- Kaaaa-boom! (rapidly tap hands from quiet to loud, then end with both hands-boom) (random)
Use these sound effects to tell the story of a rain storm, Start slow, gradually get faster, add in the wind or thunder at spontaneous times, then gradually get slower and stop. Use a towel to wipe your face and arms dry !
When the rains come… which they will… celebrate it, and enjoy it !
Some of my favorite memories as a child, near the coast of Texas, are playing in the rain, and making mud pies, catching tadpoles and crawdads, and cooking them with the mud pies in my Betty Crocker oven ! I never even considered EATING crawdads until I was much older, and I still think they work better in mud pies. Poor things. My daughter definitely takes after me, but there is no catching of crawdads in our ditches.
The first picture is from Simple Truths. Their video is a powerful message about the power of attitude and gratitude. Enjoy Dancing in the Rain .
Please share…. What is YOUR favorite way to enjoy a rainy day?
Once when it was raining, the kids and I made a simple rain gauge by taking a plastic soft drink bottle, removing its lid and cutting off its top. I inverted the top and sit it atop the container’s body to make a funnel. Find a spot in the yard for your new gauge and check it at the end of the day to see how much rain has fallen. You can also put buckets around the yard to collect rainwater. Let it rain!