10 Ways to Learn & Have Fun in ‘Bad’ Weather’
While lockdown life means we can’t go far, our kids still thrive on time outdoors. Whether you’re wanting to find ways to encourage them out in the garden or to make your 400th park walk more engaging, here are 10 ways to learn & have fun even in ‘bad weather’:
(Remember, during this tough season for parents & kids, be kind to yourself! These ideas are to refer to whenever you want them – but if you and your little ones are spending most of your time snug indoors right now, there’s no judgement here. Keep safe.)
Experiment with ice
Make the most of freezing temperatures by creating icy experiments and invitations to play, you could try:
- Leaving a tray of water outside to freeze then using it to skate mini figures on
- Fill a Tupperware pot with water and toys, blocks or magnetic letters/numbers then freeze and have your child break them free
- Use water and flowers/leaves/grass to make icy decorations to hang in your trees and watch them melt in the sun
Marvel at frost
Frost is fascinating. From the way it brings out the intricacies of a leaf to the little gems it makes on the grass, there’s so much for our children (and us!) to marvel at. The next time it looks too cold to dare out, how about taking a short walk where your sole focus is on the frost. Notice where water droplets have frozen and why they are there in the first place?
Cold weather really does have its fun side (even if just for a short while before the complaints start). Spend time pretending that you’re fire breathing dragons (or steam trains) as you watch your breath condensate in the cold air. Talk your child through what is happening and ask them why it doesn’t work at home.
Compare & contrast
The weather changes the world outside around us. Make your next trip outdoors an adventure by being nature detectives. Wrap up warm and take photos on your phone to notice any changes which have been brought about by the weather. Do another trip a few days later and see if the same locations are looking any different?
Learn with your senses
Take a sensory walk and remember how much our little ones learn by simply engaging looking, listening, and using their bodies. What can they hear around them? How does their body feel in the cold/wet? What is it we can see which shows us what the weather is like? How can you warm yourselves up as you move? Where are the animals / birds? How do they keep themselves warm and safe in ‘bad’ weather?
Make a splash
When was the last time you had a good splash in a puddle? Rainy days can bring joy if we let them. Put on waterproof trousers and wellies and take a walk meant for getting messy. Splashing muddles is pure fun for little kids, but you can add an educational touch by taking a ruler and measuring how deep they are, or using different items or natural finds to try a science test to see what floats or sinks.
Collect, create and count
If you’re finding it harder to stay outside without the sunshine and blue skies, make a shorter trip but bring the outdoors back indoors with you! You could collect twigs, leaves, rocks, flowers and other natural finds to use as counters with our nature inspired printables or make creative pieces with playdough or sticking together in a collage.
Make a rain gauge
To create a simple rain gauge, take a plastic water bottle and cut the top off. Then rest the top of the bottle upside down on the rest of the bottle to create a funnel. Next mark cm measurements alongside in permanent marker and leave outside. Have your children check at the end of a rainy day, to see how much rainfall there has been.
Mud is a wonderful sensory resource for young children. If you’re feeling able to withstand the stress levels of additional washing, let your kids play out even when it’s wet and muddy. Let them scoop up mud with their hands to make mud pies or take out their favourite plastic animals to give them a mud bath.
Practice mark making
There are lots of ways to practice mark making in wet and mucky weather. Grab sticks to write letters in puddles, mud, or snow, or try warm water on a paint brush on top of something covered in frost. Magical!
If you liked these ideas, you might like some of our other fun learning activities and ideas. Browse the Print Play Learn blog now for more.