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Making time for play outside – rain, hail or shine

Oct 8, 2020 | Wonder

Written by Sandra

When it’s cold and wet outside, is your first reaction to get the kids inside quickly?

At Wonderschool, we strongly believe that there is no reason why children cannot be allowed to play outside during wet or cold weather. As long as they are appropriately dressed and supervised, we as educators are there to support them in this endeavour. And the kids absolutely love it!

Playing outside in the rain won’t make children sick, in fact there is strong evidence that being out in the environment can actually strengthen their immune systems. And we just love it when it rains and the children arrive to the centre in their raincoats and gumboots.

With some of the recent rains we began having conversations with our children about puddles, how heavy the rain falls and whether it was cold outside. When invited to go outside and play in the rain, the children were so excited and brimming with enthusiasm. We all donned our puddle suits and the children who wanted to join in could do so.

When changed weather conditions arise, we see this as an opportunity for children to experience and become adaptable at negotiating the changing landscape in our playground and embracing the cold.

Our values of Respect and Empowerment support children to communicate their physical needs of ‘I’m cold or ‘no I’m not cold, I’m having too much fun”. Please be assured that if they are not able to verbalise their needs, we are attuned to your child. By this we mean we may see a child move to the door that leads inside or seek out their educators for cuddles.

Some things we investigate with the children when engaged in wet weather play:

  • How do we move on slippery surfaces?
  • How deep is a puddle?
  • What happens to the ground when it’s wet or icy?
  • Can you still climb on rocks?
  • What happens to the paths?
  • How do we minimise risk?
  • Why do we encourage play in all weather conditions?
  • What are the benefits to the children?

Rain play really can be such a wonder(ful) experience.