play in puddles

Kids Play with Anything #14: Child’s Play in Puddles

Good thing kids are wash, towel dry. Child’s play in puddles sometimes needs a follow-up bath but it’s certainly fun. The learning can be splashy. Puddles are a sort of magnet for kids. They call out to them in a voice adults can’t hear, begging kids to come and play. Resistance is futile. The only influence adults have is occasionally getting boots on feet before kids answer the call.

play in puddlesPuddles are made for splashing. Adventurous kids like to stamp forcefully in puddles while more timid ones will slowly work their way in. Deep or shallow, there is an element of mystery. What lurks at the bottom of the puddle? Is it deep enough to go over the top of boots or shoes or not?

rainy day fun puddleWhile feet respond to puddles first, hands also like to explore and splash. Sticks and leaves can be added to puddles to see if they will float. If the puddle is fairly deep, kids may like to throw in rocks to see and hear the splash.

play in puddlesIn cold weather, ice sometimes forms on puddles and who can resist the challenge of trying to crack the ice? Kids sure can’t. Oil in a puddle creates a swirling rainbow of color. Puddles also come in a variety of shapes. Although one end might be skinny, it’s more challenging to try and jump over the wide part.

rainy day fun puddleKids will create different ways to play in puddles and there are different things to learn. Think of the vocabulary of a puddle: deep, shallow, wide, murky, muddy, clear, and more. There’s science too as kids explore float and sink and how they can affect a puddle. Puddles invite questions as well as splashing: Where does a puddle come from? What makes a puddle? Kids learn about themselves in terms of their powers and their limitations. They might be able to affect the size of a puddle by putting their foot across the water creating it, but only for a while. When two or more kids are playing in puddles, they also need to learn some social skills. Splashing others may or may not be in puddlesChild’s play in puddles is also a way to connect to nature. For kids, there’s no muddle about puddles. Any puddle play for your child?

Go Wild for Nature #15: Rainy Day Fun

Our summer here has been unusually hot and very dry so rain was welcome! Kids can go wild for nature with some rainy day fun.

rainy day funIt’s been so long since it rained, we almost didn’t know what to do. We went for a walk just so we could hear and feel the drops. With muddy buddies kids stay more or less dry. There wasn’t enough rain to need boots for walking on the city sidewalks. Instead of holding umbrellas, the kids held hands.

rainy day fun puddleLater, when we did find a puddle at the park, Little Sister ventured into it a little. Big Sister stretched her foot out and tried to step over it. She managed, more or less. With a stick, they stirred the puddle around and around, and then splashed in it some more.

rainy day fun puddleWe take the weather for granted, but it is the way we encounter nature everyday, even when it’s so bad we stay indoors. Because the last few months have been dry, we talked about the plants and animals that need water. With the help from the kids, we brought the pots of flowers around the yard to sit on the deck where they could get the most rain. There was a place with a drip, so we put a pail underneath to collect rain water.

rain day funWhen we were very quiet we could hear sounds from outside as the rain dripped on the deck. We checked the water in the pail and the kids were interested in seeing how the level of the water got higher. Although it was not even half fill after half a day, it still helps.

The plants inside got a drink of rain water too. Instead of singing Rain, Rain, Go Away,  we changed the words to Rain, rain, we’re glad you came. Come and play another day. Experiences with nature are like rain. Though the nature times might be small like raindrops,  when collected all together, it makes quite an amount. Will you and your child have a chance for some rainy day fun and connecting to nature?

(You can come play on FB with me, Mrs. A,  any day, no matter the weather.)

Kindergarten Readiness Plays in the Puddles

Today’s play-of-the-day that starts with the letter p is Puddles because a puddle can be full of lots of kindergarten readiness fun and learning. To children, puddles are an invitation to connect with nature. Just stepping in a puddle is fun; splashing in one is even more exciting.

(photo by Laurie Wallach-Rhodes)
(photo by Laurie Wallach-Rhodes)

In this puddle activity, mom Laurie Wallach-Rhodes added a few plastic bottle caps to a puddle. Her two children used two nets to play with the caps that floated in the water. They scooped and watched them float, returning them to the water over and over. Just like a puddle where we can only see the surface of the water and not what’s underneath, we only see the surface of the play. We can’t see the thinking that’s happening. For a start, there’s problem solving, how to get the bottle caps in the nets. There’s exploring cause and effect, the nets can also push some of the caps away by making the water move. Holding the nets and moving them just right takes concentration and coordination. Imaginations can create fish, boats, or even alligators. The puddle might be a wide river traveling afar. (Thank you Laurie and girls for the photo.)

These are just some of the learning and fun possibilities with a puddle. Just in case there are no puddles where you are today, would you like a rain-check?

Kindergarten Readiness – Puddle Vocab and Poetry

Yesterday, we walked outside to observe puddles. Today, those same puddles will help kids learn some new vocabulary. Were the puddles deep or shallow, big or small, wide or narrow? What other words will tell us about puddles? Splishy and splashy, murky or flashy. Here’s a poem about puddles: Rain, rain, falls on the street. … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Puddle Vocab and Poetry

Kindergarten Readiness – April Showers and Mud Puddles

After April Showers, the rain leaves great puddles. Yes, puddles can be another learning opportunity–but stay out of the road so you don’t become part of one! Next time it rains, go for a walk and check out all the different shapes. Are puddles round or square? Maybe, their shapes look like something else: a … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – April Showers and Mud Puddles