20 OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES FOR RAINY DAYS USING

EVERYDAY ITEMS AND REGULAR TOYS


Hands up if you have a kid who runs around the house half naked, who you are constantly nagging to put a jumper on or who kicks their blankets off in the night? Yep, me too. My 5 year old loves to tell me "I never feel cold mum". And guess what they don't care if they get wet or dirty either, in fact they LOVE IT.


That instinct to snuggle indoors on rainy, winter days seems to be an adult and not a child one doesn't it? We coop ourselves and them up inside and then tear our hair out when they destroy the place and turn feral. It doesn't make much sense does it?


Next time the forecast turns foul why not try some of these ideas instead (I know, I know I can hear the voice in our heads saying what about the mud, dirt, chills, etc...) but really try it. It fills in the days and by the time they play outside then come back indoors for a warm bubble bath and hot drink and snack you've filled in several hours and how good does that feel on long wintery days counting down to bedtime.


Don't forget to photograph your family's adventures, even if it is just with your phone, because you will want to look back on these times and smile :-)

Smiling girl below a rainbow umbrellas
Young girl playing in mud in Melbourne
Two girls with rainbow umbrellas by Melbourne photographer Kate Cashin
Girl using gumboot to pour water on herself
  1. Do a naked rain dance in your own backyard (bonus, no clothes to be washed afterwards).
  2. Draw on wet footpaths or concrete with chalk (a totally different experience to when it is dry).
  3. Build a shelter using tarps, old cardboard boxes or natural materials.
  4. Grab a muffin or cake tin and make mud pies (bonus points for decorating them with flowers or leaves).
  5. Take plastic toy animals, dinosaurs or duplo people outside to play in the wet.
  6. Get your paintbrushes and paint pictures (or trees, or the side fence) with mud.
  7. Play in the sandpit (no need to haul buckets of water to build castles when everything is already wet).
  8. Blow bubbles and see if you or the raindrops burst them first.
  9. Hang out in your cubby house and see how the rain sounds on its roof.
  10. Grab your blocks or train set and head outside to build a village or town being flooded.
  11. Throw rocks in puddles and watch how the ripples interplay with the splashes from falling raindrops.
  12. Have a rainy picnic or tea party sheltered under a shrub or bush and laugh when raindrops fall on you.
  13. Get your toy cars, ride-ons or bikes and get them muddy then create a car wash with the hose.
  14. Draw with textas on paper towel then lay it down outside and watch what happens when rain falls on it.
  15. Take off your shoes and see what wet grass, mud, sand and gravel feels like between your toes.
  16. Grab an umbrella and twirl around under it.
  17. Crowd under a tree with lots of leaves and tug on the branches to create a tree shower.
  18. Take pots and pans outside and let the rain make music on them.
  19. Take playdough tools and cookie cutters into your yard and use them on the wet ground.
  20. Jump on your trampoline and watch how the fallen rain drops on its surface bounce along with you.


Of course safety is important so please don't undertake these activities during times of lightening or high winds, that really is the time to shelter indoors.

Kate Cashin is a family photographer based in the Dandenong Ranges outside of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

She specialises in nature sessions and forest adventures with the motto "Play. Move. Explore.".