Rainy days & water play

The recent rainy weather has many despairing, and I can remember well from my days as a primary teacher how challenging it was for all of us on the days the children didn’t get to go outside at break times.  The problem in those days was that many children didn’t have appropriate clothes for playing outside in the rain.  Working since with schools where outdoor and nature play are central to their curriculum and their ethos, the rain never stops us from getting outside.  Equally if you are at home and looking at the rain through the window, most likely you have coats and wellies that you can wear, or at worst, if you get wet, you can always change into fresh dry clothes later.

Rain, especially the amounts that have been falling this past month and more, changes the landscape around us.  Dry ground soon produces puddles, and these can grow and extend into mini ponds, rich in so many ways, from jumping and splashing in, to searching for water critters that may have taken up residence there.  Trickling streams take on a whole new lease of life and we see water running down the hillside, ripe for dam building or boat sailing, or wading through and up and over.  Finding a good long stick adds to the adventure, bringing a feeling of being an intrepid explorer and giving us a sense that we are protecting this land, while also being very useful, using it to gauge the depth of the water before venturing in, and also helping us to balance.

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Fallen branches in waterlogged fields become bridges or balance beams and the reflection of the sky in still waters is mesmerising to watch, until that stone or stick is thrown and your eyes are drawn to the ripples that it creates as they reach further and further from the epicentre.

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So embrace the rain, go explore, in your local woods, on your local green, or even just in your garden, you’re sure to find watery fun not too far away.  Let’s make the most of the extreme weather we’ve been having, turning it to our advantage rather than hiding away inside waiting for a sunny day.

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