Wednesday 21 November 2012


Dancing in the rain.
One of the joys of living in the UK is that we get weather. How dull would it be if it was sunny everyday? What on earth would we talk about? I love to have a good old moan about it like everyone else, especially on a day like today when we've had cold rain pretty much from start to finish. BUT it's another of the benefits of having children- you do start to see positives in things where you might not have done before.
Wet day? "Hurrah, puddles!"
Cold day? "Hurrah we can puff like steam trains!"
Too hot? "Hurrah, we can strip off and spray each other with the hose."
Danny did once comment, aged about 20 months, "It's a bit droopy!" on a particularly drizzly day; however on the whole I think children enjoy weather. I'm pretty sure they only learn to complain about it from listening to us mums on the playground.

I've learned from bitter experience that trying to keep kids inside for a whole day only leads to misery, so whatever the weather's doing we try to get out for at least a small part of it, in order to let off steam. Hence my thought for the day on free entertainment for small children is "Weather Appreciation!"
Ripples and reflections.

A wet walk through the puddles.
As I mentioned, it has been a very wet day today. Infact some of our village is flooded, so I apologise to anyone who's not seeing the fun side of massive puddles just now. Grown-ups generally see rain as a problem, unless we're very keen gardeners and have been short of the stuff for some time. My boys see rain and think puddles.
Jumping in them to splash anyone in sight, seeing if they can find one deep enough to go over the top of their wellies, checking out their reflections in them, stirring them with sticks, throwing stones in and looking at how ripples move, they are a source of fascination. Bonus if you find one with petrol on the surface making rainbow colours. We have had a range of hand-me-down waterproofs, some a bit more successful than others, but I've yet to manage to get them home from a wet walk dry. You just have to accept that they will have to strip off at the back door and put everything straight in the wash.
It's raining? Let's strip off and sit in tubs of sandy water!

Graffiti in the frost.
A sledge ice sculpture!
To be honest, at this time of year I'd much rather it was cold than wet. A hard frost on a clear sunny day is my ideal. Kids aren't generally in a hurry to get somewhere so they can stop and really appreciate the beauty of frost patterns and frozen cobwebs, and there's something very entertaining about seeing your own breath. A couple of years ago we had the most incredible hoare frost on the fence of our local playground and after admiring the amazing crystals, the boys experimented with drawing great long lines through it like a kind of temporary graffiti. We get proper Jack Frost patterns on our greenhouse too, which look like spreading ferns. Finding the pond frozen, or even just ice in a rain filled flower pot is also very exciting when you're little. You can test how thick the ice is by trying to break it, you can slide chunks of it down the path, you can spot things trapped inside it or you can see how long it takes to melt.

Zac will be 6 in January, and so far he hasn't known a winter without snow. I'm not going to pretend I don't dread the whole palaver of getting them kitted out to play in the white stuff; it takes forever, and they never last that long before one or other gets cold and miserable, but it just wouldn't be right to stay inside when it holds so many possibilities.
No new ideas here, but these are our favourite things to do with snow:
  • Throw it- preferably at a target and not at mummy.
  • Look for animal/bird tracks.
  • Make footprints, or fake monster prints.
  • Lie in it to make snow angels.
  • Roll big ball snowmen.
  • Go sledging.
  • And one year we made an igloo!
Inside the igloo!
Making snow bricks.
One of the local dads gave me a top tip- If you pack snow into a loaf tin and turn it out like a sandcastle you get the perfect snow bricks to build an igloo. Even small children can enjoy the brick production. I was glad my engineer husband came home in time to make the roof tho! He also told me it was stronger if you build the walls in a complete circle and then cut a door hole in afterwards. Our igloo was big enough to fit both boys in comfortably, and even I could squeeze in, but it did take A LOT of snow and it was that really sticky stuff. We've tried to recreate it since and failed due to the wrong-kind-of-snow!

Let's go fly a kite
Windy days can be a problem because they whip the children up into a natural high. It's pretty exhilarating going for a very windy walk tho, even if you know they're going to be wild for ages after. I've already mentioned nappy bag kites. We've got a couple of basic kites which fly pretty well if there's lots of wind, but a nappy bag on the end of a piece of string will fill up like a balloon and fly even if it's just a bit breezy. If you've got a big open space it's entertaining and good exercise to let the bag go and chase after it, but little ones may tire of this game so you have to be ready to sprint after them yourself if you don't want to litter the countryside with plastic! Catching leaves on a windy autumn day is fun too. I was told as a child that it was good luck to catch a falling leaf and I'm sticking with that theory.

Cloud spotting is great for the imagination and for language development. What more peaceful way is there to pass the time than by lying on your back in the grass pointing out clouds that look like dragons, trains, England or describing how whispy, fluffy, thundery they look?

OK. I can't think of much that you can't do on a sunny day. See my earlier post about water for plenty of cooling-off ideas. You can also have fun making shadows: Can you make one that looks like a ...? When is your shadow longest, or shortest? Can you run away from your shadow?
However my favourite way to enjoy a sunny day is definitely with ICE CREAMS and you won't find me apologising for a bit of unhealthy eating!


  1. I could not agree more, there's no such thing as bad weather! I love all the different seasons showingsuch brilliant fun.

    Popping over from the Outdoor Play Party on 'No Such Thing As Bad Weather'.

    1. Thank you! Mind you, I'm feeling a bit challenged this morning looking out at the cold rain- it's definitely wrap up warm time.

  2. Now that is the best igloo I have seen yet! You should see our excuse for snow on my post today! With you all the way on getting out what ever the weather, it is always beneficial and fun for kids.

    1. Thank you! The igloo was really great fun, and the boys also loved bashing and trampling over it when it started to melt!

  3. You're right to want to embrace the weather, there's no point in fighting it! #letkidsbekids

  4. I couldn't agree more, no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing :) #LetKidsBeKids

  5. So true, every wether brings different fun.
    That igloo looks amazing!
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids