The forecast called for rain. Dark stormclouds were constantly threatening to open at any minute. The whole weekend was supposed to be a cloudy, gloomy and rainy mess. But no matter what the weather said, we had plans for this weekend.
My daughter was on her best behavior at daycare on Friday with hopes of playtime in the park. We’d already promised a trip to the zoo. And we had a birthday party to attend at another local park. Our weekend arrangements would not wait for rain clouds. So we buttoned up our rain coats and slipped into galoshes. Our family would not give in to the rain. We would enjoy it.
In college, during a nice, warm rain, my roommates and I would go puddling-jumping. This activity included running around campus in sweats, splashing in every puddle we could find and then jumping in the university fountain to clean the mud off of us. As crazy as it sounds, it was an extremely enjoyable. Though I’m really sorry to the campus employees who had to clean out that fountain. Really Sorry. Those nights puddle-jumping gave me a healthy appreciation for the joys of rain. To this day, I rarely bother with an umbrella unless I have something important where I can’t walk in sopping wet. So I consider myself a little of an expert at playing in the rain.
And since I’m an expert who just made her family spend the weekend in the rain, I thought that I would share my tips for enjoying the outdoors, even when the weather doesn’t want you to.
- You’re going to get wet. This should seem obvious, but it’s probably the most difficult to accept. Don’t bother trying to cover your head with your arms. Stop running in between different shelters too small to give you actual cover. Just accept that you’re going to get wet and try to embrace it.
- Dress appropriately. That means raincoats, rainboots and warm socks. Have your hair up and out of your face. Try to wear clothes that cover your skin, but won’t get too heavy once their wet. The comfiest for me has always been a long-sleeved tee-shirt and yoga pants.
- Find some puddles. What fun is the rain if you don’t get to jump in puddles? The more uneven the ground, the better the puddles. Any park with an unpaved trail will provide ample opportunity to splash.
- Slide in the grass. Once the grass gets wet, it becomes the ultimate slip-n-slide. Have races or longest-slide challenges. If you’re lucky, lots of sliding will produce some quality mud.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Playing in the rain gives you a chance to act like a kid again. Don’t waste it trying to act proper. Get on the ground, roll around in the mud and don’t let your kids jump in the puddles by themselves. Have fun!
Don’t let the rain ruin your plans outdoors. As long as you don’t take it too seriously, you can have a great time this spring splashing in puddles.