The rainy season in Vancouver is in full force, and while adults may prefer days spent indoors reading stories and baking cookies, little bodies need to MOVE every day. For most city dwellers that means getting outside no matter what the weather. Fortunately, there are some easy things parents and caregivers can do to create some rainy day fun.
1. A rainy day calls for quality rain gear.
I know it may not the most attractive outfit you or your child will ever wear, but a small fashion sacrifice is worth it to be warm, dry and comfortable on a wet and rainy day. Anyone going for a puddle jumping adventure needs full rain gear, including waterproof boots, rain pants and a rain jacket.
Good quality items can be pricey, but well-made gear will hold up to repeated wear and will end up being a better value in the long run. Look for children’s boots at GumDrops on 4th Avenue or Room for 2 on Commercial Drive, and hit up MEC for durable rain jackets and pants for children and adults at reasonable prices. A full-body rain suit is perfect for toddlers who are liable to plop themselves down in a muddy puddle.
2. Keep moving.
Children can play for ages outdoors in cold or wet weather as long as they’re running around and engaged in their play. Adults are often on the sidelines, getting cold because they’re standing still. Put aside your self-consciousness and run around with your toddler, jump in a few puddles yourself or join in a game of tag. You’ll have some rainy day fun of your own and stay warm longer, too.
3. Bring a large dose of patience and wonder
Toddlers are just discovering the amazing wonders of our world, so to them squishy mud, dirty pine cones and wet dogs are fascinating mysteries just begging to be explored. Plan on allowing yourself enough time to meander along at your inquisitive toddler’s pace, especially if you’re puddle jumping on your way to another destination.
4. Have a hot treat afterwards
It doesn’t have to be big or sugary, but a hot drink like a steamed milk, herbal fruit tea or milky hot chocolate is a nice way to end a rainy day adventure. Bundle up in a nice warm blanket together and enjoy getting cozy again after your time outside in the cold, wet weather.
It can be difficult to look out the window at the pouring rain and say, “Hey, let’s go jump in some puddles!” But it is often the case that once you’re out there you’re fine as long as you’re doing something interesting and dressed appropriately. Whether you’re puddle jumping around your block or exploring the beauty of the Pacific Rainforest in the rain, it’s possible to make the most of our rainy season.
Michelle Carchrae is often asking those important life questions: "who moved the scissors?", "how would you do that differently next time?" and "are you finished with the glitter glue?" Homeschooling two girls, ages 6 and 3, is her full time job. The rest of the time Michelle can be found blogging at The Parent Vortex, hiking in the forest or knitting and reading simultaneously. She recently published her first ebook, The Parenting Primer: A guide to positive parenting in the first six years, and moved to Bowen Island.