The monsoon rains have arrived in Bangkok and I’m sure we can all agree the kids really don’t need anymore time stuck inside on screens, especially after months of home-schooling and cabin fever associated with the COVID-19 lockdown this year. The good news is, that with the right outdoor weather gear, there’s no reason to hide indoors or reach for the remote! While it’s probably best to avoid the monsoon style rain or extreme thunder and lightning, the moment just before (or after) a downpour is a great time to get out and about. The benefits of outdoor play for kids are undeniable and kids are naturally drawn to water so it makes sense to take advantage of these rainy days.
For kids in Bangkok, following months of intense summer heat, playing in the rain is always seen as a bit of a novelty and just plain fun, but do remember no matter how hard you try to keep the floors clean, expect some mess! The rain adds a new dimension of play, with talks of clouds and rainbows, thunder and lightning, and splashing and jumping. There’s a heap of activities to be done outdoors with kids even on the soggiest of days and with the rain comes a slight lapse in the temperature so there’s never a better time to go outside and get exploring.
Here are just a few ideas to keep the kids outside and having fun during the rainy season.
This is by far the most fun of all the activities, whether its stomping and sploshing or just jumping in and out of puddles, this one has to be every kids favorite rainy day game. Try getting the kids to make up games using their imaginations, like only being allowed to jump from one island (puddle) to another or guessing which is the widest or deepest. A great fun activity is to give the kids small bottles of bubbles and let them try to create their own rainbows. One of my kids favourites was to tip a little of the liquid into a puddle and then they would jump in and out of the puddle creating their own bubbles and froth. Rain boots are always the best idea if your outside on the road or in parks but there’s nothing like the feel and fun of leaping in and out of puddles in your bare feet in the garden.
Muddy Pies & Painting
What is it about kids and mud and their fascination for mud pies! Whether they are smearing their hands with mud and creating handprints on walls or the garage door, to making spider trails across pathways, kids just love to play with mud. Balconies, patios and driveways can be decorated using lots of different painting items, and copious amounts of mud. Rollers, brushes, spatulas… anything that could serve as a painting tool can be used. You can even change the colour of the mud by using water soluble paint. Another favourite is painting a piece of paper with coloured blocks or circles of paint and then putting the paper in the rain and watching nature create its own artwork. Hang the papers to dry for lots of rainy day keepsakes.
Under adult supervision, have the kids go out on a snail hunt in the garden or one of the many parks around Bangkok. You can then create a snail track easily using sticks, chalk, string, or anything you have at hand. Find a way to identify your snail (look for a characteristic on their shell, or mark them with some chalk) and have races up and down the paths.
You may have noticed that there are lots of egg sacks on leaves above ponds, or frog spawn in pots and pools outside. See if you can identify some and if you’re feeling brave, collect a few and take them home to watch them grow into frogs. Seek advise on how to look after them before you do though! Watching the tadpoles grow each day and keeping a record or diary is a fun science lesson on life cycles for young kids. Just remember to release them into local ponds when they eventually turn into small frogs. Our friends over at Twinkl have produced a great free printable tadpole diary for kids.
Truck Rally & Paper Boats Time
Get the kids to dig all their trucks and cars out of the toy box and create a race course in the mud and race plastic toys up and down hills, in and out of trees and over and under obstacles. Alternatively help the kids make their own small paper sail boats by folding them into different shapes and then finding or making a stream or gully in the rain to float the boats along. The kids can decorate their paper sails individually and race them by blowing them along or pushing them with sticks.
Digging For Buried Treasure
Let the kids find a really soft and muddy area in the garden and dig for buried pirate treasure. They can use spades, shovels or even old kitchen utensils and watch their faces as they dig and discover. A nice idea is to create a pirate hunt by burying small coins or pieces of old toys for them to discover and piece back together. You may not end up with a manicured lawn or nails for that matter, but the kids will have so much fun finding little hidden treasures and making up stories of how each piece may have got there.
It goes without saying that whatever you choose to do in the rainy weather, be careful and safe and let the kids be inspired to explore and create. Make sure you and the children are wrapped up in waterproof gear, and if you do get wet, ensure you get warm and dry quickly.
Enjoy the downpours. They’re here for a while!
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