Here is a really fun thing to do with the kids if the opportunity arises.
Spent the day at home today, the kids were knackered after playing in the garden all day and having a water gun fight. The weather looked ominous so we figured it would be a drawing and movies day. A little before tea, the rain started. It was torrential and there was some thunder (no lightening though…Booooo!). I called the kids to the back door to look at the rain, as it really was that spectacular. They stood and watched it for a couple of minutes, waiting to see if there was any lightening when Tom started putting his hand out of the door to wet it. His arm went further out and both kids edged closer to the door. The next thing I knew Tom was outside laughing! In under 30 seconds he was soaking. I was a bit surprised but both me and Bob agreed it wouldn’t do him any harm. Charlotte was still stood by me and was looking up expectantly. I nodded at her and out she went. Only then did I notice that neither of them had any shoes on! Initially I was a bit apprehensive, “What if they hurt their feet?“, “What if they slip?“, the usual, but they were having so much fun we just left them to it. I have never heard so much laughing from them. Muddy puddles started appearing all over the patio and they went straight for them.
As a parent, it’s sometimes hard to break the rules but on occassion it has to be done. All too often I see little ones when we are outdoors who don’t like getting muddy hands, or getting dirty. I can understand the apprehension, whenever the kids are covered in mud, or wet sand or even wet cut grass my mind goes blank when it comes to cleaning them up.
I just stare at them wondering “Where on Earth do I start?” and hoping that the drying fairy will show up and all will be well, while they just stand there dripping. After a while I relaxed about it. We live in Britain, if rain is going to stop you going out, you might as well never bother trying.
To help make things easier and reduce stress levels I’ve made a list of the things we keep handy when out for the day:
- A couple of small towels (handy for drying the kids or wiping away sand).
- A bottle of water (great for rinsing sandy feet).
- Carrier bags for wet clothes .
- Spare clothes (something comfy and warm is best).
- A blanket (to keep the kids warm on the way home).
If we don’t have the car, we always carry a rucksack with us that always has drinks (usually just water), carrier bags and spare clothes in it as well as a very small first aid kit that has come in handy quite a few times.
They seem really obvious, but if we forget one, stress levels instantly rise. By keeping these things handy there is no reason to say no to the kids when they DO want to get mucky, afterall, it’s an important and fun part of growing up. If you are prepared, it is a lot easier to relax and any anxiety you do have is less likely to be noticed by the kids.
If you are at home, it doesn’t matter so much, that’s what baths are for.
So if you get the chance, let your kids run around bare foot in the rain. It’s something they won’t forget easily and helps to teach them that it’s ok to get a bit dirty sometimes.