Rainy Day Activities Article- Planning
Last summer, I was responsible for choosing 2-3 days throughout the summer for Car Wash dates for our Youth Group. Of course, with car washes, you always need to plan a rain date, just in case! So, I chose 3 dates and a rain date, advertised, sent out fliers, etc.
Well, the Midwest was one of a great drought last summer. It did not rain often, other than the few days that it "misted" for about 10 minutes and the water immediately burned the grass from the 100+ degree temperatures that followed the mist. It did rain a total of 3 days last summer: yup, you guessed it--all on the days of the planned Car Washes!
Two things were learned from this.
1. If you want it to rain, call me--I'll plan a rain date (I have been labeled the Rain Maker here and have been banned from choosing future Car Wash dates!).
2. Always have a back up plan! (It did not rain on our rain date!)
In preschool, summer is a time where we like to plan differently than we do during the year. Many of us want to have a camp-like feel to our programming and less of a school-like feel. Many teachers like to plan as often as they can for an outside classroom! Everything that is done in the classroom, can be taken outside: the Easel, Art projects, Science Projects, Circle Time, Snack Time, you name it!
Summer planning usually includes taking the classroom outside for most of the day. Or, in a larger center, you most likely have set times to share the playground, so you plan activities for your outside schedule.
Sounds like a great plan for the summer, right? Right! Well, until the weather does not cooperate and it rains--then what? Of course, many of your outdoor activities can take place inside with minimal modifications. However, there are others that can not.
For example, your outside plans for tomorrow include: large paint brushes and buckets of water for the kids to "paint" the building or sidewalk; a playground scavenger hunt (you've already hidden all those plastic eggs or items in the playground); a mudpie station outside.
Fast forward to tomorrow: You wake up and it is pouring rain.
Well, you can modify some of the activities: Perhaps liquid water color painting at the easel, dirt in the sand table and hiding items in the classroom. However, you now have to modify this before the kids get there, which means getting into work early and lots of gathering of supplies.
The solution? Set up a Rainy Day Box Activity Plan!
Right now (well, after you finish reading this article!), sit down and write up 2 activities for each learning center. Do not choose activities that you do all the time at those areas, but activities that will ONLY be used on rainy days (it keeps the Rainy Day Box exciting for you and the kids!).
Include 2 activities for: Art, Easel, Gross Motor, Sensory (Water/Sand Table activities), Science and Math/Manipulatives.
When writing up the activities, include details: EVERY item/material you will need for each activity. Print out and laminate these plans to put in the box.
The next step is to obtain a large bin or box. Label it RAINY DAY BOX.
The next step is to gather each and every item you will need or each activity you have written up. (For example: If you have planned Color Scientists for the Science area, you will need: clear cups-1 for each child; pipettes; paint (invest in some smaller 8 ounce containers for paint so you don't have to lug all those gallon containers out) or food coloring. If this is the Rainy Day activity you choose, you have everything you need in the box except the water!
Here is how this will work while you plan this summer.
Write up your plans for each week as you would with no thoughts of rain days!
Next to each "Outdoor Only" activity ones that you plan on doing outside that can definitely NOT be brought inside!), list the name of a Rainy Day Box Activity that you will do as a back up.
NOW, you are ready!
Need some ideas to get you started?
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