Children are 100% washable and can be towel dried
As long as I can remember adults have always told me to get out of the rain before I catch cold. As an Early Childhood Teacher, all I want to do is protect the children in my care and I used to be guilty of keeping them inside when it rained, even though I have never thought the rain will make me sick in my adult life. It’s just water, right?
Childhood is a time to be, to seek and make meaning of the world. So why are we so afraid of our children getting rained on?
There are lots of people who do believe the rain will make their children get sick and I would like to point out that this is not true. When it comes to viruses like the common cold, you'll contract them when you touch something that has a virus on it, and then you touch your nose, mouth or eyes. You'll also contract a virus from inhaling mucus through the air, suggests the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. During the rainy months of the year, you're more likely to spend time inside, which will increase your chances of coming into contact with viruses. On a fine day everybody goes outdoors, where there is more space, better ventilation, and less close contact with other people. Coincidence? I think not.
Benefits of playing in the rain:
Outdoor learning spaces are a feature of Australian learning environments. They offer a vast array of possibilities not available indoors. Play spaces in natural environments include plants, trees, edible gardens, sand, rocks, mud, water, and other elements from nature.
There is something about the rain that is soothing. The pitter patter sound of raindrops is often used for relaxation and a walk in the rain can be a great way to relieve stress and anxieties. It could be a great bonding experience and an opportunity to explore nature and to teach your children about the environment. Most importantly it is great for character development. Playing outdoors encourages children to be adventurous, independent, and more able to assess risks. Playing in the rain is part of this experience. It will allow children to explore new senses. There are new smells in the air, the ground feels different beneath their feet. There are puddles to splash in. Mud to squelch in. The feeling and the sound of the rain. This much stimulation makes the experience feel magical. And most importantly, children who spend more time outdoors will experience fewer illnesses.
Staying safe outside on rainy days:
The most important tip for staying safe and well outside is layers. The same way that we rug up on cold and rainy days, remember to dress your child in T-shirts, a jumper, and a rain coat- don’t forget gumboots too!
Young children are artists, engineers, builders, explorers, and scientists. The beauty of the outdoors is that their canvas, their building blocks, and their laboratory are constantly changing with the weather and the seasons, throwing up new opportunities for learning, adventure, and fun.