Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What's the Weather Got to Do with It?


There is no bad weather – just inappropriate clothing. I don’t know who first said this, but I think of these words when it is cold, rainy, stormy, windy or even seems too dark to venture outside. We’ve stocked up on warm clothing and flashlights and feel ready for almost any kind of weather. 

I was raised in a small Kansas town with two brothers and two sisters. My mother pushed encouraged us to play outside in all kinds of weather. Of course, we knew to come home if there was lightning, or if tornado sirens went off, but other than that, we never worried about being too cold or hot. We stayed active outdoors and our bodies became used to the four seasons weather.

Children need to exercise and spend time in nature. It is being highly encouraged for children to Go Outside and Play - an Hour a Day. Here are some examples of having fun outdoors, enjoying nature, helping with family projects, or making neighborhood friends in various weather conditions while building muscles and the body’s immune system.

Rain

We are trying to restore a pond on our property. The land was a cow pasture before we built a house on it and this pond was dug out for the cows to have water. Unfortunately, it does not hold water through a Texas summer drought. Our grand-children helped us clean out the pond of little trees, large rocks, and various plants but we didn’t get the clay/dirt mixture packed down to prevent leakage before the rains came again. We’ll pack it this summer, stock it with some catfish and put in a solar panel filtering system. Right now it is perfect for throwing rocks, observing gravity and watching critters swim away from the ripples.

Of course, common sense is needed when it is storming. One doesn’t go outside if there is lightning or extremely windy, but the rain offers some fun play such as splashing in mud puddles, holding an umbrella while listening to the pitter-patter of raindrops. and feeling the drops on one’s face. Making mud pies can develop into a lavish imaginative party for a young child although I do not recommend eating any worms and slugs you might find. Rolly Pollies are also fun to find and are abundant under wet rocks.


If it is raining too hard, find indoor activities. I bought Window Writer Paint for $.83 cents, or 75% off, several weeks ago at Joanne’s Crafts. My daughter enjoyed painting the windows. We left it on for several days, then Sarah helped clean it off, leaving a sparkling view of the outdoors.


Sarah also painted a sun catcher that rainy day. It says “Girls Rule.” Of course, we know that already, but it’s a pretty reminder.




Snow
I remember one day when I was teaching kindergarten, a teacher yelled, “It’s snowing! Take the kids outside. It might be gone by the time school is out.” I immediately agreed and we all took a spontaneous recess after putting on coats and hats. The children stuck out their tongues and felt the coldness and mushiness of snow. No one complained that they were cold. In fact, the children ran around so much that I doubt that they felt, or cared about the freezing temperature. It was exciting and lead to impromptu reading of  The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats then guided writing and creative drawing. Teachers: Always have extra coats and hats in your classroom for children whose parents have not watched the weather report.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are of sledding down a neighbor’s hill. Never mind that we landed in the street. There wasn’t that much traffic on our street when it snowed and people knew to “Watch out for the Dulin kids!” It doesn’t snow often enough in Texas for me, so when it does, we go outside and experience the weather, sliding on ice, making snowmen, and pulling each other on sleds. I am fortunate that some of my grandchildren live next door. They are always willing to venture outside and play.


Wind
We live on a “rolling hills" terrain in Texas and have had wind gusts up to 75 miles an hour! I could not believe how difficult it was to walk in the wind in the country. One has to extend your arms and legs to maintain balance and push your body to move forward. Interesting and muscle building.   
Wind can be fun to play with such as making chimes out of cans and nails or bells, flying kites, and blowing on wind spinners. Fluffy looks like he'd enjoy a breeze.



Sun
One of my favorite photos Katie  from Mommy with Selective Memory has shared with me is of rocks in her daughter's bike basket that Little Buddy picked up on a walk. It took a long time for Buddy to pick up this many rocks but the family enjoyed a relaxing and free adventure, Buddy was proud of his accomplishment, and he built up muscles during the process. Later, the rocks were used for exploring math concepts including one-on-one correspondence, sorting, and patterning.

Outdoor Activities to Do on a Sunny Day:
Swim, fish, garden, ride a bike, roller skate, throw balls, play badminton, play hide-and-seek, tag, jump rope, run races, play with hula hoops, play basketball or softball, throw Frisbees, scavenger or treasure hunt, hike, go on a picnic, play at the park, visit the zoo, throw some French fries to the birds at a fast-food restaurant that has an outdoor playground, or visit a lake throwing bread crumbs feeding ducks, fish or turtles. (The above photo was taken last summer during the Texas triple digit/drought weather; the yellow Bermuda grass survived and is now green again).


Playing in various kinds of weather will build lasting memories of a fun healthy childhood. Taking nature walks or playing at the park will help you relax and remind you of what is important in life. For me it is Faith, Family and Friends. Here comes the sun. What will you learn today by taking an adventure with children?


For a glimpse into Kindergarten see my book. Would you like inexpensive ideas, activities, and games to teach your child through play? Mommy with Selective Memory and I can help save your sanity, one project at a time, with The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and Motivated to Learn. Both have been no. 1 bestsellers on Amazon.










This post is part of a Blog Hop sponsored by dozens of wonderful blogs. Please take a minute to visit some of these sites full of activities and experiments for kids to do regarding weather. Feel free to link up your own post and join the party!



28 comments:

  1. We couldn't agree with you more. Here's a fun post we shared recently about the Great Outdoors! http://theeducatorsspinonit.blogspot.com/2012/01/afterschool-express-outside-play.html

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  2. What a comprehensive post about weather and kids- I love the pic of the snowman hug. And the rocks in the trike- that is quite an accomplishment!

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  3. A lovely post. My daughters love to play in the rain and thankfully aren't fussed getting wet. I think they like the flip-side too - a warm bath and a hot chocolate!!

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  4. Thank you for your comments. So glad you liked the post and enjoy being outdoors. Sure feels nice to get warm inside after some of those excursions - or to soak in the tub - young or old. Thanks for visiting!

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  5. What a wonderful post!! I know we try to get out no matter what the weather and so do the classes at my daughter's school. Thank you so much for sharing at Sharing Saturday! I hope you will share with us again this week!

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  6. What a brilliant post - and I am so glad to hear of other people who are embracing the weather no matter what. Thanks so much for adding this to the outdoor play link up & now I am going to spend some time exploring your lovely blog,Kierna

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  7. Kierna - Thank you so much for visiting. I'll be back to your linky sometime.

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  8. INCREDIBLE THINKING!! You did really making sense.

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  9. What a great post and informative post. Thanks

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