Rainy Days

So many teachers get stressed on rainy days.  What are you going to do with the children? 

The number one mistake teachers make is trying to keep the children calm during rainy days.  This is typically when those who do use television in the classroom will bring the televisions out…BIG MISTAKE!  Besides the fact that I don’t ever use them, this is the opposite of the day you should use them.

No, the activities you need to plan need to be active.  Indoor active.  See, on a regular day you typically have some mildly active activity indoors and some super active outdoors giving the children great opportunity to burn some energy and get those bodies moving.

What you need is to have a very active indoor time (that would be the “scientific” term that is between the “scientific” terms or mildly active and super active).  Of course, you need to have some quiet activities for the children to get to as well when they need it.

I like to set up one table with a sort of table hockey.  I use the long blocks to tape up a rim around the table edge.  Then I strategically tape smaller blocks in places on the table.  Take out 2-4 foam paint brushes (the ones that are about 4 inches wide) and 1-2 small foam balls.  If you don’t have foam balls, make some balls out of newspaper or use waffle balls, golf balls, or really any small type ball.

They use the paint brushes as their paddles.  Have one child stand one either end of the table and hit the ball back and forth.  If you have more children playing, have them set up on the other sides of the table.  This is a pretty active game and will allow children to burn more energy than most indoor activities; it will also keep you a bit sane as those active children burn off that energy they haven’t been able to burn running around outside.

I also like to set up a LONG sheet of butcher paper along another wall with lots of markers and crayons.  This gets the artistic crew a chance to think big and use those large muscles as well.  I’ve even been known one year to paper the entire classroom floor with black butcher paper and give the children chalk.  That was an awesome day!

In the sensory table, I actually will put water with water wheels and cups.  There is something magical about playing with cool water (not hot or cold, it has to be room temperature or cooler) while it’s raining outside.  It’s also very hypnotic and relaxing.  Sometimes when things are getting to hectic in the classroom I fill the table with lots of buckets and scoops and water wheels and sit down with that group and play right alongside them…VERY relaxing!

In the library area, on a rainy day, I will add more pillows and LOTS of blankets.  Some children just need to relax a bit more on these days and these blankets ALWAYS end up as fort walls and they make a fun little hide out.

Don’t forget to put some glass bowls outside a window they can see out of so they can watch it fill with water throughout the day as well.

Now, of course I’m talking about those rainy days where there is so much rain that there just is no going out; however, take the opportunity when it lightens up a bit to go run in the rain and puddle jump…especially if you have dryers in your center.  Clothes can easily be thrown in the dryer while children sleep…and that’s another great thing on a rainy day…warm children waking up and putting on warm clothes.

Yes, I actually LOVE rainy day!


jenny said...

Great ideas! We are on the other side of the world to you so we have the opposite problem - I just wrote a post on what to do on really hot days :) Jenny

Jenni said...

Jenny-yes, the hot days can often times be worse because it's too hot to go out and the children don't understand that. Plus, when they are out, we have to constantly pump water into them so they don't get heat stroke.

Thanks for the comment!