Ok, so anyone who knows me, or reads my blog, knows that I am a huge advocate of playing outdoors, whatever the weather. I very much believe that as long as you and your children are wearing suitable clothing and protection, then there is no need to stay cooped up inside. There is a whole other world to enjoy on those days when the sun just refuses to shine (and let’s face it, in the UK those days are common!)
Last weekend it rained, A LOT! So instead of being miserable or facing the dreaded soft play with all the other soggy kids and agitated parents, we decided that this was the perfect time to tick another thing off our Autumn bucket list: ‘Go Out And Play in The Rain.’
So, we popped on our waterproofs and boots and headed over to a fairly local beauty spot called Wenlock Edge. It poured with rain the whole way there and I just knew there was fun to be had!
We weren’t disappointed! Although the rain had slowed by the time we arrived, it was still falling and we had an amazing time walking through the woodland, which has amazing natural play structures such as balance beams, climbing frames and seesaws. Of course, the girls had to be careful not to slip, with it being so wet, but such risk assessment is an extremely important part of childhood learning, so we try and allow them to make the judgement for themselves.
The views from the Edge, overlooking the rolling Shropshire countryside are spectacular and well worth a visit if you’re in the area. There is also a fantastic old Lime Kiln and a quarry which are brilliantly preserved. This allowed for a short history lesson from me and engineering lesson from dad (poor kids!) but the girls enjoyed running up and down a slate pile and exploring the old kiln.
I think Banana’s favourite part of the day was spending time in the bird hide, watching the birds coming to feed, identifying them from the posters on the wall and then writing down what she’d spotted on the whiteboard within the hide. This unexpected activity kept her occupied for ages and she didn’t want to move on, when it was time. I only wish we’d taken her binoculars to make the activity even more enjoyable and relevant.
Duckling’s favourite part was, naturally, jumping in huge puddles, having the freedom to get as soaked as she liked, being encouraged to do big, run up splashes… it’s what being two is all about after all!
The best part for me, was after the rain had stopped, and in typical September fashion, the sun came out, as bright as if it had never been away. The woods, already beautiful, transformed into this enchanted and magical forest, where the sunbeams seeped through the canopy in graceful celestial rays. The rain drops glistened on the leaves with fairy-like endearment, and the water evaporated from the ground in a hazy mist, which just enveloped the glorious majesty.
Every now and again, we are lucky enough to catch Nature ‘do her thing’ and when you do… well, it’s indescribable really; just truly, utterly, beautifully amazing! Being stuck indoors starves you of this intrinsic, natural gorgeousness that is all around us, it really is worth it!
Playing in the Rain is Number 6 in the National Trust’s #50Things Challenge. ✅