We are in the midst of our #GetOutside challenge at PDX Parent. The goal is to be outside with your kids for one hour every day for one week. Sounds simple, right? It is! But sometimes a little rain can make the prospect of getting out a bit daunting. Thankfully, there’s still lots to do outside in Portland when the skies open up. Here are some ideas.
- Make an Obstacle Course. Head to the backyard or a local park and set up a casual field day. Try activities like weaving between objects (you don’t need orange cones, anything will do); stopping suddenly on a line; kicking balls, and other activities that will test your kids’ balance and lead to some slippery fun.
- Look for Water-Loving Nature. Slugs, snails and other slimy creatures love the rain. Take a walk around your neighborhood looking for as many slimy things as you can find. What other animals might come out in the rain? Where do the other animals go? See if your kids have any ideas and then see what you find!
- Puddle Stomp. Yes, your child will get wet and dirty. But isn’t that what childhood is all about? Just be prepared for a big, warm bubble bath afterwards.
- Head for the Trees. Nature’s umbrella! Head to a densely forested area – like Tryon Creek or the Wildwood Trail – for a relatively dry nature walk. Some playgrounds, like Sellwood Park, are also at least partially shielded by trees.
- Hit the Zoo. Not only are the crowds smaller, but the animals seem to get especially active when the rain comes out.
- Look to the skies. With the on-again, off-again, it’s rainy! it’s sunny! weather that’s par for the course in Portland, we also get our fair share of rainbows. Head out to look for some.
- Make Boats. Gather different objects from your neighborhood, and see what floats. Does a pinecone? A flower? What about a flower after a few minutes? Have your kids guess if the object will float before putting it in.
- Find Artificial Cover. Many neighborhood schools have a partially-covered play area. If school’s not in session, bring your bike and ride around while still staying dry.
- Make Art. It can be as simple as putting drops of food coloring on cardstock and seeing what happens when the rain comes. Or try drawing with water soluble crayons on water color paper and then bringing your creations out when a storm arrives. Even Kool-Aid works!
- Just Get Wet! Playgrounds are a whole different animal in the rain. You thought the slides were fast before? You ain’t seen nothing until trying out a damp one. Bring a few towels and a change of clothes and go for it. It’s a great opportunity to practice balance, and you’re likely to have the place mostly to yourself.
Looking for even more ideas? Check out our ultimate guide for rainy day fun – inside and outside.