Playful parenting Space for play Playing outside – whatever the weather We adults are often more put off by bad weather than children. Splashing around in puddles can be lots of fun. Healthy kids and adults don’t need to let a bit of bad weather stop them playing outdoors. Here are a few practical things you can do to make it easier for your child to play outdoors in the rain. Dressing for the weather Make sure your child is wearing old clothes and wellies when they’re playing outside. You are less likely to get stressed about your child playing with water and mud if they – and you – are wearing clothes you aren’t worried about. Keeping it fun Think about how you can make use of rain to add to the fun – water slides, water balloon games, hunting for worms. Once you feel comfortable being out in wet weather, you can start thinking about mud – mud pies, mud slides and mud painting. Being prepared to go indoors When you feel positive – and even excited – about going outside, the chances are your child will, too. Children are less bothered by challenging weather conditions than adults, especially when they can play with water or mud. But if your child starts to complain about being cold or wet once you’re outside, start by asking a few questions. Which bit of them is feeling cold? Are their clothes the problem? (If they are, change them.) Are they worried about getting muddy? Try a different activity to see if that makes a difference. How about exploring your neighbourhood together? Jumping in puddles? Chasing raindrops? Making mud pies? If nothing helps, be prepared to go back inside. Playing outside is supposed to be fun, so there’s no point in staying outdoors if your child isn’t having a good time. There are all sorts of ways your child can play at home.