Sunday, May 1, 2011

playing in puddles at preschool

I'll let you in on a secret.  When my boys jump in puddles it does my head in. 

Wet shoes, socks and pants...argggh.   (Shhh, don't tell anyone or you will ruin my reputation.)

Outdoor play at preschool, whatever the weather, is so important for this very reason.

As children today are spending less time outside than ever before, preschool is a place that gives them the freedom and time to do things - like play in puddles - that parents like me might not embrace so lovingly on the home front.

And this week play in puddles we did. 

Our kids love to sweep in puddles with child-sized brooms:

It is a happy day indeed when the sandpit becomes a giant puddle.  Just perfect for playing with the trucks:

Or making pies:

When my kids came home from preschool covered in mud, or with a bag soggy clothes in their backpack I was one happy mother.  

I knew that they had been in a place where it was okay to throw themselves body and soul into the serious business of play (and someone else had been in charge of cleaning up after them.)    

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  1. We had a "Welly Wander" at school this week, and jumped in lots of huge puddles. (Our city and county is actually having severe flooding - not where our school is, but in outlying areas.) But the children loved the puddles, drawing in the mud, digging trenches with sticks, making stick bridges over the puddles etc etc. It was a wonderful day! : )

  2. I love this. Kids should be allowed to play in mud. You wouldn't believe the amount of parents that send their kids to daycare with nice clothes expecting them to stay neat and clean all day long. Kids are meant to be dirty! :D
    lol Great post!

  3. I love this post because so many moms are fussy about letting their kids get dirty. But this kind of play often fosters the BEST kind of learning and exploration.

    My own two kids are a dirty lot. Every day when I have to wash all of their clothes from a hard day of play, I am thankful for healthy and vibrant children. And my washing machine!

    I LOVED the photos of the girls in this bunch. We need more images of girls playing like that!

  4. I let my kids at home. But they prefer mud to puddles. I just wish they would ask before I find them in the mud. Here are pictures:

  5. Very nice photos!
    One can almost smell the mud, and green rain scent!
    This is something I'm planning to do alot - this season. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I can understand your frustration with the mess. Here in Scotland where rain is common, I encourage all pre-schools to put in place a system where waterproof dungarees or trousers (and jackets when colder) are always available for messy play. You may have seen these in quite a few photos where children are playing with water.

    The beauty is that to clean the suits one simply hoses the children down - or leaves them muddy for the next session. It's great for children to be able to decide if and when to wear a suit and to learn how to put one on and take it off.

    With children who come in smart clothing - have other clothes available for them to change into. I know one pre-school that offers to change children into "nice clothing" if they have a party after pre-school so parents understand that regular clothes are needed for being at pre-school. It works a treat - but this is a wrap around pre-school that's open from 8-6 daily.

  7. Thanks for this. I always let my kids play in dirt. There are many days when there shoes are so dirty that they need to be hosed off. The other day, I even had to hose off my sons! I was starting to think that maybe all this 'dirt play' wasn't such a good idea. But, your post reinforced the feeling in my gut.

    They are only little once. Let them play in dirt!

  8. My children can spot a puddle from a mile away and be jumping in it within seconds.

    I can imagine all the creative and imaginative play that would take place in the sand pit turned mud pit. I can also imagine children smiling and having the time of their life while playing there.

  9. Messy play is the best! Hooray for preschools that let children play in puddles and mud!

  10. And thank you for linking up to Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

  11. Rain, snow, even hot weather shouldn't stop children from being outside. They just need proper gear!
    Your post reminded me of this article about an all outdoor preschool in the NW:

  12. My little guy would have been OVER the moon to play in that mess! Thanks for inspiring me to get them outside; rain or shine!

  13. Sweeping puddles looks like fun. JDaniel needs to try it out.

  14. I am really curious: how many tons of sand do you guys have there? I want to put a sand pit in our yard for my son's birthday and the landscapers here sell it by the ton. Just wondering what you have because it seems like a perfect amount. Thank you!