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  • Suzanne Axelsson

Feel the Rain

Sometimes going outside doesn't quite go as you plan... as we were getting ready to go out in the rain (the children had chosen themselves who wanted to play out and who wanted to play inside - the majority wanted to go out) I knew exactly where we were going - to the square to splash in the puddles. BUT when we got outside the rain began to tell us a different story. We could hear how the rain fell onto the ground, we could see how it ran like a river down towards the underground station (which is overground in this area) - so instead of going to the square we followed the water... It lead us to the tunnel that goes under the train tracks - and we stopped and wondered why the ground was not wet in the tunnel... it didn't take long to work it out when we stepped into the tunnel - it was not raining in there... It was great fun running in and out of the rain...

Towards the other end, the water had begun to flow river like through the tunnel - we splashed and splashed together (yes me too - got a few sniggers from onlookers - but I think they were only jealous...). The children noticed the patterns being made by the splashes and their footprints and began to run round and round until they created a circle of wet...

water can make the most amazing sounds - the rain pattering on the ground - and of course dripping, dropping and gurgling down the drain... it not only sounded enticing it was mesmerising to watch

It is always interesting to see how children inspire each other. As you saw on the previous photo child one started at the drain - listening and inspecting it closely; along came another child to check out what was happening and sat down on the curb. Child one saw that sitting at the curb made it easier to look into the drain and promptly walked across the drain to sit there too. The two of them sat there for at least ten minutes just looking - with their eyes, fingers and ears!

next to the tunnel is a small garden with small paths running through. We went to have a look - and noticed how the leaves collected the raindrops - 3 of the children went round to see how the balls of water rolled around in the leaves getting bigger and bigger until they splashed out...

the rain also brought out a snail...

Rain can also be experienced on a variety of surfaces - and it collects differently on each one - for example on the bench the children could swoosh their hands back and forth to join the small droplets together... the rain was a full on sensory experience - sight, sound, feeling, smell (everything smelled differently in the rain) and taste - rain ended up in the mouth as wet hands were just so tempting to lick...

To play outside like this, to feel and experience the properties of rain... how it flows downhill, the sounds, smells etc is connected to Original Learning. By playing in the rain, by exploring, by have an educator that can ask questions to help the child make connections, and to encourage the children to ask their own questions is an excellent way to learn meaningfully.

#outsideplay #play #OriginalLearning

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