The rainy days of spring will soon be upon us, and that means afternoons spent with the kids cooped up indoors, right? Wrong! Perhaps you have a list of indoor rainy day activities but let’s expand our idea of what a rainy day means when it comes to our plans for the day. Put the board games away, turn off the TV, and grab an umbrella—we’re going outside!

Take a Walk
There is something really peaceful about the way rain drowns out mundane sounds and washes the world clean. Grab the kids and go for a walk around the neighborhood. It’s best to make sure everyone has their own umbrella so no one gets left out in the downpour.

Puddle Jumping
Put on some good, waterproof galoshes (although wet sneakers never killed anyone and will work in a pinch) and go find some big puddles to jump in. It’s great exercise and great fun. The kids will officially think you’re the coolest mom ever. This is a therapeutic activity too, if your child (or you!) is having a grumpy day—it’s the rainy day equivalent to punching a pillow!

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Growing up with an in-ground pool, this was one of my favorite summertime activities. As long as there isn’t any thunder or lightning, swimming in the rain is perfectly safe under adult supervision. With today’s technology, you can even check Doppler radar to be extra sure the coast is clear before you dive in.

Act Out a Rainy Movie Scene
Have a child who thrives on drama? Channel it into an activity that will put their acting skills to the test. Watch a movie with a rainy scene and then go outside to act it out. Not sure where to start? May I suggest Singin’ in the Rain?

Go Critter Hunting
Some creatures actually prefer the rain. Look for frogs, toads, earthworms, snails, slugs and birds looking for a meal or taking a splashy bath. Bonus idea: Collect the earthworms and then go fishing! Some say fish bite better during or after a rain storm.

Work in the Garden
Rain means the ground is moist, and that’s a great time to go work in the garden, moving plants around and pulling weeds. Teach your child the names of the different plants and flowers as you work to make it an educational experience.

Make Mud Pies
If you aren’t afraid of a little mess, go ahead and let the kids make some mud pies. Most of us have a patch in the yard or garden that would be perfect to let them experiment. Kids can pat the mud into patties, tortilla-style, or push toy trucks through it.

Now hopefully instead of dreading that next “boring” rainy day, you’ll be looking forward to it!