Going on a puddle hunt

Outdoor play for a rainy day! Turn splashing in puddles into a great afternoon’s activity for toddlers with our puddle hunting rhyme – then continue the fun at home with our indoor puddle jumping game and book choice.

We're going on a puddle hunt

There is nothing that pleases ToddlerGirl more at the moment than splashing in puddles. It is the perfect rainy day activity, if you don’t mind the chance of getting a little bit wet! Even with wellie boots and an all in one waterproof suit, ToddlerGirl invariably gets damp feet due to her incredibly enthusiastic jumping causing the water to get in over the top of the boots…

Of course, there are some days when we just don’t have the time or the appropriate clothing to go splashing in puddles. Having had a few of those recently, plus a very rainy morning stuck indoors, I decided that our afternoon activity would be given over to pure puddle jumping fun. We were going on a puddle hunt!

ToddlerGirl was more than a little bit excited when I told her my plans. To get us into the mood (as if this was needed…) we first of all read our library book, Peppa Pig and the Biggest Muddy Puddle in the World. In the book, it rains so much that everyone needs to get around by boat, which is quite fun. But it is even more fun when the flood water recedes leaving a giant muddy puddle! ToddlerGirl loves Peppa Pig and I do hold her partially responsible for the obsession with puddles. This book was an absolutely perfect find for us, therefore, and a great prelude to finding our own giant muddy puddle.

Wellie boots and waterproofs on, we then headed over to our local park to begin our search. With the amount of rain we’d had, I didn’t think it would take too long but the puddles were nowhere to be found. Uh oh. ToddlerGirl started getting a tad grumpy, reminding me of the dangers of promising your little one something that may be out of your control! Luckily, just as the toddler grumps were threatening to ruin our lovely afternoon in the park, I spied our local tennis courts glistening with the sheen of several large puddles. Phew!

I quickly pointed them out to ToddlerGirl and we marched towards the courts. I made up a little rhyme as we went that she joined in with enthusiastically:

We’re going on a puddle hunt
We’re going to find a big one
It’s been a rainy day
But we’re not wet

(You may recognise my inspiration for this!)

ToddlerGirl let out a whoop of sheer delight when we made it into the tennis courts:

Uh oh, a puddle
A deep, wet puddle
We can’t go over it
We can’t go under it
We’ll have to go through it…
Splish splash, splish splash, splish splash

She spent a very happy hour sloshing, jumping, splishing and splashing her way through them all, pausing only to examine her reflection every now and then. It was chilly but beautiful, with some unexpected late afternoon sunshine turning the puddles into mirrors reflecting the clouds and bare branches of trees.

I end up pulling ToddlerGirl away from puddles so many times, either because I don’t have the time to spend standing there while she splashes away or because I don’t want her to get all wet and muddy. This time, the whole purpose of our trip was to find puddles and enjoy them and it was very liberating for both of us. I loved watching ToddlerGirl revelling in the freedom of being able to do exactly what she wanted. Her pure joy was infectious. I hung back and let her go wild for a little while, then I joined in and discovered that puddle jumping is a lot of fun as an adult too. We giggled and splashed and tested out every single puddle we could find on the tennis courts until the light started fading from the sky and it was time to head home.

Once we were back and in dry clothes, we snuggled on the sofa with a snack and read The Biggest Muddy Puddle in the World again. I then set up a quick indoor puddle jumping game using some brown towels of various sizes. ToddlerGirl had to jump from one ‘puddle’ to the next, which she really enjoyed. Soon, a number of her soft toys had been drafted in and it turned into a lovely pretend play session, giving me a chance to sneak off to make dinner.

All in all, it was a pretty perfect afternoon and one I will definitely look to repeat.

Tips for puddle jumping with toddlers:

  • Wear appropriate clothing (wellies are essential; waterproof trousers or all in one suit are a good idea)
  • Have a change of clothes to hand for afterwards or be within an easy walk home – even with waterproofs on, ‘serious’ puddle jumping is likely to result in wet feet!
  • Be clear about your puddle ‘rules’ – we only splash in puddles when we have our wellies on, for example, which helps me to keep ToddlerGirl dry when she is in her normal shoes!

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