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Save these bright ideas for rainy days outside

Rain gets a bad rap for ruining outdoor fun, but when’s the last time you really embraced it? When we were kids, a rainy day wasn’t an obstacle to going outside, it was an invitation. And that invitation still stands, whether you’re 1 or 101. Because in addition to making the world feel brand new and more alive, rain has the power to make the most ordinary outdoor activities feel like totally unique and memorable experiences. Who wants to run from that? That’s why we’re sharing some great ideas for spending rainy days outside.

1. It’s All About the Puddles

You can splash them, jump them or simply admire them. Puddles are the embodiment of rainy-day fun, and the youthful feeling we get from playing in them never goes away. See for yourself! Design a splash rating scale and see who can score the biggest splash (extra points for splashing the person next to you.) Create an epic puddle jumping competition. Or just sit down by the biggest puddle and let your imagination go wild. You can go au natural with bare feet for some squishy good fun or put on a pair of our Wellie Bootsor other Waterproof Footwear and take your splash skills to the next level.

SHOP RAIN FOOTWEAR

2. Rainy-Day Art

Studies show even just a little time outside can increase our creativity. Add precipitation and some fun, rainy-day art ideas and the skies the limit for your tiny Picassos. Because when it comes to art, rain adds a whole new dimension. Try drawing with colored chalk on wet surfaces for a totally different perspective. Bring your favorite watercolors outside and you can literally paint with rain on canvas, paper, even rocks. Or simply add a few colors of paint to a piece of paper and let the raindrops do the painting for a brand-new take on natural pointillism. And if you’re an aspiring artist looking for inspiration, some of the world’s most celebrated art features rain as its muse. Maybe a rainy day outside is where you find yours.

3. Dress for Success

Before you head out into the drizzle, decide what kind of rainy-day experience you’re looking for. Sometimes letting go and getting wet is part of the fun, but depending on the temperature, or your temperament, it helps to have other drier options. If getting soaked is going to rain on your parade, our world-class waterproof rainwear, rain boots and other rainy-day accessories will keep you snug and dry for a full day of fun outside.

SHOP RAINWEAR

4. Hike in the Rain

Let a little rain keep you from the trail and you may be missing out on one of life’s simplest pleasures, the rainy-day hike. Rainy day hikes offer you a rare chance to watch the outdoors come alive before your eyes, giving you a totally different perspective and a hiking experience like none other. Trees, roots and natural landmarks you’ve passed by a hundred times before can feel like first-time encounters. Rain also usually means less foot traffic on the trail, so you can enjoy more free space to reestablish the special connection you have with nature – or strengthen the bonds you share with those you are hiking with.

SHOP WATERPROOF HIKING FOOTWEAR

5. Let it Rain Games

Looking for some new games or a fun twist on your favorites? Just add water. Rain creates a playground of possibilities, where you can play classic games like never before, or try out new rain-inspired activities. Fill some water balloons and have a legendary water fight. Create an exciting series of rain races or rainy-day obstacle courses. Learn how to make paper boats and host a backyard regatta. Or stick with a classic and challenge everyone in your family to a mud-pie-making competition. Whatever you choose, there is only one rule we abide by: the wetter the better.

6. Therapy Downpour

Rain is often characterized as gloomy, but the truth is rainy days can offer some positive mental and psychological benefits sunny days just can’t. We call it precipitation elation. Try meditating or performing yoga in the rain for a totally enlightening experience. Reach a state of deep calm as you practice mindfulness to the soothing sounds of falling raindrops. Or ditch the shoes and massage your toes in the mud for some good-natured sensory therapy. Whatever you choose to do outside, rain always makes it more interesting.

SHOP ACTIVE RAINWEAR

7. It’s Raining Dogs

Like with any outdoor activity, bringing along your best friend always makes it more fun. So, the next time it rains, invite your four-legged pal and make a doggy day of it. It can be a fun way to introduce or reintroduce them to the elements. Take them on a rainy-day hike so they can explore all the new scents wafting up. Been meaning to wash the dog? Grab some soap and let nature do the rest. You can also just watch them interact. The sight of a dog rolling around in a puddle is sure to bring joy to your heart.

TRAIL MODEL RAIN JACKET FOR DOGS

8. Outdoor Education

We’ve talked about how fun rain can be, but it’s also educational. Rain is the perfect environment to teach your kids about the natural world in a fun, hands-on way. Kids can learn about topics like weather, ecosystems and other ways the rain affects nature. And since they’ll be learning through real-life experiments they conduct themselves, they won’t be focusing so much on how much they are learning, only how much fun they are having.

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