April showers often mean that we spend a lot of time inside. Of course, they also lead to puddles and time to play in them. Puddles truly are a great way to get kids out and about, but realistically it isn’t always possible during a session. If you are unable to go outside to stomp and play in puddles, share some stories which center around rain and use them to incorporate indoor puddle play.
Talk to kids about their experiences with rain. Do they like the rain? Have they played in puddles or do they prefer to run inside to where it is nice and dry? Take some time to read stories related to the rain. While reading, allow children to share how they are similar or different to their experiences with this type of weather. Some stories to consider include:
- Rain! – Linda Ashman
- Let it Rain – Maryann Cocca-Leffler
- Tap Tap Boom Boom – Elizabeth Bluemle
- It’s Raining – Gail Gibbons
- The Big Storm: A Very Soggy Counting Book – Nancy Tafuri
- Rain Feet – Angela Johnson
- The Rainy Day Duck – Kaia L. Kloster
- The Puddle – David McPhail
After reading a few of the books, create your own indoor puddle party. Make a giant puddle from poster board or outline it with blue masking tape. This will be a great area for kids to use their own voice to tell a puddle tale. What would they do if a giant puddle was in front of them and they would not get in trouble for stomping around and playing? For a fun mix, have a group of words which students will need to randomly incorporate into their story when you pause their tale. Younger kids may enjoy some toys and props to include while they tell their tale. Encourage creativity and using their own thoughts and words. There is no wrong story since it is their imagination. If students have trouble thinking of words to describe the situation, have them act it out with their hands or body! This can help improve motor skills and strengthen occupational and physical therapy goals.
These stories could also be captured on video and shared in a secure way for families at home to see. Send an e-mail or note home letting families know what you will be working on. Perhaps they have rain boots or other rain gear that could be sent in and used on that day. If you plan on doing a video of their child’s story, ask for a way to send it to them so they can view it. Be sure to share how well children are doing with their language skills. This is especially important for multilingual homes to know that their assistance is helping their children to succeed.
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