Wet Weather Play and why we do it
Wet weather play can have a positive impact on the development of young children in Australia. The Australian climate is diverse, with many areas experiencing regular rainfall, making wet weather play a valuable opportunity for children to explore their environment in a unique way.
The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) emphasizes the importance of outdoor play for young children, stating that "outdoor play is an essential part of children's learning and development" (Department of Education and Training, 2017, p. 16). Wet weather play can promote physical activity, social interaction, and sensory experiences, which are all important aspects of early childhood development.
A study conducted by the University of Western Sydney found that outdoor play, including wet weather play, can promote creativity, problem-solving skills, and social skills in young children (Fenech & Green, 2015). Wet weather play can also provide opportunities for children to explore their environment and learn about the natural world. For example, children can learn about the water cycle by observing puddles, streams, and rainfall.
Wet weather play can also provide opportunities for teachers and caregivers to incorporate learning into play. For example, teachers can use wet weather play as a way to teach children about measurement and volume by providing containers of different sizes and encouraging children to fill them with rainwater. Teachers can also use wet weather play as a way to promote creativity and imagination, such as by encouraging children to create rain art using natural materials.
Incorporating wet weather play into early childhood education can also have benefits for children's mental health and well-being. A study conducted by the University of Melbourne found that spending time in nature, including during wet weather play, can improve children's mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression (Kuo & Taylor, 2004).
Wet weather play can have a positive impact on the development of young children in Australia. By providing opportunities for physical activity, social interaction, and sensory experiences, wet weather play can support children's learning and development. Teachers and caregivers can incorporate wet weather play into early childhood education in a variety of ways, promoting exploration, creativity, and learning in young children. As we come into the wet season here at Hensman we do a lot wet play, please ensure that you have an appropriate number of changes of clothes and wet weather items.
Department of Education and Training. (2017). Belonging, being & becoming: The early years learning framework for Australia. https://www.education.gov.au/sites/default/files/early-years-learning-framework_0.pdf
Fenech, M., & Green, J. (2015). Outdoor play in early childhood education: Learning from forest school. Australian Journal of Outdoor Education, 19(1), 19-27.
Kuo, F. E., & Taylor, A. F. (2004). A potential natural treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Evidence from a national study. American Journal of Public Health, 94(9), 1580-1586.