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Jump into a rainy day caper

July 11, 2013|Alicia Notarianni | Making Ends Meet

The plan was to take a van full of kids swimming at an area lake today.

At the moment, the world is wet, the sky is gray, and the online hourly weather forecast seems to laugh at me.

No one likes being laughed at. But I’ve learned over the years not to waste a lot of time fighting battles I can’t win. So while I could put on my galoshes and shake my fists at the sky, I’m thinking of asking the great firmament if we can be friends. Sort of inviting it for a play date, or asking if she would like to dance.

Sometimes there is little more invigorating than a deliberate frolic in the rain. Humans seem to be hard-wired to run for shelter from the downpour. When the first drops fall, we gather the trikes and garden tools, toss them in the shed, and make a bee-line to the door like Dorothy in a Kansas twister. I mean, really, who wants to see the dog, the chicken coop, and the neighborhood Miss Almira Gulch flying by?


In dangerous storms and in lightning, sure, we should find a safe place to be. But in a warm summer rain, why not defy disposition and boldly step outside to play?

I remember the thrill of my mom giving us surprise authorization, on rare occasion, to do just that. Set would set us loose to twirl and spin in a downpour, splashing in puddles and catching raindrops on our tongues. Feeling rain on your face and mud squishing between your toes makes a person feel dazzlingly alive.

Maybe today, my kids and their friends can divvy up the raindrops.

Here are some thoughts on playing in the rain.

  •  Go for a walk around your neighborhood. Find a puddle at the end of your driveway or in the corner of a sidewalk and jump in. The bigger the splash, the better.
  •  Sing. “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More” and “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” are a fun start.  “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider,” “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring” and “Rain, Rain, Go Away” are good wind-down options.
  •  Throw on some old clothes and go for a barefoot slide on the wet grass, considering grass stains a badge of honor. If you like sports, bring out the football or the soccer ball.
  • Kids can hula hoop, have a balloon toss, take turns kicking a beach ball around cones or obstacles, or spin circles with their foreheads resting on a bat.
  • The bike ride bonus is mud splashed all over the legs, a healthy treatment for the skin and the spirit. Hose off the bikes and fellow bikers when you get home, and you might find yourself in a water battle of vertical, horizontal and diagonal origins.
  •  Turn on the sprinkler and bring out the super-soakers to create your own water park.

The possibilities almost have me hoping for rain. Either way, we’ll be covered — in water.

Alicia Notarianni is a reporter and feature writer for The Herald-Mail. Her email address is

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