Rain rain go away. Come again another day.
Wait a minute! We WANT the rain! Sure, it can feel like you’re stuck in the house when it’s raining. But afterward, the best outside sensory ideas await you. One of our personal favorites, that actually began as a way to help the earth, is having a tactile outside sensory activity with worms.
Yes, I said worms. After it rains, what do you see all over the sidewalks and driveways? Worms! And those worms play an important part to helping keep the grass and plants around you healthy and oxidized.
Outside Sensory Fun with Worms
For this activity, all you need are your rain boots if there are puddles around. That’s it!
After it rains, head outside and search for worms. They shouldn’t be hard to spot. But while this activity seems super simple, your children will be practicing and learning a lot!
Do you get the chills thinking of picking up worms? They have a coating of slime on them that gives them their outside texture. Plus, they are living creatures, so they’ll move around in your hands. Talk about a sensory explosion!
If your child doesn’t want to actually hold a worm, put one in your hand and let your child touch one with his finger. This is what I did for my youngest. Despite the fact that he HATES getting his hands dirty, within minutes he was running around with his brother happily picking up worms. (Of course, we had to immediately go wash our hands afterward.)
Here’s my son holding one of the worms and saying what he’s going to do with it:
Learning how to pick up the worms take serious fine motor practice. Children have to be able to use their pincer grasp and learn how to use just the right amount of pressure to pick up the worms.
Children have to be able to find the worms. It may seem obvious to us… but even with them sitting out, my kids don’t always see something sitting right in front of them. Sometimes I have to give them clues — like they’re getting hotter or colder in relation to the closest worm.
We also talk about who’s longer, fatter and what not. Have your child use their observational skills and language to describe what they see.
Yes, picking up worms can teach your child to have compassion for others. Talk about the fact that many of these worms don’t make it back to the ground and that you’re actually helping the worms, and in turn, helping the earth. It may not seem like a big deal from a grown-up perspective, but my boys really eat this up. Every time it rains they go outside to see what worms they can save and help.
We actually gather some of the worms and put them by a newly-planted tree to help the tree:
Learn About Squirmy Wormy
We actually started getting excited about collecting the worms after watching an episode of Wild Kratts (affiliate) called “Squirmy Wormy.” If you don’t know about the show Wild Kratts, it is one of our favorite shows around, aimed at teaching children about the animal world. It is, in a word, AWESOME!
Here is the full episode, but if you haven’t discovered Wild Kratts, they are a PBS show which you can also watch for FREE through an Amazon Prime account.
So what are you waiting for? Oh, you’re waiting for it to rain, right? Well, the moment it stops raining, get your kids outside and get in some outside sensory fun!
Learn more about worms with the kids! Consider these following affiliate links: