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Jumping over puddles

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Moving through space

Duration/age

Duration: 
Suitable for children: 
Skills this activity improves: 
Young girl and father in a puddle on the street

It’s raining it’s pouring, everything’s wet and boring…

The weather has changed and winter has arrived. Often when this happens and the rain rolls in it is hard to find things to do outside to keep your child busy and active. Rain puddles are just made for jumping. You can try jumping over puddles with your child.

After the rain has finally stopped and you can go outside, see how many different puddles you and your child can find. There will be both big and little puddles. Try and predict which ones will be easy to jump over without having to take a run up. Are there any puddles that are so large you will only make the other side if you take a running jump?

Can you find puddles that all of the family can jump over? Are there others that are so big that only some of the family can jump across? How many times can you jump over and back before you are so tired you need a rest?

One jump, two jumps, three jumps, more!

Materials you will need

  • Puddles

Why does this matter?

Playing outside and noticing changes in the environment helps children to develop observation skills and to identify differences. Noticing and describing differences between objects is an important skill when sorting, grouping and measuring.

As your child explores the size of the puddle and whether they can jump to the other side they are exploring space and distance.

What does this lead to?

Developing an understanding of space helps children to move their bodies around, between and through different objects and confined spaces. When children combine movement with measurement they are able to predict the best way to move around and how long it will take them.

Language to use

  • Over
  • Start, finish
  • Edge, middle, other side
  • Jump, landed
  • Puddle
  • Big, small, large, long, wide

Questions to use

  • How many jumps can you do?
  • Which puddle is the biggest?
  • How close to the edge can you stand?
  • How far away from the edge can you stand and still jump over?

Useful tips

  1. Jumping in rubber boots can be very tricky.
  2. You might also like to take a look at the What is the weather today? activity.
  3. Remember to talk to your child in your home language.

More ideas

  1. Trace around the puddle with chalk. What happens when the puddle dries up?
  2. Watch the weather or look at an online weather map to predict when it will be a good day for puddles.

Variation by age

Birth to two year olds

  • Count how many jumps you and your child can do.
  • Measure how far everyone in the family can jump.
  • Draw a line on the ground and jump over and back.

Three to five year olds

  • Count how many jumps you and your child can do.
  • Measure how far everyone in the family can jump.
  • Draw a line on the ground and jump over and back.
  • Tie some string between two trees or two chairs. Can you jump over the string? What happens when you make the string higher?
  • Set up hurdles to run and jump over.

Questions to ask

  • How many jumps did you do?
  • Who did the most jumps?
  • Who can jump further?

Questions to ask

  • How many jumps did you do?
  • Who did the most jumps?
  • Who can jump further?
  • Who can jump the highest?

Language to use

  • Jump
  • Over, back
  • Far, furthest, most, least, same

Language to use

  • Jump
  • Over, back
  • Far, furthest, most, least, same
  • Fastest, slowest, highest