It’s a rainy day. What do you do with your kids? When I was a child, we played “Station! Station!” It was quite possibly the best game ever invented.
Here I go dating myself but… when I was in elementary school we didn’t have cable TV, Ipads, Netflix, cell phones (smart or dumb), electronic toys that spoke to us in other languages, or places called play cafes. We played outside – even in the rain! We were fortunate that the neighbors across the street were also similar-aged kids so we all played together. We would send smoke signals when we wanted to get together. Ok, not really smoke signals but what did people do before texting? Well, we actually knocked on each other’s doors or would play charades in our front windows to figure out if we were going to play together outside at that moment.
Once it started raining (not storming – our mothers did impose some limits) we all put on boots and raincoats, collected our buckets and got to WORK (I mean, play, but we took this game seriously). This was when houses had downspouts that did not go into the ground but just gushed out the water from your roof right on the ground by the side of your house. Why is this important? Because in “Station! Station!” the ENTIRE point of the game was to put a bucket at the bottom of each downspout (the “station”) to collect the water. Then you would take the full bucket and run as fast as you could (without spilling) so you could dump it into the centrally located empty trash can in the center of the driveway. Yep, this was basically a strategic game of FILL and DUMP – and it was amazing. When the small buckets at the bottom of the downspouts filled up you would yell “STATION STATION” while you transported your bucket to the trash can so that someone else would replace that bucket you had just taken away. It was critical that no one let a downspout be without a bucket for even a minute as you would lose precious water. This is the entire game. Run around with buckets, collecting rainwater from the downspouts, pouring that water into a trash can. The big moment came when the trash can was finally filled with water and everyone worked together to push the heavy trash can over and dump the water into the street!
Yep. That was the whole point. Fill and dump. Repeat.
We made up lots of games outside but this rainy day game was special. We had strategy, we had teamwork, we had messy clothing, we had laughter… WE HAD FUN!
While I can’t exactly recreate Station Station with my own kids due to our downspouts now going into the ground, we can still go outside in the rain and play. Most kids love splashing in puddles!
I get that playing in the rain isn’t for everyone, but you can also wait until the rain stops and go puddle hunting… After the rain…PUDDLES!
Still aren’t into the idea? That’s ok. Here are some INDOOR activities as well…
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