Some days it’s easy to get your kids to play outside, but when it’s windy, they might hesitate. Rubber balls don’t fly as straight, jump ropes tangle easier, and flying leaves block their skateboards. Maybe the sound or the feel of the wind scares your kids. Instead of pretending the wind isn’t blowing or using it as an excuse to stay inside, use the wind to make the day exciting again. These 10 activities could even make your kids look forward to the next blustery day.
If you have a kite, you probably know it flies best on windy days. Let your kids fly your kite to feel the wind’s power. If you don’t have a kite, challenge your kids to build their own. A plastic bag on a rope might fly high if the wind is steady. Paper bags on strings can stay in the air when the kids run. Make experimenting and testing part of the fun.
Plastic bags and strings make great parachutes for small dolls and action figures. Do a pillowcase and rubber bands work too? What about a big leaf and zip ties? Have your kids experiment with different items to see what materials work for parachutes and what toys stay in the air the best. Maybe let them build parachutes for themselves as well. Just don’t let them jump off anything.
Children find wind magical because they hear it but they can’t see it. Have your kids write down all the ways they hear the wind in your yard or through an open window. Pause for a moment during a walk to listen to the leaves rustling, the neighbor’s wind chimes tinkling, or a flag snapping.
The wind is most noticeable in the trees, but what else moves when the wind is blowing? Do blades of grass move? How about the fabric on an outdoor chair? Have a competition to see who notices the most things moving in the wind or give them sidewalk chalk to make lists.
Show your kids how to make pinwheels out of paper. Let them tie scarves, socks, or ribbon to sticks to make wind socks. Let them tie noisy items to a tree branch or deck post to build their own wind chimes. They’ll decide what they think works well and what they want to change. They may even have their own ideas.
Walk around your town looking for weather vanes, wind socks, anemometers, and flags. Look around your neighbors' houses for wind chimes and yard flags. Take a hike and look for wind damage or other signs that the wind has been there.
Have your kids find activities that require their breath and see if the wind works instead. For example, holding bubble wands up into the wind can make bubbles bigger than the kids might be able to on their own. If they have any kazoos or other noise makers, they can hold them up to see if the wind can play them. Some things will work while others won’t.
Have each kid gather three objects they think will blow the farthest in the wind, then have them line up and release their objects one at a time. See which object flies the farthest. Encourage them to use the results to choose the items for the next round.
If "will it fly?" is too easy, try building items to move over water or land. If you have water nearby, use something light like a plastic bottle or large leaf as the base and have each kid manipulate the item and build their own sail. For land, use skateboards or toy cars or anything small and light with wheels as the foundation. Watch their delight as the wind starts pushing their objects.
Your kids can still play most regular games in the wind, but why not put a breezy twist on their favorites? If the wind is blowing in bursts, use that as part of the game. Play tag where they can only move when they hear the wind in the trees. Play "Red Light, Green Light" where the kids can only walk forward if they feel the wind, and they have to freeze as soon as the wind stops. Encourage them to come up with their own alternative games.
Do you have any ideas for windy day activities? Leave suggestions in the comments section below.