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By Jean Evansearly years consultant and author

Get the children’s imaginations flowing with these wonderful ideas focusing on some of the well-known characters from nursery rhymes

illustration of children playing in the rain

1 Doctor Foster

Enjoy sensory experiences on a rainy day

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Exploration and Investigation

Development matters: explore, play and seek meaning in their experiences (22-36 months); show understanding of cause/effect relations (30-50 months).

Early learning goal: look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change.

What you need

Group size: up to six children.

Nursery rhyme book showing pictures of Doctor Foster; waterproof clothing; wellingtons; safe outdoor space.

What to do

On a rainy day, say the rhyme ‘Doctor Foster went to Gloucester’ indoors. Look at pictures of Doctor Foster and talk about how he is dressed. Are his clothes suitable for going out in a rain shower? Does he carry an umbrella?

Suggest that the children put on their waterproof clothing and wellingtons to go outdoors and stand in the rain. Invite the children to explain how rain looks, feels, smells, sounds and tastes.

Encourage the children to jump in puddles and observe the big splashes that they make, while saying the rhyme. After the rain has stopped, go out at intervals and note what happens to the wet ground.

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