Bloomsbury Early Years - Shelter (Spring)
The Little Book of Outside in All Weathers

Activity Type:

Construction, Outdoor

Type of Content:


Related Activities

Shelter (Spring)

An idea for being outside in all weathers

by Sally Featherstone

Make shelters from the rain

What you need

  • a large sheet of plastic, preferably transparent (a cheap shower curtain is good value)

  • bricks or large stones

  • a rope or pole between two fixing points, or two supports such as painting easels, trolleys or climbing apparatus

  • a blanket, some old carpet or carpet samples

What you do

  1. Fix the pole or rope firmly in position with string or roofrack elastics

  2. Drape the plastic over the rope and hold the edges down with bricks (or peg it into the grass).

  3. Spread the carpet or blanket inside and enjoy the hideout!

  4. Add a basket with picnic things, or a rucksack with bird watching kit.

Ready for more?

  • Put up a gazebo for big groups, and have a table and chairs underneath.

  • Tie some garden canes together at the top. Wrap with plastic or a sheet to make a tepee.

  • Put a pop up tent just outside the door and join it to the inside by a play tunnel, so children can go out without even getting wet!

  • Put a big sheet of plastic over a climbing frame or other large structure.

  • Make a shelter by screwing a batten on the wall. Then hook plastic or fabric to the batten and hold the edge of the fabric down with bricks.

  • Put big pieces of foil on umbrellas and hear the raindrops falling on the top.

  • Tie a big golf umbrella to a post or the climbing frame to provide shelter.

  • Frame tents are cheap and don’t need pegging down.

  • Fill some buckets with ready mixed concrete, push a broom handle in each, and leave to dry. Use these stands for umbrellas, or for tying fabric or plastic sheets to.

  • Even a couple of tables covered with a sheet will make an exciting place to play in the rain. Children will love the new place to imagine and explore in role with just a few props.

Look, listen and note

  • Problem Solving

  • Choose the resources they need

  • Good control and co-ordination

  • Work as part of a group

Where to go next: Pool and Cool
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