Leaping into muddy puddles might seem gross to us big cynical adults, but for young kids and toddlers puddle jumping is just another awesome outdoor adventure. Here’s how to nail it!
1. Don’t worry about the weather
It’s easy to look out of the window, see some dark clouds and drops of rain and think it’s better to keep your kids inside. But that’s nonsense!!! You won’t find puddles without rain, and if you sit around waiting for perfect weather you might as well forget about puddle jumping full-stop. Let’s face it, you’re all going to get wet anyway, so wrap yourself and your kids up warm and get outdoors.
2. Don’t worry about the dirt
Wet ground, plus muddy puddle, equals dirty shoes. And dirty trousers. And dirty kid. And dirty adult if you’re doing it right. It’s impossible to go puddle jumping and come back clean, so you might as well go for it right from the start. Find the biggest, dirtiest puddle out there, then launch yourself straight into it. If you’re all filthy and wet from the start, you and your kids will be ready for anything your puddle jumping adventure throws at you.
3. Don’t be scared to join in
That’s right you big scaredy cat – follow your kid right into that first puddle. Or even better, get in there before them. Sometimes really young kids need a bit of encouragement to splat their feet into that first pool of water, so it’s up to you as a the big brave parent to show them how. You never know, you might even enjoy it!
4. Get some decent wellies
If it’s cold outside, having wet feet becomes pretty miserable pretty quickly. Wellies might not look cool, but they’re the best thing out there for keeping little toes dry on puddle jumping adventures. Not only are they 100% waterproof, but unless you go for some daft low-ankle ones they’ll keep everything below the knee dry too. They’re also mega cheap and usually indestructible.
5. Get a decent puddle suit
I’d never heard of a puddle suit before I became a dad, but now I’ve found out about them I just wish they came in adult sizes! Our little boy Sonny has the awesome Tihku rain outfit from Reima (below) that keeps him bone dry no matter how wet the conditions are, and comes with the added bonus of making him look like he works on a fishing trawler.
6. Get inside before you get cold
As much fun as getting wet and muddy is, if it’s cold outside then your entire puddle jumping crew could get very grumpy very quickly. And a cold, wet toddler is even grumpier than your usual grumpy toddler. And that’s without even mentioning the safety implications of exposing young kids to big piles of water and freezing temperatures. So keep your puddle jumping sessions short and fun, so they’re left wanting more for next time.
7. Enter the Puddle Jumping World Championships
Yep, you read that right. There’s a Puddle Jumping World Championships that’s been taking place in Kettering’s Wicksteed Park for the past five years, with a special series of ‘championship-standard puddles’ created for competitors of all ages. Entrants are judged on awesome-sounding things like height of jump, enthusiasm, distance of splash and stickability (the amount of mud that clings to each competitor) – and the standard is pretty fierce with splashes in excess of 12 feet recorded in previous years. Last year’s event was held in October, so keep your eyes peeled for the 2018 announcement!