1. Wet playtimes can be very gloomy, and cooped-up children can be so restless in class. Wet playtimes can be well planned, positive and fun. For this you need a set of resources to draw upon, a selection of games and activities to keep children happily occupied and some forward-planning with the midday supervisors
2. Be ready! Teachers need to agree what children are allowed to play with in the classroom during wet play. Draw up a list and laminate it so that midday supervisors know exactly what can be used (and what can’t!). Use the curriculum and anything the children have been interested in but not had a chance to explore in depth, this could be the time to suggest this. For example, making maps, hieroglyphics, writing in code, poetry, shapes and origami. Keep some curriculum-related ideas sheets handy for wet playtimes.
3. Find a shelf or a box that is a designated “Wet Play” place and put lots of things in there that will be useful for wet play – like glue, old pictures for collages, crayons, scrap paper, scissors, white boards, pens, board games, comics, jigsaw puzzles, colouring books etc.
4. Allocate one or two pupils as a ‘Wet Playtime Helpers’ and offer responsibility for looking after the wet playtime box or shelf. They can help to keep it tidy, look out for items that they could add to the collection and check that jigsaws are complete and pens and glue have lids on and are working. If the box contents are looking a bit sad, you could send a letter home asking for contributions to your wet playtime box.
5. Why not have wet playtimes crazes – like draughts and chess another month, puzzles another, code breaking another. It is important to change them round often so the children don’t get bored. The old favourites are also great. You can always reinvent noughts and crosses, battleships, cat’s cradles, consequences, letter strings, atlas games, puppet theatres, sewing, weaving and finger rhymes. Short plays can also be fun and educational, so duplicate some play scripts and keep them on one side. Children often love organising a play for themselves and will love showing it to the rest of the class at the end of playtime.