On Monday, the explorers took a hike in the rain. Earlier in the morning, I emailed the parents and asked them to bring in boots and raincoats for their children because we hoped to take a hike before the heavy rain settled in. The explorers arrived properly dressed. (Thank you parents!) We did morning activities while we watched the puddle in front of the school for raindrops. The rain looked pretty light. Naya, one of our explorers and I checked the radar. Rain was suppose to get heavy around noon. We ate a quick snack, dressed in our rain gear and walked out of the school. The rain was heavier than we hoped for but we forged on. Kelly, co-teacher, and I decided on a short hike close to the school in case the rain got heavy. “Let’s walk to the magnolia tree and look at the buds. Then we can observe the changes and developments through the next few weeks,” I suggested.
We made our way to the magnolia tree on the hill as the rain fell heavier. The explorers didn’t seem to mind the rain. The class look at the fuzzy gray buds on the tree. Kelly pointed out how the rain created drips on the branches. We cut a branch from the tree to observe in the classroom and made tracks for the school. The rain now committed to ending all outdoor activity.
Thinking ahead, Naya asked what we were going to do with our wet jackets when we reached the school. Kelly made a plan, “We’ll leave our wet jackets in the foyer and head into the cozy warm classroom.” I stayed back in the foyer to hang up the wet jackets, while Kelly settled the explorers into our room. As I entered the classroom a bit later, I heard Kelly say “this famous dancer named Jean Kelly danced in the rain.”
Can you guess what happened next? Yes, we found the video of Gene Kelly dancing in the rain in the movie Singing in the Rain and played it for the explorers. In order for everyone to see the video, I held my laptop up at an angle. This meant I watched the children while they watched Gene Kelly dance. I saw amazement and delight in their smiling faces. And then, when Gene Kelly stood under the rainspout, I saw shock and mischievous joy on those same faces. It is so much fun to share with children!
Just after the video ended, as if planned and rehearsed, Jeanie, the owner and director of Schoolmates, danced in sing, “I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain, what a glorious feeling, I’m happy again….” On cue, Amy, a teacher in the preschool, enter the room and joined Jeanie, “I’m laughing at clouds, so dark up above. The sun’s in my heart and I’m ready for love. Let the stormy clouds chase, Everyone from the place. Come on with the rain, I’ve a smile on my face. I walk down the lane with a happy refrain. Just singin’, singin’ in the rain.” They finished the song and the class erupted in applause and laughter. A great way to spend a rainy day!
Below is the video. We skipped the goodnight kiss at the very beginning. Kelly and I wanted to focus on the joy and adventure of being out in the rain. And to show the explorers that we are not the only ones who go out and play in the rain. Enjoy!