5 splashtastic tips for family fun this February half term

Remember laughing as you splashed about in the muddiest puddle you could find? Bring those childhood memories flooding back and show the kids how it’s done at the Puddle Jumping Championships being held at some of our wetland centres across the UK this February half term. Who will make the biggest splash this year?

To get the most from you day out, try our top 5 puddle jumping tips for the most splashtastic-fun you can have in a pair of wellies. Fun is guaranteed and who knows, you may even be the ‘Puddle Jumping Champion’ of 2022.

Jump right in for a splashtastic sensory surprise

It’s time to experience puddles on a whole different level. Research shows that engaging with nature using your senses leads to a deeper connection with the world around you. It’s a fun way to get the kids more engaged too. Notice how the water looks as you splash - ripples, waves, maybe even bubbles? How does it feel on your skin – yes wet, we know, but anything else? How does the puddle smell? Just to warn you, some puddles can be pretty smelly, especially if you dredge up the bottom as you splash. How does it look? Can you see the bottom? Is it clear, or muddy? Does it change after you’ve put your big wellied foot in it?

Go on, make the biggest splash you can – how does it feel?

Ever noticed how kids (and dogs) make a beeline for a muddy puddle as soon as spotted? Why? Because it’s fun, exciting and just a little bit naughty and that’s what makes you feel alive. Try it and notice how you feel, there’s no doubt that your day will be a whole lot better after a good splash – no matter what your age. Our research shows that time spent by water can make you feel good so if you’re feeling inspired take a look at our winter wetland guide for more ideas on making the most of winter nature and improving your wellbeing.

Take a closer look

There’s a whole lot more to a puddle than meets the eye. Puddles can be small or large, shallow or deep, long lasting or gone in a matter of hours. Did you know puddles are actually mini wetlands? Almost half of the world’s plants and animals depend on wetlands. Puddles provide food and water for birds and animals - if you look closely you may spot insects or worms in them – and a place to cool off on a hot day. So take a closer look and notice the beauty in this tiny wetland world.

Don’t let the kids have all the fun

As adults we generally develop a bit of an aversion to getting wet and muddy - we can get, let’s face it, a little bit too sensible as we get older - but why not join in? Kids love it when grown-ups forget they’re grown-ups for a moment. Remember the sense of freedom you had as a child and enjoy being in the moment in nature, we guarantee it will bring a smile to your face (or at least the rest of the family). And if you fancy an extra challenge why not try the welly boot camp obstacle course at Washington Wetland Centre.

Don’t stop there, continue the puddle jumping fun at home

Had fun exploring our mini-wetland puddles? Check out the puddles where you live and get up close to see who might be using them. You could even create your own puddle and see what wildlife visits you.

Did you know that early spring is the beginning of breeding season for frogs, toads and newts? They need healthy wetlands with lots of oxygenating plants to find a mate and lay their eggs. To help them, why not try making a mini pond or a toad hall? Amphibians are declining worldwide so need all the help we can give.

Don’t forget to share your splashes with us on social media using #puddlejumping

How to get involved

Find the nearest Puddle Jumping Championship event to you and discover what makes wetlands amazing! Activities and dates may vary by centre.

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