make-believe: rainy day.

September 10, 2018

On a very rainy day, a make-believe version of the same with something for outside and something for inside:


A coverall for splashing.

A pair of boots for most any kind of weather.

A fanciful umbrella.


A rainy day book for snuggling.

A marble track for building.

A bag of marbles for rolling.

A striped long-sleeve for staying cozy.

A smock for messes.

A set of paints for color.

A roll of paper for anything your heart desires.


In an effort to ground all of this make-believing in something a bit more down to earth, here are three things to do to ensure that kids—on rainy days or otherwise—have the resources that they need to succeed:

To bring the creative arts to underserved kids, support ArtStart and head to the Seaport District to see their Family Portrait Project.

To connect New York City girls to healthy and successful futures, support the Lower East Side Girl’s Club (or apply to volunteer).

To connect kids across the country to healthy food in school, support FoodCorps.


This post includes affiliate links. Reading My Tea Leaves might earn a small commission on the goods purchased through those links. 

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  • Reply Madeleine September 10, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Can I stay inside, please? I love rainy days when I can stay cosy and dry inside. We didn’t need to make believe this weekend; it rained all Saturday here in York.

  • Reply Kelly September 10, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    I want to preface this by saying that I love your blog and your approach to all things sustainable, ethical, less waste, etc. I am trying to incorporate these tenets in my life and through my choices/purchases as well and I turn to your blog and others for inspiration, ideas, advice, and a community I trust. So, I am asking this question with genuine curiosity and an interest in how you and others are dealing with it. I notice that you link to products and have a page there with the products you use. I also still use Amazon for the primary reasons that I live in a city, work full-time, as does my partner, and have small children. The prime shipping AND some of the Amazon kid shows (i.e: Bubble Guppies – ughh) have become things we rely on regularly. I am really upset by the labor practices I hear about and I know that many people are canceling their Prime membership and not using Amazon. Thoughts? Are you grappling with this yourself or have a strategy for dealing with it? I know that it ultimately comes down to the fact that if I feel uncomfortable with something I need to stop doing it, so maybe I’m just trying to justify a convenience, but thought I’d ask. Thank you!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 10, 2018 at 1:59 pm

      Hi there: I just wrote a long response to a similar question on this post, if you’d like to take a look!

      • Reply Kelly September 10, 2018 at 2:39 pm

        Thank you! Makes sense.

      • Reply Jay September 10, 2018 at 2:48 pm

        So many heartbreaking stories from Amazon workers. How is this allowed to continue? The warehouses are like sweatshops.

      • Reply Helen September 10, 2018 at 3:20 pm

        Just chiming in to say that I live an equally vexed life with amazon. I remain somewhat shocked by my own hypocrisy. I am totally in support of the labor organizing happening there (and apparently now at Whole Foods), and upset by the labor practices, and yet I have honestly never felt more unable to “quit” a product/company (I bet we get a delivery from them 1x a week). And even more insidious, they have made it impossible for me to look at shipping costs in the same way, so accustomed am I now to free shipping. But shipping is never free! FWIW, I live in a more rural area , few retail options, very reliant on online shopping in general.

        So basically, I don’t feel like I can pass specific judgment here, but only take note of the ways in which so many of us are beholden to this behemoth (though, notably, my own income/stability does not depend on me eschewing amazon, so I’m more sympathetic to those who might use it to support themselves).

        • Reply Sasha L September 12, 2018 at 6:04 pm

          Helen, yes, this. You state my dilemma so incredibly well.

          I tried so hard to buy something local last week, spent hours searching, didn’t find, found on Amazon (of course) for next to nothing. Sigh. It wasn’t a proper necessity, bamboo tongs for my preschool children, for a lesson, but of course something that enriched their lives, like so many things I buy.

          Also, things are relatively expensive where I live, I hate shopping, I hate wasting time shopping, and I’m an introvert so the emotional tax for going into town is high for me. And of course, all of this is NOTHING compared to the suffering of workers. Nothing. I feel bad and hypocritical, and not really any plans of stopping. I do look at Target first for anything they might have, but of course, Amazon has absolute everything. And this is exactly how people kept wearing cotton and eating sugar and drinking coffee during slavery, isn’t it? They probably weren’t as well informed as we are either.

    • Reply C September 12, 2018 at 1:20 am

      I grapple with buying anything from Amazon for all the reasons…and there are and will continue to be more and more. Something I do is to find the products folks link to on Amazon from the actual maker. It’s so damn easy to just buy on Amazon but only takes a few more minutes to find the website and buy direct. For instance, Erin linked to bamboo dental floss and a wooden brush that I was interested in. I bought both today from the companies and the price difference was either negligible or cheaper (free shipping). Of course I cannot know exactly what their labor/environmental practices really are either but I do my best to research, buy only what I need and buy from smaller companies that truly appear to have a conscience. I fully understand that anything cheap absolutely has a cost.

  • Reply Frankie September 10, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    What a great list! Sadly, your image is not showing up for me in google Chrome!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 10, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      Hi Frankie: Thanks so much for letting me know. I’m working on this issue with my web team. Can you try doing a hard refresh of your browser and see if it continues? Thank you!

      • Reply Alix September 10, 2018 at 4:02 pm

        Same for me. I’ve tried to reload my browser, but no luck.

  • Reply Anna September 10, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Hi, Erin, unfortunately can’t see any visuals, might be the same problem (?) as already mentioned previously.
    On another note, my raincoats (one warmer thanks to a cheery lining and one lighter for summer rains) are among my favourite purchases and have brought joy and allowed to go for (self-care) walks when weather is not that friendly. And nothing like a warm cuppa after a brisk walk in the rain. Stay dry, have fun.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE September 10, 2018 at 2:05 pm

      Thanks so much, Anna!

  • Reply Rachel September 10, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    Hi Erin, I really enjoy your blog (it’s the only one I follow these days)! I am striving toward a more minimalist lifestyle and struggle with this mostly in one area – children’s toys! i know you have posted on toys and toy storage in the past – I wonder how you’re managing as holidays come and go and children grow older and tend to accumulate more things? My older daughter (6) gets quite attached to things and I want to be sensitive to things she likes. In general, we don’t have anything noisy or plastic and I try to keep things simple – I also want to inspire creativity. I’d love a blog post or a brief blurb about how you deal with toys/weeding out undesirable or excess ones. Thanks!

  • Reply Swissrose September 11, 2018 at 2:40 am

    Cute. As a grandma, I look back and would say that an all-in-one rain suit is one of the “must-have”s in my view! There is so much unnecessary baby/child stuff, I can’t imagine how the stores stay in business, but yes, it’s such an industry. Last time I was in one the only “necessary” thing I saw was a car seat. Anyway. Rain. Yes, the suit and the boots. Umbrellas are simply just fun – unless you’re in a windy climate! My favourite book to get out when it’s rainy is Rain by Peter Spiers, no text but a lovely story that all my kids and grandkids enjoy/ed and identified with. When our second daughter came along, we asked for Cuboro marble run cubes and eventually ended up with three sets – one basic and two smaller add-ons. They have been played with in so many ways over the last 25 years, which has made the rather higher price very worthwhile (their grandparents helped, initially!). It’s the first thing the grandkids head for when they arrive here…

  • Reply Sasha L September 12, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    In my experience as a mom and nanny and preschool teacher, young children don’t really mind being out in inclement weather, as long as they are free to run and play. Since it’s challenging to require my preschool children to have full rain suits (as well as full winter gear, and winter lasts so long they often have to buy a bigger size before winter finally leaves), I simply let the children wear what they’ve got and they change into dry clothes when we come in. Wet goes into dryer for next time out. I’m routinely shocked at how much children just don’t mind being wet and a little cold too, as long as they are engaged and having fun. Since we live in a rather harsh climate we just view it as good training on being tough enough to live here happily. I try to model happy in the face of wet and cold, but harder for adults I think!!! If my budget would allow I would certainly have rain suits and boots for all though.

    Warm drinks and cozy stories back inside are the absolute best.

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