Awesomely messy, mucky, fun activities

Summer is quickly slipping away. The season of blustery leaves and mucky mud is upon us. Here in drought-stricken Southern California, the experts say we're in for a whopping “monster” El Niño this fall. As for the Day family, we're taking advantage of this climate change by planning fun activities, both inside and outside!

Here are our favorite ways to get dirty during a wet, wild season.

Awesomely messy, mucky, fun activities

Jump in the puddles. Pull up your rain boots or even don some waders (we love these ones from Oakiwear).

Don a wet suit. The weather outside may be frightful, but it actually makes for awesome underwater exploration. Tide temperatures generally lag about three months behind surface temperatures, so September and October water is actually warmer than June and July water in many locations. And as long as you're getting wet, you may as well go swimming!

Go ATVing. There are fewer people out on the off-road trails when the weather is wet, but it's a blast to watch the mud splash up and over your rims.

Garden. It's not too late to plant some fruits and veggies! Post-rain is actually the perfect time to get your plants in the ground, as the soil is soft and workable and you won't need to water for awhile.

Awesomely messy, mucky, fun activities

Community clean-up. There aren't as many people around helping out with litter, so this is a good opportunity to teach your kids about the impact of recycling and reducing waste. Head to a park and gather up a bagful of trash – and hop on the uncrowded swings while you're at it!

Fetch some fish. During or immediately following a light rain, insects fly lower to the surface and draw the fish out. The disruption made by your cast is also less perceptible to fish and less likely to scare them off during a rain.

Play ball. I was on a youth soccer team as a kid in Washington, and some of my finest memories involve sliding past a muddy goal line. Whether you're into football, baseball, or just plain-old catch, don't let a little dirt scare you off.

Watch some outdoor-inspired flicks. If the weather really does put a damper on adventure, it's okay to turn to some indoor activities. The silver screen can remind you of what's in store when the world stops whirling! I throw on some outdoor-inspired Netflix picks like Mighty Machines and Doomsday Preppers.

Create an edible mini swamp. Mix up some chocolate pudding and let the kiddos have a fun, messy, hands-on treat. They can decorate their “swamp” with gummy worms and crushed up Oreo “dirt.”

Dig into indoor renovations. One of my favorite ways to get dirty is to turn my attention to remodeling. Bust out the spackle and paint, and make some late-night memories with your spouse as you get finishing touches in place while the kids sleep.

How does your family get dirty?