Springing up like mushrooms after the rain!

Spring showers that bring May’s blooms can make for some long days inside.
Many parents are keeping kids from much needed exercise and fun when it is raining and wet outside. They believe that playing in the rain is an easy way to catch a cold. Why it is OK to let your kids play in the rain? Because (most) kids adore water! It is a way to have some great fun, to relax and exercise at the same time. Under the rain some cute and sweet characters may appear, like snails and mushrooms. Here are Krisi and Bobi under the rain talking about mushrooms.

-Look, Bobi! I am a mushroom! Mama said that mushrooms grow under the rain and that are very special.
-But that’s an umbrella.
-Yes, but it looks like a mushroom! They consist of an umbrella-like head, which is white on top and pink underneath. I told you – they are special.
-What is so special about them? Are they fruits or vegetables?
-No. They are not like most vegetables which are green, yellow, orange or red. They are mysterious, grow by moonlight, well, at least wild ones do, and are quite unlike any other food. Some of them are very tasty, full of vitamins and good to eat, others – poisonous!
-Really? Is the mushroom on mummy’s painting poisonous?
-Oh, Bobi – no! It is not poisonous because it is painted and we can’t eat it at all! But it is so cute, with a bright red umbrella isn’t it!

Some mushrooms are adorable, with their bright red umbrellas and white spots! But they’re also psychoactive. And toxic. They’re called Amanita muscaria, or fly agaric. You might have even sat on stools painted to look like this mushroom while reading the children’s book. If a kid stumbles across it in a forest, it may provide an ideal lesson in not eating things just because they’re pretty.

io9-we come from the future, Esther Inglis-Arkell

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