All our Mini Adventures

Snail Racing

It’s raining outside and starting to get dark but the children are acting like caged animals that need to be unleashed… what can we do? It’s time for snail racing! This is a great rainy day activity; quick, easy, close to home, AND snails love rain.

outdoor games with kids
A surprisingly nail-biting activity….

Rainy day activity

It can often be hard to drag the kids (and ourselves) outdoors when the weather is a bit grim. Offering up the chance for an uber-competitive snail race seemed to work a charm. We kitted up in our waterproofs on a wet October afternoon and headed down to the allotments for an after school mini adventure where rain is a positive!

Hunting high and low on bits of wood, old tiles, and in long grass we found three snail competitors to take part in our race. Charlie had Big Geoff. Max had Curly Chris. I had Sleepy Steve.

snail races
The competitors

We set up the course with two pieces of wood for race boundaries, and two felt pipes as the start and finish arches. The snails were placed on the starting line and in a whirl of excitement (at snail pace) they were off! Grand National eat your heart out.

The Race

Big Geoff had a fantastic start, his size and speed working to his advantage. Unfortunately, the boundary planks of wood proved more interesting and he had to be repeatedly corrected and placed back on the track… with many stern words from Charlie.

Curly Chris used his agility to navigate the twigs and leaves that were in his way. Though more intent on reaching the finish line, his size worked against him when climbing some of these big obstacles.

Disaster strikes

Sleepy Steve had a slow start. A really slow start. He’d only just started to move and was no doubt about to pick up pace and finish the race in a blaze of glory, when DISASTER STRUCK. Without us noticing, Dotty the Chicken swooped in and ATE SLEEPY STEVE…..

chicken disaster
disaster/Dotty strikes…

Dotty received a stern telling-off about not eating race competitors and she was ushered away in disgrace. After a few kind words in memory of Sleepy Steve, the race continued.

snail racing
There was a little upset at the chicken incident

The winner

Things were getting pretty close. Big Geoff looked set for the win when the lure of those wooden race boundaries set him off course once again.

Curly Chris closed the gap further. At last it was Big Geoff who just reached the finish line (and started to climb it) taking first place in a nail-biting race finish!

race winner
Big Geoff just reaches the finish line ahead of Curly Chris

It was raining so hard at this point that I retreated under cover but the children were too engrossed in the race to even notice.

rainy day fun
Is it raining?

There were tears and disappointment for the losing snail owners. Though the race was tinged by cheating controversies and that ‘chicken incident’, it was a great success.

The surviving competitors were popped back in the bushes and we retreated home for dinner.

Did you know?

Eating snail caviar (snail eggs) is growing in popularity across Europe…. not sure how I feel about that. Find our more snail facts here


Preparation List:

  • This is definitely a mini-adventure for a rainy day. Snails are less likely to move if it’s dry
  • Waterproofs help!
  • Choose your race sight. A little bit of undergrowth makes snail-hunting easier.

Kit List:

  • We used two planks for race boundaries and some felt pipes for race arches but these were unessential luxury items!
  • Snails are essential
kids outdoor activities

Check out the rest of our after school mini-adventure series here and head outside for some fun!