It’s mid-June and the heat may have forced some to stay indoors. Don’t live near a body of water or have a pool in the backyard or a splash park in the neighborhood? No problem! Children can enjoy fun and safe water play right at home. Here are a few ideas for staying cool (and little ones can practice and acquire new skills).
Sunscreen, bug repellent, hats, shade and lots of drinking water are required to keep outdoor play safe and fun for children.
Most important and a must have is adult supervision and interaction!
Provide small pools or tubs or buckets of water (for splashing feet and hands). Add plastic cups, spoons, bowls, pitchers, sponges, basters, bath toys, small balls, funnels and nets (the list is endless). A word of caution with funnels – funnels turned up with the narrow see up could cause a hazard if a child set on it – please supervise the play). Using small spray bottles (strengthens fingers and hands) to mist outdoor plants and more! Freeze reusable ice cubes and add to the fun (and refreshing) experience. Talk about science concepts (sink or float; predicting how long until the ice is melted). Inexpensive foam letters, numbers and shape cutouts provide opportunity to sort, count, scoop and identify. Counting how many scoops of water it takes to fill the bowl incorporates math concepts. Bathing appropriate dolls then towel drying and dressing are great fun (and all the while children are acquiring fine motor skills and strengthening hands/finger muscles). Add sidewalk art opportunities with water colors, chalk, brushes and buckets of water. Painting with just a brush and water is a fond childhood memory for Me. The “canvas” is endless. Simple sprinklers add to the fun, too. Inviting friends to join in the fun offers great opportunity to work on social/emotional skills (communicating, conversing, listening, sharing, taking turns, cooperating, seat-regulation, etc.). When it’s time to end the water play, model recycling by asking the children to use the tubs/pools of water to quench the thirst of the grass, shrubs and nearby trees (maybe even a bird bath). Everyone will want to help “pick up and clean up” while singing a favorite song. Using clothes pins to attach wet articles are great tools for strengthening little fingers.
End this water experience with a favorite book and snack (probably followed by a much needed nap or quiet time!)
I know you have more fun water ideas. Share them with Dear Me.