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June 12, 2012

Child's Play 101 - Water Exploration

With summer only a few days away I figured the next subject for my Child's Play 101 series should be WATER!

We love playing with water.  If the weather is warm, count on my boys to be outside running through the sprinklers, splashing in the pool, at the sprayground, or asking to turn on the hose.

The purpose of my Child's Play 101 series to to encourage parents from all backgrounds and situations to engage in simple, meaningful play with their children. If you missed my first three posts in the series you can read about them here: Sensory BinsPlaydough Basics, and Messy Play.

The great thing about water exploration?  It takes little to no advance planning.  Anyone can do it.  No matter how busy your schedule is and how bare your pantry or craft closet is, water play is almost always an option.  Thanks to a wonderful group of bloggers, here is a list of ideas to enhance your summer water exploration and even a few to include water fun in the cooler months:

Plain Vanilla Mom created a Bubble Pool for her little one.

If funds don't allow you to purchase a water table, you can make your own inspired by In Lieu of Preschool.

For indoor water fun sometimes I just fill up the sink and give the boys a few measuring cups and spoons.  It's sure to entertain while I cook or clean.

The Educator's Spin On It has a great round up of water play ideas for babies and toddlers.

The Iowa Farmer's Wife let her daughter paint with water.  (This is a great one for those of you who don't like the mess that comes along with painting.)

Ice is an exciting way to mix up water play time.  We often freeze water with a few drops of food coloring for a colorful and wet activity.

Hands down our favorite memory with ice is when we made Bowling Balls by freezing water in balloons.

Color mixing is a favorite around here, and I love how Dirt and Boogers set it up for her son.  I'm going to keep this set up in mind for when the twins are just a bit bigger.  The tupperware containers are perfect for toddlers.

2012-04-31 Jackson 23 Months

Word Play House has some simple yet delightful suggestions for adding more fun to bath time.  I especially love the idea of tossing gems into the tub and having your children go deep sea diving.  This is a great way to get kids used to putting their faces under water while still feeling secure.


The Outlaw Mom made shadow puppets with her kids in the tub!  I can't believe I never thought to do this.

Momma's Fun World set out a few simple items to allow her kids to enjoy creative water fun, all for less than $1!

I don't know about your kids, but mine think that helping Daddy wash the car is a treat, not a chore!  Like The Golden Gleam reminds us, this is the perfect chore to have children assist with since they love the water anyway.

wash the car

I know my boys would love to give the cars a wash either Famiglia & Seoul.

Z is for Zel gave her son bugs to clean to go along with the bug theme they had for the week.

Make a pond adding flowers and leaves to water like The Good Long Road.

J-Bug and J-Rex will love it when I set up some target practice with the hose like The Mommies Made Me Do It!

Learn how to make toy boats over at Nurture Store.

I love how Growing a Jeweled Rose took an unused baby item and turned it into a wet, colorful, sensory experience for her daughter!

Foster imaginary play with a baby bath station inspired by Happy Hooligans.

Check out this cool water structure at Taming the Goblin.

My Buddies and I wrapped a hose around a beam and put a funnel on top for water.  The children watched it wrap around and around as it traveled through the hose.


Mommy with Selective Memory gave her kids a science lesson while having fun with water.

Make sight word practice fun with water balloons!  Royal Baloo set up a fantastic game for her oldest and modified it a bit for her younger son.


We also played a game with water and sight words.  I wrote JZ's sight words in sidewalk chalk and had him spray them with a water gun after reading them.  I modified the game for JM by simply writing letters.

Sink or Float is a game my boys cherish.  Over at Science Sparks you can read the details of the science behind the game.

We filled up the kiddie pool with water then added water balloons for some serious splashes.

When the sun isn't shining, make the most out of rain with these puddle play tips from Word Play House.


Themed sensory bins always bring a smile to a child's face.  This Ocean Wonders bin I created jump started hours of open ended, imaginary play for JZ and JM, and they learned quite a bit about ocean life.

To kick up a themed sensory bin and bring it to life, Growing a Jeweled Rose makes incredible sensory themed baths for her little ones.  My favorite is this Rain Forest Sensory Bath.

Recently as the weather warmed up, she brought them outside and has made some sensory pools, including this Princess Sensory Pool.

If you're feeling especially inspired, make this "Kid Wash" like Familyicious!  I know my kids would go nuts.  Maybe someday...

Alright, what are you waiting for?  Head outside and turn on the water!

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  1. What a great round up! I love it. Thanks for including our pond. There are so many ideas here for me to do with my Wild Thing - I've really been wanting to do the boats b/c that's his "new thing."

  2. So very many wonderful water play ideas here! And, just in time for summer and cooling off! Thank you!

  3. What an amazing round up! Thanks so much for including us! :) Pinning this to use during the summer for inspiration!

  4. You've got a ton of great ideas here! pinning this :) Thanks for including our bubble pool! I like the colored ice cubes. I just did colored ice for the babe for the first time today. I also like the ice bowling balls. I haven't tried that before but am going to have to. My older son would love it!

  5. another great list of tons of summer fun resources! i pinned and pinned this!

  6. Great roundup! I love the Kid Wash. My kids would go beserk for this, too! Thanks for including our Shadow Bath :-)

  7. Lovely post! Lots of fab ideas, as always :)

  8. Another great roundup. You have so many great activities here. When the weather gets better we can work or way through these. Thanks for including our water wall

  9. Love all these ideas. My little one is obsessed with water play these days, amd I'm looking forward to doing a lot of these with him. Oh, and I am so impressed with this series so far. Keep up the good work!

  10. Lots of fun and great ideas for keeping cool with water this summer. Thanks for sharing this on Hey Mom, Look What I Did at Adventures In Mommy Land!

  11. Such a great round-up. Thanks for supporting other bloggers and for sharing on the Kids Co-Op!

  12. wow another amazing round up. there is certainly something for everyone in there. Thanks for including us

  13. Wow amazing! What a lot of inventive water ideas. Kids love it so much too and it's a great way to keep cool. I think the ice marbles are my favourite. I'm definitely trying them.

  14. What an amazing collection of fun yet educational water play! Thanks for sharing with us at tip toe thru tuesday!



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