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 Bins, Playdough 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.
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.
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!