I hope you enjoyed some chalk activities with your kiddos in the last week! This week for our Summer Time Fun series, we talk about water activities (a few that my kids enjoy and some that I came across while “surfing”).Water is a fascinating “material” to work with. I’m sure there are several homeschooling moms or teachers that could share some wonderful teaching activities with us (feel free to share them in the comments below!). You can explore the liquid, vapor, or solid versions of H20.
My boys seem to really enjoy the water. If they are ever fussy (or aggravating!), one of 2 things usually works: 1. Taking them outside to play. 2. Letting them play in water (either outside, in the bath, or even the sink).Here are a few ideas to get you started:
SMALL POOL OR BUCKETS
I’ve noticed my little guys enjoy transferring water from one container to something else (another container or just pouring it out). Have a small pool or buckets close together along with smaller cups, bowls, watering pitchers. They may end up using ladles, sponges, or other containers to do this..For some reason, it keeps them entertained! It’s also an easy way for them to fill up the watering can to give your plants a drink.
I don’t yet have a sand/water table for my boys, but I’m sure this would be a great toy to add to your backyard for activities like these.
For sensory fun, add smooth pebbles or shells (you can find at a dollar store) into the pool along with plastic bath toys. My boys and nieces enjoy getting in the pool and hunting for treasures.
Use water in a pool to wash babydolls, toys that need a cleaning, or to have a miniature car/bike wash!
I mentioned last week that cleanup time for chalk art could be a great activity for children. Using paint brushes or sponges and water as “paint” can be equally entertaining, inexpensive, and in a snap the art disappears. The sidewalk or even your house outside walls could be “painted” with water.
Okay, I know some of you simply call it a “hose”...but you know what I mean. ;-)
First of all, if you have a hosepipe you MUST have some type of sprinkler. A standard sprinkler is great, but there are also some really fun ones for kids. I like this one (below) from Target or Wal-Mart (both are carrying it this year) in particular because you can set the spray low for the little guys, and it’s quite long allowing several children to play at once without running into each other.
A sprinkler is great for playing the game “Jump the Creek.” (I loved that game in elementary school...the dry version, of course!)
The hose ;-) is also good for filling up water balloons. What fun you can have with those!
ICE ICE BABY
Ice activities are wonderful in the south during summertime, for sure!
A few that we’ve enjoyed are:
Painting with colored ice. We freeze ice with food coloring (I think you may even use coloring from flavored drink packets). Then, we use the ice to paint paper outside. Plus, my boys like licking them while they "paint"....
Also, ice is an alternative way to fill in those paint with water books (that seemed to be much easier to find when I was a child!...they don’t sell them in enough places if you ask me).
Ice treasures. This HAS to be my oldest son’s favorite ice activity. We fill a small plastic container with small toys, rocks, shells, and such along with water. We allow it to freeze overnight. The next day, we take it outside, dump the ice block from its container and then and he either chips away at the ice block (small hammer, fork or other scraping tools) or squirts it with warm water to melt away to find his treasures.
Another similar activity that I haven’t yet tried but is on my list of things to do soon is filling a container with water and then fruit. Again, you freeze this and the next day chip away at it to reveal TASTY treasures. (We saw this idea on Sid the Science Kid.)
Ice ball surprise. This is another activity I hope to do soon. Similar to the ice treasure block, with this activity you fill a water balloon with water and a single treasure or trinket. Again, you freeze the balloon and then later cut open the top and swirl the balloon in a pool or bucket to reveal what’s hidden inside. This idea came from amazingmoms.com. The suggestion is that it could also provide a novel favor at a summertime birthday party. LOVE that!
I have smaller children (under school age), so most of my ideas reflect that. You could likely adapt many of the above ideas for older children.
Here are a few other links I found with ideas I liked:
Lots of relay style games for older kids/teens on parentingteens.about.com
Ideas about the "science" of water and more water games found tlc.howstuffworks.com
The Ice Ball Surprise (mentioned above) as well as several other games for young children on amazingmoms.com
These ideas are for a "preschool classroom"...but you could adapt the ideas for your own home.
Have fun getting wet and staying cool this summer!
And PLEASE share ideas with me. You know I’m always looking for fun ways to entertain my boys. ;-)