Easy Water Play Ideas

May 29, 2012

Noah is almost two, and he obsessed with water.

If there is water anywhere within reach he will sprinkle it, spill it, flick it, run his hands through it, fill up something with it, tip it out and generally enjoy it.

The problem is, I don’t always enjoy his water play. In fact when he pours his drink into his lunch and plays with it, it kind of drives me batty. When he climbs up to the sink to help wash the dishes after dinner and returns with soaking wet PJs, my eyes kind of roll involuntarily.

I’ve been known to lose my mind, rant and rave and say ‘NO MORE WATER’… but really instead of working against his love of water play I really should be working with it.

Ok, so I don’t want him to pour my bottle of water all over the table and play in it, so maybe I need to provide him with more appropriate ways to play with water, water play that won’t drive me insane.

With that in mind we’ve done lots of water play already week already. Simple, easy, not super messy, toddler friendly water play, like this…

Washing Doll Doll Water Play

easy water play - doll washing

A little bit of soapy water, a plastic doll and a face washer or sponge – that’s all you need

Washing Dishes Water Play

easy water play - washing dishes

A little bit of soapy water, a handful of plastic cups and plates (from the tea-set or the cupboard) and a scrubbing brush – quick and easy.

Keeping it Easy

easy water play - washing dishes

There are a couple of tricks to make both these water play ideas parent friendly as well as kid friendly -

1) Put a BIG towel down first to catch drips over the side.
2) Use a tub or trough that has reasonably high sides, but not so high that your toddler has trouble reaching over them.
3) Only put in a little bit of water. And I mean a really little bit… 1-2 centimetres of water in the bottom of the trough is enough.

But if you can’t face even a little bit of watery mess, you could do both these activities in the bath!

Noah also loves some of the other water play activities we’ve tried, like a tub of bubbles and playing with ice blocks.

What’s your favourite water play idea?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jane May 29, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Old pots and pans and plastic containers, mixing spoons and a small watering can full of water – OUTSIDE – kept my little two year old visitor amused for ages recently!


Jackie May 29, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Washing the dishes- we haven’t tried that one yet.
We’re all sorted for tomorrow now. Thanks


Kate May 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm

We have coloured baths where we drop one or two drops of food colouring into the bath- it does not stain the bath or the kids. We also have outdoor baths in those large bucket style storage containers – a few jug fills of hot water, and top up with cold. The buckets are just big enough to squat in and the kids love it! Mind you, we are in central Qld so it is never too cold!


Christie @ Poppy Seed Baby May 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Great ideas Kate! My little girl is obsessed with water at the moment too. If only you could get them to wash the dishes for real! :)


katef May 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Actually Christie… it makes a bit more mess but I’ve been getting my kids to wash real dishes for years! LOL


kathy May 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I let my kids wash the dolls clothes. Wash them in bubbles, rinse them, then hang them on a line to dry, just in time to do it all over again! Another favourite in our place is painting with water – give them a paint brush, a bucket of water and an outside wall of the house and let them go for.


Lucy May 24, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Fantastic ideas! I fight my toddlers from playing in water every single day. Where did you find the smock with elastic in the arm holes?


katepickle May 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm

My Mum actually made that smock for one of my twins when she was little (she’s ten now! LOL)… but if you can get a smock with elastic sleeves I highly recommend it as then pushed up sleeves stay up!


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