Ok so better late than never for another activities post!
It has been hot here… really hot today, so hot that even playing outside is not an option so we’ve been doing lots of water play! A lot!
- something to put the water in! – we bought these two tubs at the warehouse (because we needed two the same to save arguments) but I am sure you could probably find something similar lying around the house or at an op shop. The thing to look for is that they have fairly high sides but that the child can still easily reach over the sides and into the trough while sitting down. That way the high sides contain a lot of water but don’t restrict access
- something to catch the drips – as you can see in the photo we put a towel both under the tubs on the table and under the table on the floor just to catch any stray drips and stop things getting too slippery
- water – the trick here is to only put in a really small amount of water. Depending on what else you are playing with even as little as a cm of water is enough to splash in and wash dishes with. You’ll need a little bit more if you are trying to scoop up the water in containers or want boats to float. But err on the side of ‘less is more’ as less will certainly stay in the tub better and be less to clean up in the end.
- something to put in the water – there are so many ideas of things you can add to water play tubs, just pretend you are a child again and let your imagination run wild! Some ideas may need a little more or less preparation and some are better done outside but even the simplest ideas can entertain for a while!
Some ideas for water play –
Washing dishes – as you can see from the photo the girls are washing their tea set with half a kitchen sponge cut up and some bubbles. There isn’t much water in this set up at all, it is mostly bubbles from the detergent so not very messy. It might help to provide a place to dry and put clean dishes too. You can also do this at the real sink with real dishes! Or how about scrubbing potatoes for dinner?
Washing clothes – this is an outside activity for a warm day! Offer either dolls clothes or a few of their own clothes to wash and then st up a low ‘clothes line’ with pegs to hang them out to dry
Washing dolls – very popular in the bath or in the tubs! Make sure you dry the dolls out well afterwards otherwise their insides go gross and stinky!
Pouring and measuring – just a variety of different containers is hours of fun. Add some plastic funnels for even more fun. Or some clear plastic bottles with a ‘half’ line marked on them to start everyone thinking about measuring. So many options and ideas for this one!
Go with imaginative play ideas – think about creatures that live in water and set up a ‘sea’ in the tub with sand and plastic sea animals. Or how about a crocodile river with some rocks, crocs and leaves?
Floating and sinking – as simple as some fun plastic boats or as complex as making your own boats to float. Or even provide a variety of items some that float and sink and have a guessing game.
Ice! – on really hot days freeze some small containers of ice to play with. To add to the fun try freezing something small inside them like a plastic animal. You can also add food colouring and watch it be ‘released’ as it melts. (though food coloring will stain so do this outside and naked!)
And that is just a couple of ideas.. there are so many more.
Remember that a toddler can drown in just a few cms of water so this is something that will require supervision… but it is not as messy as you think, especially if you do it outside! Water can be very soothing so is often a good way to bring sky high kids back down to earth for a while and if you aren’t up for tubs of the stuff in the lounge room you can do all these things and more in the bath!
Ok off to make a ‘fishes house’ each for my girls!