Staycation Water Fun

Summer is almost here. Thoughts turn to outdoor time, play, and ways to cool off. In other words, it’s time to get wet! Let’s have some fun playing in, and with water at home.

Remember sunscreen, a shirt and hat, and shoes that stay on their feet. (flip-flops and crocks are tripping hazards).
Be o.k. with a wet mess. It’s outside so everything and everyone (including you) will dry up.
Stay outside at the end of the day, and add a picnic or cook-out.
Children have different comfort levels in and around water, respect their boundaries.
Supervise young children at all times around water.

At our house we regularly create our version of a Water Table. A dishpan gets filled with water and placed on a low table outside. The rest is up to my son and his friends. Plastic cups, spoons, sponges and measuring cups are used to poor water from one item into another. This lasts for a while, until they discover pouring water onto themselves and each other is great fun as well. Once they are wet, they can create foot prints, hand prints, and body prints on other surfaces. A concrete driveway works great. If you have brushes (or wash cloths) Painting with Water is fun. Be creative, and you have your porch (or anything else they are painting) cleaned in no time. Your child won’t even realize they helped you clean.
Lots of fun can be had with the Car Wash. We add our bikes and trikes. What an honor, when you’re 3 or 4, to be allowed to hose the car and the bikes down. It’s also fun to start out sitting inside the car when the grown-ups initially hose the car down. Don’t even think about staying dry when you are at the car wash.
How about a Beach? Place a shallow pool, tub, or storage bin close to the sand box. Fill it with a few inches of water and allow the kids to get from the sand box into the water and back. The sand box will end up being muddy and the water sandy, however it can provide for hours of self directed outdoor play. Provide sticks to write and draw in the wet sand; plastic cups to build towers; shallow plastic containers to float in the water; and spoons to dig ditches. No sandbox? No problem. Get a large piece of plastic and empty a couple of bags of playground sand in the middle of it. Want to give the kids a surprise? Hide shells and plastic animals in the sand.

Go for it! Put your feet in a muddy sandbox, sit down and build a sand castle, try to catch a wet sponge, poor water from the watering can on your head. Let your child see your inner child, and you have a summer you will never forget.