With the weather heating up, and the school Summer holidays underway, let’s cool things down with these ideas for water play (the poetry was deliberate).
Each of these games has the potential to help your child discover something new, and requires only basic equipment and a little preparation.
Ice Cube Pick N Mix
Create some interesting (non-edible) ice cubes overnight then add them to the splash pool or water play table.
Create a variety of colours and textures by adding food colouring, glitter, and even rice to your ice cubes.
Younger children can play a guessing game to figure out what’s inside the cube before it melts.
For older children, provide a few containers of water at different temperatures so they can explore the rate at which the ice melts.
This is a great introduction to the concept of one substance transitioning through different states.
This is an exercise in problem solving, and is a great way to keep school-aged children occupied on a warm day.
Freeze some small toys into ice blocks overnight, then provide some tools for liberation, and watch your children turn into super heroes as they make a rescue attempt.
To get the toys to freeze deep inside the ice, you will need to partially fill a bowl or ice cream tub with water, freeze it, then place the toy inside, fill up with water and return to the freezer.
Provide a selection of tools that may be useful in removing the ice and freeing the toy, such as: a bottle of warm water; some salt; a spoon; a flannel; and anything else you think is safe, appropriate and helpful.
This activity can reveal a lot about your child’s temperament. While one child is furiously chipping away at the ice as quickly as possible, another will leave the block in a sunny spot and play something else.
Doll or teddy clothes are perfect for this game.
Wash them in a bucket of warm soapy water, and then peg the clothes out to dry. Look through the hanging clothes together and talk about the different fabrics and which ones your child thinks will dry first. You can also try hanging some clothes in the sun, and others in the shade to see how long they take to dry.
Make Your Own Water Feature
This is a great construction activity for older children.
You will need:
- A large bucket or trough of water
- Some thick tape, like electrical tape
- Sections of guttering
- Plastic bottles
- Something to mount this too, like a peg board, or you could tape it to your climbing frame.
Set your children a challenge, to make a beautiful fountain, or a way to transport the water without spilling a drop.
This should encourage team work and some creative thinking.
Make Your Own Sail Boats
A paddling pool is a summer essential, but it’s not just for sitting in: it could be a boating lake too.
Make your own sail boats, and then set them out for a voyage in the pool. If your pool is big enough, your child can climb in and make some waves.
You will need something small and buoyant, like the plastic lid from a glass jar, to make the body of the boat. Then use a straw (or two) and some paper to make the sail.
Hopefully, those educational, watery play ideas will keep you busy over the first week of the holidays. Stay tuned to the blog where we will publish more play-inspiration over the summer.