Fun with water
Water play doesn't cost much at all, but can entertain your child hours for hours.
Water play is an inexpensive way to have fun with your toddler. During summer, it’s a great way to cool down too!
Improvements in fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination are two of the benefits of this activity. It can also be educational as you begin to teach your child about gravity, density, capacity and temperature.
You can set up water play activities inside in a bathtub or on the floor after laying down towels. The backyard is ideal: set up some plastic washing tubs or make use of a kiddie splash pool. Of course, water activities must always be closely supervised by an adult – never leave your child alone around water, for even a moment.
Top 10 water play ideas
- Raid the cupboards: strainers, funnels, empty containers and measuring spoons are fun to pour water from or through.
- Colour and temperature: add variety to your child’s water play by adding a tiny amount of food colouring to the water, and by altering the temperature from icy cold to lukewarm. What happens when the colours mix together?
- Bubble, bubble, pop! Add bubble bath mixture or shampoo to water, then give your child a whisk to mix up some bubbles. Bubbles are guaranteed to keep kids entertained for ages.
- Playing house: let your child be a ‘grown-up’ by allowing him to wash a baby doll, do the washing up with a toy tea set, or set up outdoor toys for a car wash.
- Paint the house: let toddlers loose on brick work or concrete with a paintbrush and bucket of water. See if they can use them to ‘paint’ shapes or write their name.
- Sand and water: add texture to your child’s water play with sandpit sand. You don’t need to be at the beach to make a sandcastle!
- Make some squirters: save old sauce and shampoo bottles of different shapes and sizes to squirt in a bath tub or splash pool. Who can make their bottle squirt the furthest?
- Water the garden: watering is the perfect first household task your toddler can participate in. She can help guide the hose or water pot plants with her own spray bottle.
- Float or sink? Teach your child about buoyancy by testing several water-proof toys, such as dolls, balls and blocks in the tub. Which ones will float and which will sink?
- Paint’n’play: On a hot day, let your children draw on themselves with a bath crayons or body paint, then run through a sprinkler to wash it off.
To keep your child safe while playing with water, make sure to always supervise your baby or toddler. Accidents can happen in a second - and can be silent - so if the phone rings, or someone’s at the door, pick your child up and take her with you. Once you're finished playing, empty all play pools, buckets and containers so they’re not a drowning risk.
Bubbles are guaranteed to keep kids entertained for ages ...
Always make sure your child is wearing sunscreen and a hat when playing outdoors, preferably in the shade. Try to avoid the peak of the sun, between 10am and 3pm.