Fun Water Play Ideas for Kids

Water Play Ideas for Kids

11 Fun Water Play Ideas for Kids

Parenting fact #237: Kids love water play.

It’s SO easy to do and SO much fun. My kids spent an hour jumping up and down in a paddling pool yesterday. You know what I did? Sat with my butt on a garden chair and my feet in the water and relaxed. And got drenched! Well, I couldn’t really leave them alone in the pool now, could I? I HAD to sit there. Such a hard life.

Water play is definitely my go-to play activity, especially in the warmer months. We do indoor water play too though. Here are some of our favourite ways to play with water.

The Car Wash

Water Play Ideas for Kids

Set up a couple of buckets and some dish soap, chuck in a couple of rags and line up the bikes and cars for a wash. Easy peasy.

Mud Play

Water Play Ideas for Kids

This is not for the faint hearted. As you can see it gets rather messy. But it’s FUN!

Puddle Jumping

Water Play Ideas for Kids

A classic, this one never gets old. We had some fab storms over this steamy weekend that allowed for hot weather puddle jumping. Bliss! You could even try using sidewalk chalk in the puddles and see what happens. This pic is an oldie but a goodie – my fav puddle jumping pic ever :)

The Paddling Pool

Water Play Ideas for Kids

No brainer, right? Throw in some toys, see what floats and sinks ~ make a mini whirl pool ~ drop in some coloured ice cubes ~ just soak it up and have a splash.

Water Painting

Water Play Ideas for Kids

Grab any container, a bucket or empty ice cream tub, fill it with water, throw in a few paintbrushes of different shapes and sizes and away you go. Paint the walls, paint the pavers, paint the cubby house, paint the tree :)

The Water Table

Water Play Ideas for Kids

This one is an absolute favourite of mine because it keeps everything kind of contained. It’s perfect for days when I can’t quite cope with mud play or blowing up the paddling pool.

The Sprinkler

Water Play Ideas for Kids

There are so many awesome sprinklers you can get these days, like this wiggly caterpillar guy. Hilarious!

Bubble Play

Pebble and Rocky love to stand at the kitchen sink and play with bubbles left over after I’ve done the dishes (ok, maybe I make sure there’s a few extra there for them). My windows get thoroughly covered in bubbles but that’s probably the best clean they get all year, so who’s complaining?

The SUPER Sprinkler

Water Play Ideas for Kids

This is a crazy contraption I made last summer.

Coloured Ice Play

Water Play Ideas for Kids

A great one for indoors or even in the bath.

Bath Play

Water Play Ideas for Kids

 

I remember the early days with Rocky, during his first year, I often ran a bath twice a day for him, just to help keeps us both sane! Check out this snowy road bath play or this DIY bath paint. Some kids may not be so keen on bath time, we struggled with Pebble in the bath for years. Try out these ideas for kids who hate the bath.

Have you ever had a backyard mini car wash?

Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough

Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky}

As you may have noticed I’ve been trying to find ways for Pebble (4 years, 9 months) and Rocky (20 months) to play together. This pretend play experience with farm play dough is perfect for both toddlers and preschoolers. They had a ball together! It’s so sweet seeing them play… mostly. Of course they are siblings and have their fair share of fights too.

This pretend play farm play dough so easy to set up. Just grab some farm toys, you’ve probably got some wooden or plastic toys at home, or they’re very cheap to buy. You may get lucky and find some second hand at your local op shop or online. Make up a batch of green play dough and set up an invitation to play. If your child needs extra help to get started with pretend play you can try role modelling by moving the animals around and making animal noises. They will soon join in the fun.

Looking for a fool proof play dough recipe? This no cook method is my favourite.

Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky} Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky} Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky} Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky}

Pebble and Rocky also enjoyed the process of making play dough together. Just a warning – it gets messy! Especially with toddlers. ESPECIALLY if one of those toddlers is Rocky!  Expect mess and let it happen. It’s not so hard to clean up afterwards and the experience of making the dough adds so much to the play. It’s also great for learning about measurement, procedure and concepts like hot/cold, wet/dry and empty/full.

Pretend Play: Farm Play Dough {via Octavia and Vicky}

Ideas for extending the play:

  • sing farm songs and nursery rhymes, like “Old MacDonald” and “This Little Piggy”. Nursery rhymes are SO important to children’s early literacy development and are often forgotten about these days. Plus kids love them!
  • read books about farms – some of our favourites are Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell, My Farm by Alison Lester, and A Year on Our Farm by Penny Matthews and Andrew McLean.
  • make your own animals from play dough.
  • print out and use these farm play dough mats which encourage early numeracy skills.
  • encourage children to pretend to be farm animals – say “can you be a…. pig/duck/horse/cow/etc”
  • draw or paint pictures of farm animals
  • visit a local farm and get hands on with the animals

More ideas for toddlers and preschoolers to enjoy together: 

Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers

I’m pretty open about the fact that these days, I rarely set up paint play for the kids. It was much more common occurrence before Rocky came along. These days it’s watercolours all the way! They’re so easy to set up and clean up, I just can’t resist. But Pebble misses her REAL paint, her sloppy, slide-across-the-page paint. Last week she asked if we could get the paints out I said ‘yes’. She almost did a double take!

Rocky hasn’t had much chance to explore these paints before, so we set up tray of paints, some paint brushes, some paper and I left them to it stood nearby to make sure Rocky didn’t eat it or tip it on his head. The paper was very quickly abandoned in favour of smearing the paint across the old coffee table that we use for outdoor art and play. Finger painting, hand painting, belly, elbow and feet painting!

Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and PreschoolersTips for Paint Play with Toddlers and PreschoolersTips for Paint Play with Toddlers and PreschoolersTips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers

At times it got a little crazy. Rocky decided halfway through that he’d like to play with the space hopper… while still covered in wet paint. Then he stumbled around the backyard and landed hands first on the BBQ, leaving his sticky wet paint mark on it’s cover. But apart from that we did ok – we got messy without getting MESSY!

After some fun with smearing, Pebble turned back to her paper and starting printing. She also made some paint resist art work on the coffee table by splodging, smearing and slopping paint on top of a piece of paper on the table, then pulling the paper back to reveal a perfectly rectangle space beneath.

Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Once the kids were getting tired of the painting we added a big squirt (and then another and then another) of dish washing liquid and turned the hose onto the table. Their excitement was renewed as the paint frothed and soaped and bubbled. They played together until the table was all clean, then played in the suds as they gurgled in the grass. Then I threw both kids in the bath and scrubbed them clean! Here are my tips for happy paint play with toddlers and preschoolers:

Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Tips for Paint Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers

  1. dress in old clothes (that includes you too!)
  2. distract the kids with something else and set up all the equipment before you invite them to play
  3. have a bucket of water and an old towel ready for clean up (or play near a hose)
  4. remove anything from the area that you don’t want to get covered in paint (including space hoppers!)
  5. breathe! Relax! Let it go! Mess is good!
  6. make cleaning up part of the play and get the kids to help
  7. go straight in to the bath after play and get scrubbed up
  8. distract the kids some more while you clean up yourself and the rest of the mess if needed (a snack and a pile of books or a favourite TV show work for me).

Do you embrace messy play? Or do you avoid it like the plague?

25+ Awesome Activities for Preschoolers

Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities

It’s here, it’s here! I’ve been holding this little baby under my hat for weeks, but I can finally announce that the Three to Five: Playful Preschool ebook is HERE! I was thrilled when Cathy from NurtureStore asked me to be a part of another of her amazing ebooks, you might remember that I collaborated on the Zero to Two ebook earlier in the year. It was a winner and has had so much support from readers, I just know that you’re all going to love this ebook too.

What will I find in the ‘Three to Five: Playful Preschool’ ebook?

  • 25+ awesome activities for preschoolers
  • hands on, play based learning
  • inspiring ideas that are practical and easy to follow
  • beautiful photos and step by step guides
  • 10 printable resources including a city play scape scene, My First Journal pages, a recipe card, numbers game, weather chart printables, alphabet play mats, hand drawn art pages, conversation cards, block building challenge cards and bookmarks)
  • links to over 50 more preschool activities
  • ideas for language, literacy, science, art and play
  • features from some of the best play blogs, including Laughing Kids Learn, Picklebums, Babble Dabble Do, Rainy Day Mum, Lessons Learnt Journal, One Perfect Day and many more.

Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities

Take a sneak peek at what’s inside with this video:

How do I get my copy? Gimme, gimme, gimme!

  • Okay, steady on! Three to Five: Playful Preschool  is an ebook. You can download your copy on any device (computer, tablet, phone) from anywhere in the world RIGHT NOW! You can print it on your printer at home, or read it straight from your phone, computer or tablet. I know, cool right?
  • get your copy for the awesome price of $8.99 (USD). Don’t worry about working out the exchange rate, it’s all done for you when you get your copy. You’re welcome :)
  • Just click on the button below to be whisked away to the checkout…

Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool ActivitiesHave fun playing :)

40 Cool Ways to Paint with Kids

40 Cool Ways to Paint with Kids {via Octavia and Vicky}

“Muuuuuuum, can we paaaaaaaiinnnnnnt?”

I think Pebble asks to paint almost every. single. day. And I say yes {almost} every. single. day.

To be honest, I rely pretty heavily on the good old water colours – so easy to set up and clean up – but we can never have enough painting ideas. Here are forty cool ideas that I found in The Weekly Kids Co-Op last week and around the wonderful web.

40 Cool Ways to Paint with Kids

Cool Ways to Paint with Kids

1. Window painting handwriting practice (Coffee Cups and Crayons)
2. Paint Stamping Bugs and Butterflies (The Craft Train)
3. Bubble Prints (Octavia and Vicky)
4. Ocean scenes using chalk and tempura (Buggy and Buddy)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids5. Painted Clay Butterfly Craft (Home Grown Friends)
6. Lego Painting (Octavia and Vicky)
7. Drop! Splat! Playful preschool art with watercolours (Fun-A-Day!)
8. Marbled Fish Craft (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids9. Spring Blossom Tree (3 Dinosaurs)
10. Making Ochre Paint from Rocks (The Craft Train)
11. DIY Striped Frames (Octavia and Vicky)
12. Frozen “Paintsicles” (Learn with Play at Home)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids13. Cardboard Comb Painting (Learn with Play at Home)
14. Homemade Edible Finger Paint (The Imagination Tree)
15. Glossy Skittles Paint (Mama. Papa. Bubba)
16. Puffy Paint (One Perfect Day)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids17.  Rock Wall Paintings (Creative Play Central)
18. Truck Painting Track (Paging Fun Mums)
19. Painting Patterns Using Nature (Wildlife Fun 4 Kids)
20. Finger Painting with added extras! (Picklebums)

Cool Ways to Paint with Kids21. Autumn Bloom Tree Water Colour Painting (Be a Fun Mum)
22. Blow Painting (One Perfect Day)
23. DIY Chalk Paint (You Clever Monkey)
24. Ice Painting Fun (Childhood 101)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids
25. Magic Paintings (An Everyday Story)
26. Paper Plate Stencils (A Little Learning for Two)
27. Painting with Shapes (At Home with Ali)
28. Rain Painting (Housing a Forest)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids29. Watercolour resist with candles (Just for Daisy)
30. Homemade Spice Paint (NurtureStore)
31. Homemade Glitter Paint (Mama.Papa.Bubba)
32. Making Glue Paint (Teach Preschool)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids33. Cotton Swab Painting(Lessons Learnt Journal)
34. Eco Paint Recipe (Down to Earth Mother)
35. DIY Bath Paint (Learning 4 Kids)
36. Bubble Wrap Roller Painting (Mummy Musings and Mayhem)
Cool Ways to Paint with Kids
37. Painting with Mud (My Little Bookcase)
38. Toilet Brush Painting (Paint on the Ceiling)
39. Tube Painting (Playing and Learning Begins at Home)
40. Painting With and On Sticks (DanyaBanya)

… and sneaking in a couple of extras that I found at the last minute, how could I resist sharing them with you?…
Working with Paint (Racheous) – check out her Transform Your Play series too
Baby Safe Painting with Yoghurt (Adventures at Home with Mum) – Rocky would LOVE this!

Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.

Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities

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