Activities involving water games
For most children, water games equal fun! When warm weather and sunshine are present, water games can be explored throughout the day to keep little ones busy while helping them stay cool.
Water game possibilities are endless. Here, you will find a few ideas to help you plan activities for the next heat wave.
You can find plastic and inflatable kiddie pools in most big-box stores. Prices vary greatly depending on the model and material.
- Use the felts from old markers or coloring tablets designed for bath time to color the water in your kiddie pool. Do not use food coloring since it could stain children's skin and bathing suits.
- Add a small amount of bubble bath to the water to create bubbles. Not only does bubble bath smell good, it won't irritate children's eyes.
- Have each child bring a rubber bath toy to daycare and let them use (and share) it while playing in your kiddie pool.
- If you have a small slide in your yard and it can be used safely, let children slide into your kiddie pool.
- Offer sponges. Children will have fun filling them with water and then squeezing the water out over and over again. They will work on their motor skills while exploring this simple everyday item.
- Provide watering cans, sieves, yogurt containers with holes in the bottom, etc. Children will love watching the water pour out like rain.
- Offer toys that aren't usually used in swimming pools such as plastic animal figurines that can swim along with little ones, small toy cars and trucks that can go through a "carwash", dolls and doll clothing, facecloths and empty body wash and shampoo bottles for pretend bathing, plastic dishes and washcloths, etc.
Water guns and other alternatives
Water guns have always been part of summer fun. Some daycares have chosen not to use them due to the violent message they send. Other daycares allow them, but establish clear rules and explain the context to children. Regardless of the option you choose or your personal values, there are fun alternatives for traditional water guns.
- Spray bottles can easily be found in big-box stores, but you can also recycle cleaning product bottles. Ask parents to help you collect them so that you have several. Children can spray themselves or their friends (if they don't mind). Add a few drops of food coloring to the water in each bottle and let children spray water on a white banner hung on a fence. Spray bottles are great for helping children cool off on days when the kiddie pool and more complex water games aren't available.
- Plan specific days when children are allowed to bring their water guns from home to daycare. They will enjoy showing them to their friends and sharing them. Set up a target and organize contests. Of course, children will also enjoy lovingly aiming at their early childhood educator! Water guns can be used in your kiddie pool so that children are able to fill them on their own. You can also have a child stand in the centre of your yard and try to spray children as they run by him/her.
- A hose is often available and this tool offers so many possibilities. You can organize an obstacle course complete with a refreshing shower in your yard. If the nozzle at the tip of your hose can create a variety of jets, have fun changing them as each child walks under it. Occasionally, and after checking your municipality's regulations, attach a special sprinkler to the end of your hose and let children splash around in the water. If you have parents who bike to daycare, children will be happy to use the hose to wash their bikes.
Other simple ideas:
- Purchase a few colourful sponge balls that can be dipped in water and thrown to create splashes of water.
- Traditional water balloons that can be filled with water, tossed, transported, and, of course, popped are always popular. Be sure to promptly collect popped balloon parts.
- Organize a wet sponge battle.
- Provide paintbrushes and paint rollers along with buckets of water and encourage children to paint temporary yet very fun designs on asphalt.
- A slip and slide carpet that can be attached to your hose.
Just follow your imagination...and get wet!
Early childhood educator
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