Summer is a time to turn on the faucet, break out the hose, and get a little wet. Finding water activities to do with children isn't difficult; it's mostly finding that sense of wonder through learning that can be challenging.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Create miniature streams and ponds in the backyard with water and rocks. Experiment with moving rocks around to see how the direction of the flow changes.
- Make juice cubes by pouring juice into an ice cube tray and freezing. Then place the cubes in a glass outside to see them change back to a liquid.
- Draw or paint a sidewalk mural with colored chalk or paint. Wash it off with a hose and record what happens.
- Make lemonade. Measure out all the ingredients and experiment with how the taste changes when you add a little more sugar or a little more lemon.
- Make "ice hands" by filling plastic gloves with water and freezing them.
- Play in the rain. Take advantage of summer storms by watching them from a porch or window (and outside when the lightning stops). Measure the rain fall, collect hail, and count the lightning strikes and thunder booms. Talk about the clouds and how the air feels before, after, and during a storm.
- Make homemade beach bubbles and bubble wands. See how many different shaped objects you can make.
- Create a microhabitat - beach in a bottle - using a plastic bottle and objects found at a beach, lake, or creek.
- Water the lawn, shrubs, or garden to learn how water is a necessity for sustaining life.
- Fill some balloons with water. Hold at different heights - starting low and moving a bit up each time - and drop. Record from what height the filled balloon pops.
And if your child is done learning for the day, break out the hose or sprinkler and just have a good old-fashioned time running through it. Finish up with a watermelon feast.
- Our community parents offer ideas for fun outdoor activities with toddlers and what to do when your preschooler is afraid of water and swimming
- KidsHealth.org offers water safety tips for children
- Kids can play (and learn) with EPA's Water Cycle game
- OrganizedMom offers tips for a successful trip to the beach