The great thing about hot weather is getting outside with the kids and having fun with water to cool off. Here are some of the best water activities to try out when you need to have some h20 therapy.
Water balloon pinata
Run a string line from the nearest tree, clothesline etc. Fill up some regular-sized balloons with water from the hose using a funnel. Attach the balloons along the length of the string, keeping a few to replace when they burst. Then line the kids up, give them a stick or a plastic bat (making sure no one else is in the firing line) and get them swinging.
This super simple way to cool down will let your kids get creatively messy when it’s hot. If you know the weather is going to be hot the day before fill an ice cube tray with some non-permanent water-based paint colours, add a paddle pop stick to each and freeze! Head outside with your ‘paint palette’, a piece of paper or cardboard box and get ice painting. Kids will love how the ice melts and creates colourful paint pictures.
Fill some normal balloons with water (don't overfill) and pop them carefully in the freezer. On the next warm day, take the balloons out, cut off the balloon wrapper and use them in the pool, a bucket of water or slip n slide and let the kids have some icy fun. They’ll love playing with these cool large icebergs that slowly melt away and stay cool as well.
There’s something special and calming about watching water flow. So why not make your own water obstacle course? It’s not only super-fun but also great for little minds and their fine motor skills. There is no end to how you could design a water wall, have a look around your home, shed, or recycle bin for various bottles, plastic scoops, tubing, noodles and funnels and something to attach them to ie a fence, chicken wire, lattice, a balustrade, a gate, up-cycled bed heads, or a cargo net. Here are some ideas
It will keep your little ones happy for hours, cooling them down.
Slip n slide
Slip n slides are great backyard fun and cheap as chips. All you need is a large tarp, or some Multi-Purpose Builders Film (from your local hardware store), a hose and a jumbo-sized bottle of non-toxic detergent and you’re ready to go. Be sure to remove any twigs or stones from the grass before laying the plastic down, and make sure there is enough room at the end for stopping without hitting into anything.
Water wall painting
If you’re after a water-based activity that's easy on the cleanup and a way to keep the kids entertained this summer, this is it! While It may include using a paintbrush there’s not a drop of paint to be seen, just some plain water in a bucket, a creative child keen to paint away on your outdoor walls and a brush or roller. Want to know the best part? They will actually be helping you clean the dust off the walls and having fun doing it. This would also work on a concrete pavement, driveway or brick path. You could include also chalk to draw with and use the water to erase the drawings when they are finished.
Fill a kiddie pool or clamshell with water, bath toys, and bubbles and turn a regular bath into a delight. **Safety first. Please always watch children around water and stay within an arms distance, empty the pool out and turn over or pack up when not being used.
Indoor bath fun
These inside bath toys are fantastic for little ones to enjoy the sound and feel of running water but without having to worry about flooding the bathroom. They simply use suction cups to attach to the side of the bath or tiled wall, and have two areas to run water through using the submarine ‘pump’. Place the submarine pump unit on the bottom of the bathtub. Ensure the water level is at least 5 cm. Attach the water activity station to the side of the bathtub using the suction cups. Watch as the water circulates and teaches cause and effect. This toy helps your child develop eye-hand coordination, gross & fine motor skills, as well as spatial awareness. If your little one is unsure about water, using the trigger on the side of the shower head will give them a sense of control as to when the water comes out and splashes.
Give each of your kids two buckets—one filled with cold water and one empty—and a large car wash sponge. Place the buckets about a metre apart. Instruct them to move the water from one bucket to the other using only the sponge. Once that's done you could encourage a sponge soaked water fight.
Spray of light
Little toddlers love to help and they can help you garden by watering plants with a small spray bottle; bigger kids will enjoy using the hose (and expect them to get wet!). If it's a sunny day, show them how they can spot a beautiful rainbow in the mist.