On warm summer days water is a great way to add fun to any outdoor activity. These 7 toddler water activities are easy, inexpensive and sure to inspire giggles of delight.
- Iceberg Discovery – Ice is an endless fascinating form of water. It’s cold, it floats, it melts – and you can freeze things inside it. Setup for this activity is easy: cut a few milk cartons in half, fill them halfway with water and freeze until the water is just beginning to harden. Add a plastic toy, fill with more water and freeze until you have a solid chunk of ice with a toy frozen in the middle. Pop out the ice cubes and head outdoors. You can drop the “icebergs” into a body of water (such as a water table or even a large aluminum cake pan) or simply let them melt on the sidewalk. Your toddler will love touching the iceberg (cold!), pushing it into the water (it bobs right back up), pushing it around on the sidewalk (it slides) and especially snagging the toy inside once the ice melts.
- Water Painting – This is a great way to let your toddler express his or her creativity without having to worry about clean-up. Fill a bucket with water, grab a clean paintbrush and find a safe spot outside where your toddler can “paint” on the sidewalk with water. No matter how big of a mess they make the water will evaporate and they’ll have a clean canvas to start all over with.
- Water Stomp – Music and water, what could be better? This is one of my 17-month-old’s favorite games right now. To play, all you have to do is pour water out onto your patio or a safe section of the sidewalk (wood or concrete works best for this activity – less mess). Turn up some music and then stomp around in the water as you dance together.
- Bubbles x 2 – You know from my previous post about toddler bubble activitiesthat we love to play with bubbles around here. Here are two more ways to have some fun with bubbles.
- Blow bubbles onto any body of water or even a wet toy. The bubbles won’t break when they hit the surface of your target, instead, they’ll just build up into a huge pile of bubbles. Lately I’ve been wetting the back of my son’s Green Toys Dump Truck and then literally filling it with bubbles. He loves marveling at his reflection in the bubbles and if he hands are wet he can stick his hands through the bubbles or pick them up. Neat!
- Turn a regular straw into a super fun toy by blowing bubbles in water together. If your toddler is very young and might be tempted to drink some of the water, just blow the bubbles for them and let them have fun sticking their hands into the bubbling water. If your toddler is a little older and understands the concept of blowing through a straw, then they can blow bubbles themselves too. Just make sure they don’t decide to suck on the straw for an experimental taste of the water. You know how toddlers are!
- Tree Sprinkler – Last but not least, this is a fun idea I read about in Parents (or was it Parenting?) magazine recently. If you have a yard with a tree, grab an old hose and poke holes all over it. Wrap it around the tree and turn on the water. (We’ll definitely be doing this one in the future.)