I am always amazed by the absolute love children exhibit when playing with anything involving water. It doesn’t matter if the game is calm or chaotic, adding water to any activity seems to increase it’s success level tenfold.
With younger children, we tend to be more nervous about allowing them near too much water due to safety concerns. So here are 3 simply and safe activities involving water that your toddler is bond to enjoy.
Painting with Water
This was always a firm favorite in our house. It’s an activity that is best done outside though so preferable for a warm day. Painting with water is simple and requires very little effort. All you need is a container or bucket to hold water and some paint brushes. You can use any size but I would recommend user bigger brushes for little hands. They are easier to grip and water spreads quicker. Once you have poured some water into a container, show your child how to dip a paint brush into the water and then paint an outside wall or fence. You can paint literally anything at all. You will be surprised how long this game with keep your little one busy. It’s loads of fun and there will be no mess and nothing to clean up at all. The sun will even dry up the water so you don’t need to worry about anything getting damaged.
A wonderful thing about young children is that their imagination is limitless. A broom can become a broomstick, a sword or a wand. Boxes can become tents, forts or trolleys. For bottle boats, all you need is a plastic bottle. You can use bottles of any size but the most easily accessible are cold drink bottles which are normally 500ml, 1L or 2L. There are a number of ways you can turn bottles into boats but if you are pressed for time, and energy, then I recommend the 2 simplest ideas. The first method is simply to place the bottle on it’s side in any body of water. You can do this in a bath, a paddle pool or a container of water. Explain to your little one that this is a boat, and you can watch it float. You could also make it move faster by swirling water around with your hands. The second method is to cut the bottle at the bottom (as shown below). You can add a straw and some triangle material for a flag or some stickers for decoration.
Bottle boats are guaranteed to provide some fun and can be used in any body of water. You could even take them to a stream or river nearby. Although you might have to race a bit to keep up with your boat.
The Car Wash
This is also a game for a sunny day as is best done outside. Our children have always loved the idea of washing cars and always tried to help Dad with this job. Unfortunately when they were toddlers, their “help” wasn’t really that helpful. This game allows little ones to engage in “big people” activities without Dad getting frustrated. You will need the following:
- 1 bowl of “cleaning” liquid – this can be soapy water, water mixed with bubble bath or water mixed with dishwashing liquid
- Some sponges or clothes
- Dish towel for drying
- Plastics car or trucks
You place the sponges (or clothes) in the “cleaning” liquid and then use this to clean your chosen car. After sponging and cleaning it, you dry the car with a clean towel. If you wish, you can also rinse the car in clean water before drying it. After that, leave the car outside to dry off in the sun. It’s best to leave them drying upside down so that no water gets stuck in any hard to reach places. You may need to guide your child initially but they will soon get the hang of it and have lots of fun with their very own “car wash”
Although these activities are preferable for warmer days, bottles boats and the car wash can be done indoors as well. I would suggest doing these activities in a bathroom or kitchen which would be easier to clean and less likely to cause any serious damage should there be some accidental spillage.
Hope you have as much fun playing these games as your toddler!
Written by : Monique Loewenthal
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