Thanks to Helen Lindop for today’s guest post! Helen is mum to two toddlers and blogs about running a business around a young family at businessplusbaby.com. She’s also just started a new blog at toddlerstuff.wordpress.com.
My toddlers are fascinated by water – pouring, stirring, splashing and even throwing it! Getting the paddling pool out is great fun, but sometimes the weather just isn’t warm enough or you don’t have the time to set it all up then dry up afterwards.
So here are some quick and easy water activities that can be done outside even on cooler days. Just put on waterproof clothing and wellies if it’s too chilly for a swimsuit.
1. Bucket of bubbles
This one keeps my toddlers amused for ages. Get a clean bucket (adult-sized) and half-fill with water. Add a good squirt of washing-up liquid and stir the water vigorously with a whisk (or something similar) until the bubbles are coming up to the top of the bucket. Then add cups, bottles, spoons, funnels, watering cans and any other containers you can find. My two and three-year-olds love scooping up bubbles, pouring them, trailing them across the ground and making me ‘cups of tea’!
2. Water containers
Fill a few bowls and buckets with water and place them around the garden. Add some cups, pans and bottles and your toddler will carry cups of water from one to the other. You could even put a few spots of food colouring in the buckets.
We found a short section of clean plastic guttering that was left over from some repairs on our house. The kids loved propping up one end of the guttering then pouring water, leaves and small toys down the little river they’d created. (Just make sure there are no sharp edges on the guttering.)
3. Water painting
Give your toddler a bucket of water and a clean paintbrush (the type you’d use for decorating your house), then let them ‘paint’ paths, fences, walls or anything else they fancy.
There’s nothing to clean up because it’s only water. This is one of the few activities where the play area might even be cleaner after the kids have finished than it was when they started!
4. Dolly’s laundrette
5. The bath
If the weather is just too cold, give your toddler an extra-long bath-time instead so you can both stay warm!