With the official beginning of summer, it is a great time to do water activities with your children. One great aspect of water is that it’s safe and easy to use with a child of any age!
My little one is just now starting to like the idea of water. We have tried to do baths and showers with not even a peep of excitement. But, our Maui trip is on the horizon and we want her to love the water!
A few suggestions… if working inside, always put something on them. Even if it’s just water, they tend to quit early if they get really wet or cold. Also, to contain a mess, put the water in a small bowl that then goes in a larger bowl. And then a waterproof lining like a tablecloth under them if you are afraid of colors getting on anything.
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So here are some ideas on how to use water as sensory and regular play.
- Buy some grow capsules and place them in a sink or bowl of warm water.
Let your kids watch them transform into something entirely different! In my opinion, the best ones are the ones shaped like eggs, because they are the most realistic. I will say that i vividly remember playing with these as a kid over 2 decades ago. I could only have been at most 4 and still remember the excitement I got from watching and playing with these.
- Speaking of warm water, vary the temperature on bowl of water for kids to stick their hands in a feel. Especially if you add ice cubes, kids will immediately be able to tell the difference, while still being able to tell that it is all water.
- Explore color with food coloring in water. (I would personally look into getting hypo-allergenic,food-based food coloring. < My link is for non-synthetic, food-derived colors.) Even just one or two drops will do. Let them play with it to mix it. That allows them see it slowly change. Even play with mixing colors so they can see primary and secondary colors. This can (and should be) done in two different ways.
- First, a reminder: Primary colors are Red, Blue, and Yellow. Black and White are shades and secondary are all other colors.
- Place a couple drops of one primary color in water for them to play with and then add another primary color so that they can see the gradual change to a secondary color.
- Place one primary color in a bowl and then a second primary color is a second, smaller bowl. Place the smaller bowl inside the larger one so that they can see you did not just add a new color, but that they make a different color even when not mixed.
- Because our brains work in relationships and we have the most neural connections at birth, why not try to form those connections early?! Many colors are indicators and symbols in our society play with those relationships and that symbolism in everyday life so that kids and babies “inadvertently” learn them.
- Use red food coloring for warm and hot water
- Use blue/green food coloring for cool water
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!