Five Summer Water Stations Guaranteed to make a Splash
12 February, 2024
Help your little one enjoy this hot weather by setting up an invitation to play with water. Splashing about will help them cool down and – just like bathtime – they’ll never want it to end.
Children love playing with water. It’s soothing and cooling, engages all the senses and there are so many options for play. So find a shady spot, grab a few bits and bobs, turn on the tap and get comfy – you’ll be here for a while! Remember, always supervise children around water.
Here are five water stations to try:
Pouring station: Fill a tub or a large saucepan with water and raid your kitchen cupboards for cups, jugs, funnels and scoops. Children can fill, pour, measure and make containers overflow. Stir the water with a mixing spoon or use an old-fashioned eggbeater to make a whirlpool. If their interest starts to wane, ramp this activity up a notch by adding ice cubes. Hone fine motor skills by using tongs to place them in the water, then watch how long they take to melt.
Toy carwash: Round up all your toy cars and drive them down to the carwash for a good clean. Add some baby bubble bath to the water to create foamy bubbles that won’t sting little eyes and use a washer or sponge to make the cars sparkling clean. This activity also works with plastic toy animals, dolls or tea sets. You might even be able to get your children to wash something that really needs it, like those playdough cutters with crusted on old dough!
Go fishing: Fill a tub with water and add plastic fish and a net and go fishing. If you don’t have fish, use your imagination and a little improvisation: a kitchen sieve will work as a net to catch ping pong balls or even a handful of kid’s plastic spoons. Catch them, count them, and throw them back in. It’s also great fun to use a spray bottle of water to propel the “fish” from one end of the tub to the other.
Pretend play: Create an ocean setting for imaginative play. Weigh down a container with a lid to make an island (this will be easier in shallow water). A smaller container can be a boat with pegs as passengers. Add bath toy sea creatures, mermaids, and fishermen, and encourage your child to dream up a story.
Sprinkler fun: What Aussie childhood is complete without playing in the sprinkler?! Set it up and delight in the squeals and giggles as your children take turns running through the water. Put on some tunes and have a dance party under the sprinkler or sing Hokey Pokey and put “your right hand in” to the middle of the spray. Hand out plastic cups and challenge your children to fill them up from the sprinkler. Time them to see how long it takes. Suggest they collect a handful of backyard toys and work in a relay to move them from one side of the sprinkler to the other – running straight through the middle, of course!