September 26, 2021

Donna’s Day: Water play offers cool summer fun

Kids can splash it, squirt it, sprinkle it, stir it, pour it or spray it. In fact, practically the only thing kids can’t do with water is break it. That’s why playing with water is so much fun, especially when the temperatures soar and the whole family needs to cool down.

You don’t have to live near a lake, community pool or ocean to let your kids explore the wonders of the wet. Here are some ideas for both entertaining and educational water fun at home using a wading pool or sprinkler.

• Wading pools are like outdoor tubs, so it’s fine for kids to bring favorite bath toys into the pool. Don’t miss out on sharing some great water experiments with your kids and their friends by taking along items found in the kitchen, too. Bring a clean sponge for dipping, squeezing and sprinkling water on arms and legs.

• Plastic containers or measuring cups are perfect to show kids the concepts of volume, quantity and measurement. Let them explore how water “changes shape” by pouring from one container into another. They can use a plastic funnel for the filling and the spilling. Plastic squeegee or pump spray bottles from dish detergent or window cleaner — emptied and cleaned, of course — make great outdoor water squirters.

• For older kids, some landlubber games can become water games with the help of the sprinkler. Kids can play follow the leader by jumping through it. For extra fun, an adult can play music from a porch or deck for a variation on “musical chairs.” When the music stops, whoever is under the sprinkler at the time is out.

It’s a water world. Letting kids make friends with water indoors and out gives them a chance to explore, learn and play. It also helps them gain a sense of control and confidence around water that will later prepare them for dips in big pools, lakes, rivers and oceans.

Note: For safety’s sake, adult supervision is the rule when kids play in and with water.

Donna Erickson

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