The beauty of playing outdoors is that it doesn't have to be complicated. It doesn't require a lot of equipment or toys. It doesn't even need to be preplanned and organized. The simple act of playing outside provides enough additional stimulation to enhance any activity. With smells from the garden, sounds of nature, and the feel of grass between our toes, almost everything is more enjoyable outside.
That being said, we live where it is HOT in the summer and there are some days the kids struggled to play outside without over heating and wearing themselves out before the end of the afternoon. I make sure that we start each day with sunscreen, baseball hats, and bottles of water. Still, some afternoons I find them all huddled under a tree for some shade.
Water play provides countless opportunities to continue to play comfortably outside even despite the heat. This particular idea was intended to entertain my littlest one while his brothers were swinging. As you can see though, even the older kids were intrigued enough to join in the fun.
a large bowl
several ice cubes
a few cups, spoons, funnels, etc.
The activity itself is a self guided one. My child poured water from one cup to another, practicing basic motor skills. The sound of the ice cubes hitting the sides of the metal bowl also made a nice musical sound that he enjoyed creating. We talked about next time adding food coloring or some letter magnets to enhaance the activity.
What other simple water play ideas have you utilized to entertain kids on a hot day?