25 At Home Water Play Ideas

Free, home, Outdoor (covid19), Play, Stay at Home Ideas, Water Play

Kids LOVE water play, it’s cheap, and usually pretty clean and well a bit messy but that’s ok, only water right? With hot days ahead it’s always a fun option. Here are some of our favourite activities involving good old H2O that will keep your little people both cool and entertained this summer.

An old baby bath, a clam pool and a hose with a changeable pressure and water distribution nozzle are some of the things we find handy, as well as some old cups, bowls, spoons or what ever you might have that can be well, sacrificed.

Before we kick off, it would be negligent of us not to throw in a reminder that drowning can occur in very small bodies of water. Always supervise waterplay for young kids and always ensure you flip buckets or tubs over so as they are empty when you finish.

Now lets get to it……

  1. Hose play. You control the hose, the kids run around like maniacs. Get them running with a nice cold squirt on the back. Make water bridges for them to run under, water hurdles for them to jump over, make it ‘rain’, swirly big circles for them to jump through and see if you can write their name in the air. It’s mandatory that you get involved and let the kids squirt you also.

2. Play catch out doors with water soaked sponges. Turn it in to a game of ‘brandy’ for older kids.

3. Let the kids fill the bath with tepid water and play. Throw in some toys, lego and a pair of goggles or goggles and a snorkel. No bath? see f they can tolerate a cold shower and throw some toys in o the floor. (Set a time limit for this one)

4. Pick up a slip and slide, its surprising how little they cost. Add a fw drops of body wash for extra slip and a longer slide.

5. Water balloon fights, catching and relays are always a hit. Tuck a packet away for the next ‘I’m bored’ moment on a hot day

6. Got a trampoline? Add some water balloons and then jump. Place a sprinkler under or on top of the trampoline.

7. Invest in one of those long green soaker hoses that spray a long line of fine mist. You should get one for under $20 and they are epic woven over clotheslines or in top of trampolines.

8. Fill the laundry trough or a bucket and pull up a stool. Get the kids to wash toys, bath dolls or wash the Lego and lay it out neatly to dry.

9. Let the kids water the garden (early or late is best). Give them full control of the hose and see what happens.

10. Run under the sprinkler. Simple but fun.

11. Get the kids to wash the car. Give them a couple of buckets a sponge, so soap and a hose. Might need a stool, some basic instructions and let them go for it. Please ensure the car is locked, in park and has the park break on.

12. Freeze some dinosaurs, cars or other toys ice block trays or larger containers. Take them outside for the big melt. Let the kids race each other by blowing on them with straws. Bigger is better for this one so as little people are not tempted to put ice blocks in their mouth.

13. Using ice cubes spoons and an out door table, sit one each end and play ‘ice hockey’. Make some goals each end or make up rules for scoring.

14. You are neve too old for an old fashioned water pistol fight.

15. Paint with water. Set the kids up with a jug of water and paintbrushes. Paint what ever they like outdoors. Can they paint their name before it dries. Paint the ground, paint the fence, the windows the dog kennel or just make pretty patterns on the concrete or pavers.

16. Ice cube art. This one can get a bit messy. make a tray of ice with a drop of paint or colour in each cube. Use hands to ‘water paint’ on thick paper or card

17. Make paper boats to float in the sink, and old baby bath or the pool. There are some great clips how on you tube, like this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiAWx8odStA

18. Make coloured or bubbly soup. Use a bucket, trough or old baby bath. Make bubbles with dish liquid or bubble bath. Perhaps throw in some cups, a tea pot or a soup ladle.

19. Make music with glasses or jars filled to different levels of water. gently tap on the sides of each vessle to make different sounds. We like chop sticks for the tapping.

20. Wash the dog

21. Play does it float or does it sink

22. For older kids or kids who love science, collect water by condensation. There are loads of instructions if you give it a google, here’s one example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKccxDIWA8Y

23. Make seas salt for your hot chips! This one does require a beach visit, but its something my kids will never forget doing and ask to do all of the time. Collect some clean salt water in a clean jar when you are at the beach. At home tip it into a clean large shallow tray and place it n the sun where pets wont get to it so as the water can evaporate. Depending on the depth and the weather it might take a day or more to evaporate. Eventually you will be left with some fine gritty salty residue. My kids take great pleasure in ordering hot chips with NO SALT (or bake in the oven at home) and rub them in the salty pan as you consume.

24. Don’t underestimate the fun kids can have in one of those clam shell pools. They are inexpensive and can be used for a whole heap of play. These need to be emptied as soon as you are finished. Even bigger kids wont be able to resist getting in for a cool off.

25. Get the kids to do a sink full of kitchen dishes. No dishwasher. Little ones will need a step. Prepare to inspect for quality control and re wash. Remove sharp or breakable objects.

In closing, you don’t need a fancy pool or big budget blow up water castle to have a lot of cool water fun this summer. We hope these ideas help keep your little people busy, learning and cool. We always love being tagged in your photos on social media or drop us a comment below if we have missed you favourite activity!

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  • /pleɪ/ verb: engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.

  • Nature play has to be one of the most wonderful ways to connect with your child. Not only does it give opportunities to have lots of fun, get a little bit messy and to get outdoors, but it also lets you be creative together! Here is a list of all the ways we love to play in nature! Create a mud kitchen – Grab a few bowls, spoons, jugs, saucepans – anything in the kitchen that you don’t really need and add dirt and water. Instant mud kitchen! Grab some nature items so that your mud pies look amazing! Get creative with clay or playdough – Set up your dough with flowers, herbs, shells, seed pods and pinecones for some amazing playdough or clay play! Paint with nature – Add your favourite nature odds and ends to the painting table. We love painting on rocks and putting them around our garden. Draw with Nature – Same idea as above, but use pastels, crayons, or chalks (less mess too!) Pinecone Weaving – Collect pinecones and add string or wool, for a fun weaving experience. Start a Nature Collection – Starting a collection is fun! It gives you something to look out…

  • Renmark is the largest (and possibly prettiest?) town in South Australia's Riverland and it is a great base for exploring the Riverland with kids. Renmark makes a beautiful family weekend or regional SA holiday break, with so much for the whole family to see and do, a visit with the kids is a must for your bucket list! We did the trip in around three hours from Adelaide. We recently spent some time enjoying the FREE waterplay in the town centre, on the riverfront. Add a visit to your Riverland with Kids itinerary! You'll also find an excellent visitor information centre here, along with picture perfect lawns and gardens, a paddle steamer to explore, bike hire and probably our favourite free Riverland activity - the driverless hop on hop off bus that loops the town of Renmark! We LOVED the free water play feature captured in our images below. The meals at the Renmark Club were great too (and trust me not all Riverland clubs are created equal when it comes to food quality, we tried a few).

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