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On hot summer afternoons, one of our go-to activities is to do some water play in the backyard. We don’t have a large yard, but we still have tons of fun. Water play always keeps my kids productively entertained for an hour or more! In this post I’m sharing some essential water play toys that my kids always enjoy and learn so much from.
- a plastic swimming pool (but anything that will hold a large amount of water would work just as well)
- a baster
- a colander
- a water wheel
- a watering can
- a sponge
As you can see, many of these items come right from our kitchen, and others come from our sand play toys. Chances are you already have much of what you need for some amazing water play in your home already!
One item not pictured above, of course, was a hose. In some ways, however, the hose is my kids’ favorite essential water play toy. There always seems to be some negotiation over who will get to fill the pool! 🙂
Any sort of scooping toy is a natural to include in your children’s water play. We use shovels and scoopers from our sand toy set, but plastic cups or large spoons also make great scooping toys. My kids love to scoop water into and onto anything they can find! Plus, all this scooping develops fine motor skills and works on hand-eye coordination too!
A baster is another great tool that kids can use to scoop up water. My kids love to suction water into the baster, and the fact that they can squirt it out to spray people or objects makes it even more appealing. Plus, using the baster works on the fine motor skills that will eventually support writing and other skills.
A colander makes a fun water toy because of how the water spills out of it. The kids like to see how much water they can get in before it all spills out.
I also love to include funnels in our water play because they still provide endless fascination for my kids. They find it more fun to fill objects up by pouring the water through the funnel first.
And of course, the funnel assists in getting water into narrow holes.
Another fun toy is our water wheel. Playing with the water wheel provides a great lesson in force. Kids can make the wheel spin slower or faster depending on how quickly they pour water onto it.
Offering a sponge during your children’s water play provides a great sensory experience. Kids can discover how the feel of the sponge changes when wet vs. dry. My kids also really enjoy the sensation of squeezing the water out.
Providing a sponge may also prompt some great practical life skills. QBoy decided to use the sponge to clean our hose storage unit!
My kids never get tired of using our water can. Not only do they relish the challenge of getting water into the small opening at the top, they love to water our plants with it!
Of course, plants aren’t the only thing that may need watering!
What other items would you put on your list of essential water play toys? If you have ideas, please leave them in the comments! I may just feature them in a future post!
More summer resources for learning and fun
More summer posts from Gift of Curiosity
- Rainbow bubbles
- Watermelon oobleck
- Ice chalk
- Hidden ice treasures
- Sun prints art activity
- Summer printables pack
- Summer do-a-dot printables
- Watermelon printables pack
- Watermelon do-a-dot printables
- Camping do-a-dot printables
- Ice cream I Spy
- Ice cream Sudoku