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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.
Some of our favorite water play toys include:
- 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
Looking for more summertime activities? Check out my Summer Activities for Kids page and my Summer Activities board on Pinterest.
Jen @Making Our Life Matter
Can I please please please be a kid again? That looks like so much fun!
I know, right? Kids get to do the most fun things!
Oh a baster and colander! Love those ideas!
You can find so many wonderful water toys in the kitchen!
Growing Up Madison
Great post and the kids look like they’re having so much fun! Thanks for sharing.
These are so fun!! 🙂 Looks like those kiddos had a blast! We played with funnels in the ocean today! Thanks for sharing!
Oooh, I’ve never brought all these things to the ocean but I imagine it would be fun there too!
Colleen @ MommieDaze
Great idea to use items most of us have is our kitchens. My boys would love playing with these in the wading pool or even in the bathtub!
Adding them to the bathtub is a great idea as well!
oh how fun! I want to come play!
Our bathtub and pool toys are often gathered up from among the kitchen cupboards and household cabinets. Isn’t childhood discovery wonderful?
We use these tools in our sandbox as well.
We use some of them in our sand play as well when we go to the park or the beach. 🙂
Isn’t it great how the simplest items can provide hours of fun! Great list! Hopped by from the TGIF Linky Party. Have a great weekend!
Yes, sometimes I’m amazed at how the simplest stuff provides the most enjoyment. 🙂
It looks like everyone’s having a lovely, splashy time at your house! Another favourite for water play with my kids is a water slide – hours of fun!
Coombemill - Fiona
Some fab ideas for water play – especially considering the heatwave we are having in the UK. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos of outdoor play with Country Kids.
I think we need to buy a baster. What a great idea, never thought of using one for water play and I’m sure my boys would love playing with one. Great photos!
I think I’ll do this this week. My kids have been LOVING the sand box, but here is a other great and inexpensive way for them to enjoy themselves outdoors! Thanks for linking it up. See you next week!
My son loves water play too but we haven’t tried the colander yet! We’ll be getting that out in the garden this week now. Thanks for the tips.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Great post for this heatwave. It is often the things we already have – we use old bottles – from bubble bath, shampoo etc.
Wonderful ideas. My daughter is 6 but I am still tempted to get her a small pool for this kind of play.
My 7 year-old-son had a blast playing in his two-year-old nephew’s water table last week. They’re never to old to play with water! I loved your post. They’re also 8 great toys for the tub. 🙂
We don’t tend to do too much in the way of bath toys, but any of these would work well in the tub too!
Gemma Mills / Chamberlain (MyMillsBaby)
Such great ideas here. We always spend so much money buying toys when there are some equally amazing things all over the house. Popping over from #CountryKids
This looks like a lot of fun! I will need to try this with my little boy. He loves to splash in water!
I love it when summer rolls around and we can do lots of water play. It’s such a great way to keep my kids entertained for an afternoon!
So much fun!! We love water play here. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!
It looks like your kids are having such a fun time! It’s amazing how every toy has a certain benefit to it, such as when you pointed out about the sponge providing sensory stimulation. Also would love to see kids helping out and watering the garden! Great suggestions, thank you so much.