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What can you do to entertain your kiddos on a hot spring or summer afternoon? Try one or more of these ideas for an afternoon of outdoor water play for kids.
Anyone can turn on the hose, set up a sprinkler, or break out the wading pool on a hot and sunny afternoon. However, why not try making water bombs, bubble snakes, or any of the awesome water play ideas featured below. You’ll be the coolest mom on the block when you do!
Outdoor Water Play for Kids
Water play doesn’t get any cooler than playing with ice. Kids will love ice-cavating their favorite toys from giant ice blocks.
Make your own backyard carnival games. Grab a squirt gun and some plastic cups to make this DIY Angry Birds knock down game.
This water balloon towel toss game is the perfect activity for your next backyard BBQ or neighborhood party.
Host a backyard water party complete with buckets of water, bubble blowers, squirters, and sprinklers.
I can’t think of a more fun way to practice letters than to make a water balloon letter smash game! Kids throw water balloons marked with a letter at the same letter written in chalk on the sidewalk.
Combine two childhood favorites – running through the sprinkler and a rousing game of baseball – and you’ve got a great setup for a game of Sprinkler Baseball!
If you and your kids have never built a marble run, now is the perfect time to give it a try. This Marble Run Water Slide is perfect for an afternoon of water play for children.
Sponge Sailboats are easy to make with your kids, and they’re tons of fun to play with. Kids can have sailboat races in a nearby stream or just in a big bin of water in your backyard.
Making an ice cube necklace is a unique spring/summer activity for kids, and it’s a great way to cool down on a warm afternoon. Will they be brave enough to wear it once it’s done?
Water wall painting is a great gross motor activity for preschoolers! They’ll work arm muscles as they paint the walls and leg muscles as they squat down to refill their brushes and/or rollers.
Fill a bucket with water and toss in some numbered bottle caps. Little ones can use a sieve to scoop out the caps, drain the water, and play a number matching game.
Grab a small fish net and fill a bin with water. Toss in some plastic caps, and you’ve got a great Net Fishing Fine Motor Play activity for preschoolers.
Fill a water bin with all sorts of colored toys and some plastic sorting cups. Have kids use tongs or scoops to grab the items, put them in the colored sorting cups, and you’ve got a great color sorter water bin for toddlers and preschoolers.
I can’t wait to set up a water wall for my grandson next summer (he’s still a bit too young this year). I love that this one is portable so mom can take it down at the end of the season and store it away for next year.
I’ve seen the idea to paint with ice all over Pinterest. It looks like a fun way to cool off and make colorful art at the same time.
Fishing for numbers turns math review into a fun outdoor water play activity!
Inspire your preschoolers to make some art inspired by Henri Matisse with this creative twist on water play.
In this alphabet water play game, you start writing a letter with water and ask your child to finish it.
Kids will never tire of making wiggly Bubble Snakes with these DIY bubble blowers.
Your kids will love playing catch with these homemade sponge water bombs!
Transferring water from one container to another is a fun gross motor activity for preschoolers.
If you have access to a pool this summer, you can try making these DIY pool cards. Write letters, numbers, or sight words on the cards, toss them in the pool, and send your kiddo to get them.
Slice up some lemons, throw some containers and kitchen tools in a plastic tub, fill it with clean water, and you’ve got a great start to a lemon sensory bin. Kids will spend hours making “lemonade”.
Sight Word Splash is a fun way to review sight words (or letters or numbers). You won’t believe how easy it is to set up and how engaged your preschoolers will be!
Which of these ideas for outdoor water play for kids will you try first?