WET AND WILD SUMMER FUN
SAFE WATER PLAY
Children of all ages enjoy playing in
water. If you have a swimming pool in your yard, it is absolutely
necessary that adults supervise children in or near the pool. Even small
wading pools can be dangerous for small children.
- A wading pool with only a small amount
of water in it is potentially dangerous. It takes only a few minutes
and less than an inch of water for a young child to drown, given the
- Small pools and wading pools should
always be emptied when not in use.
- Larger pools (in-ground and
above-ground) should be fenced in and the gate kept locked when the
pool is not in use.
- Beware of young children playing in
buckets of water without adult supervision. It is easy for children to
fall into a bucket and drown.
Children can have fun with water play, but
adults must be willing to spend the time to insure the safety of children
playing in or near water.
WET AND WILD ACTIVITIES
Give each child a small bucket or can with water in it and an old
paintbrush. Children enjoy "painting" the house, steps, garage,
fence, sidewalk, etc. using their own bucket and brush.
Instead of playing in a pool, attach the garden hose to a sprinkler. Turn
on the water and listen to the squeals of delight as the children run
through the spray of water.
Fill small balloons with water, and use them to play a game of catch with
WATER PLAY ACCESSORIES
Simple household items can make water play a lot of fun. See if you
have any of these items for the children to play with:
empty plastic bottles
empty squeeze bottles
Wet some sand in a sandbox. Talk about the differences between the wet and
dry sand. Have the children dig rivers, streams, and lakes in the sand,
and fill them with water.
PING PONG BOATS
Use clean, empty margarine tubs for boats. Float the boats in a wading
pool or dishpan. Have each child take turns trying to toss ping-pong balls
into the boats.
clean styrofoam meat tray
Have each child use crayons to decorate the styrofoam meat tray. Stick the
pipe cleaner through the center of the tray. Secure it by bending the end
on the underside of the styrofoam tray. Cut a small diamond shape out of
the construction paper. Fold the diamond in half to make a sail. Place the
pipe cleaner in the fold of the sail and staple to hold it in place. Take
the sailboat outside for a voyage in a wading pool or dishpan.
SINK OR FLOAT
Have each child gather a number of items from around the house (such as a
paper clip, sponge, cork, plastic toys, marble, etc.). Take them outside
to a wading pool, dishpan, or bucket of water to see which items sink or
Try some experiments with the children. Can you make something that sinks,
float? Place a sinking object on a floating object. For example, place a
marble on a sponge. What object holds the most things and still floats?
Blowing bubbles is a fun outdoor activity for all ages. Children who are 2
-1/2 years old and older can learn to blow bubbles if you show them how.
An easy bubble solution can be made from:
1/2 cup hand dishwashing liquid
5 cups water
A tiny bit of cooking oil added to the soap
and water mixture will make the bubbles tough enough to float in the air
without breaking easily.
You can buy bubble wands and pipes at a store or try any of these:
- plastic berry basket bottoms (dip in
bubble solution and wave in the air)
- thread spools (dip one end in bubble
solution and blow through opposite end)
- plastic drinking straw (dip one end in
bubble solution and blow through opposite end)
plastic container with tight fitting lid (such as a pill bottle)
piece of string (approx. 12" long)
Remove the lid from the plastic container. Place the end of the string
inside the container. Glue the container's lid in place. Let glue dry.
Take the bobber to a wading pool, dishpan, or bucket of water. Place the
bobber in the water. Pull the bobber under the water with the string. Let
go of the string and watch the bobber BOB!
Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care - NNCC.
(1993). Wet and wild summer fun. In M. Lopes (Ed.) CareGiver News
(August, p. 3). Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Cooperative