Tag Archives: water play

Floating Letters

Buddy loves playing in water. Several times this fall, he’s asked to play in our water table, but unfortunately, it’s just too cold. When I saw this floating letters activity on Busy Toddler’s blog, I knew it would be perfect. Buddy would get to play in water, but we could do it inside.

I pulled out Munchkin bath letters and numbers (affiliate link) for our water play. These were purchased months ago, but I wasn’t sure what to do with them, so they hadn’t been used. Buddy was very excited about playing with his new toys in the water. While the sink was filling with water, Buddy threw some letters in the sink.

Buddy pushed a chair over to stand on while playing in the water. He helped me choose some letters and numbers to put in the water. Eventually we dumped them all in the sink.

I gave Buddy a spatula to pick up the letters. He loved it! It was a different tool for him, and he enjoyed using it. It kept this activity pretty neat because it didn’t scoop up water, and Buddy wasn’t putting his arms into the water.

As we were playing, I asked Buddy to find different letters or colors. He was always so proud to find them. Buddy actually knew more letters than I thought he did. It was exciting to see what he’s learned at school.

I happened to pull out a toy boat from our swim bag earlier that day, and I left it on our kitchen counter. Buddy asked to use it with the letters. He wanted to pour water on top of the letters. “I’m washing the letters.” 

Buddy played contently for 45 minutes, and he would have been happy to play for longer. (A poopy diaper stopped our play, and then it was time to get ready for dinner.) There was almost no water mess until I let him use the boat, and then there was a little splashing. When we were done, we put the letters into a drying rack to dry. This activity was so easy and so much fun! Buddy really loved it, and I know we’ll do again sometime soon. If you have any other ideas for ways to play with our letters, please share in the comments.

Whisking Bubbles

Recently, I needed another inside activity for Water Wednesday. (For several weeks in a row, we’ve had thunderstorms on Wednesdays.) I originally saw the idea for whisking bubbles on Emma Owl’s blog and loved it. Even though she did it outside, I knew it would be perfect for a rainy Wednesday.

To start, I put a little dish soap and warm water in a large bowl. I put it on a large beach towel to help catch any spilled soapy water. Then, I found two whisks and showed them to Buddy. I told him we were going to use the whisks to create bubbles.

Buddy was very excited about the activity. He was happy to stir the water with the whisks, but he needed a little assistance at first. I modeled how to stir the water vigorously enough to create the bubbles. Then we stirred together. 

The more we stirred, the more bubbles we got. Buddy was thrilled! Once we had a few bubbles, he didn’t need any help to get more. He did a neat job of stirring, and he loved it! Once we had some bubble foam, he tried to scoop it up with the whisk. Buddy had the best time! He loved scooping up the foamy bubbles, and then stirring again to make more.

Buddy eventually got brave enough to stick his hands in the bubbles. Then he decided it was “sunscreen” and he started slathering it on his arms, legs, and face. We were both laughing hysterically!Because he had a whisk and not a cup, Buddy didn’t make much of a mess until he starting putting it all over himself. When we were done, it was easy to mop up with the towel. Of course, this would be easy to do outside or in the tub, and then there wouldn’t be any clean up needed. Buddy loved this activity so much, we will definitely do it again soon!

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Pouring Water Sensory Play

This week’s Water Wednesday was the rainiest day of the summer. It poured all day! Fortunately, I had planned a water activity that worked inside or outside. I originally got the idea of a water pouring station from Busy Toddler’s blog. Buddy loves to pour water, and his favorite bath toy is a cup for dumping water. I knew Buddy would love a pouring water activity.

First, I pulled out our sensory bin and a bunch of different cups. I also grabbed a funnel and an empty water bottle. Our two pitchers were both from the dollar store. The blue one was the water bottle that we used for the Bubbling Colors activity without the top. The other one I think was supposed to be for salad dressing. Both were perfect for toddler hands to lift and pour.

Buddy was so excited when I told him we were going to practice pouring water. He couldn’t wait to start!

He quickly poured out both pitchers into cups. I had hoped that he would pour the cups into other cups but he preferred to pour the cups into the open bin. He also poured into the funnel into the open bin. (Silly me thought he’d use the funnel to go into the water bottle or another cup!)Buddy had a lot of fun pouring water from the pitchers into other cups. He didn’t stop when a cup was overflowing, he just kept pouring all the water. When he wanted more water, I’d refill the pitchers. After awhile, the water on the bottom started to get a little deep, so I poured it out. (I didn’t want the bin to get too heavy for me to pick up and pour out.)

This was such a simple activity, but it was a lot of fun for Buddy. And it was a great real life skill that he got to practice too. I’d like to build up to Buddy using a small pitcher to pour a drink for himself. (A lot more work than just me getting it for him, but I know he’d love it.) I know we’ll be using the pitchers again this summer to practice pouring.

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Washing Toy Cars

On Water Wednesday, I wanted to do a new water play activity. I saw the idea of doing a car wash on Things to Share and Remember. Buddy loves playing with water and cars, so a toy car wash seemed like a good thing to try.

To create the car wash, I put dish soap and water in a glass baking pan. I did this so I could easily pour out the soapy water at the end. The washing tools we used were a sponge cut in half and a microfiber towel. Since Buddy still crawls everywhere,  I put everything on a towel to make it a little more comfortable. I set up our water table as well, because I figured Buddy would eventually want more water to play with.

Car wash set up

Buddy was very interested in the bin of cars, but he wasn’t sure what to do with the water at first. After I showed him how to wash the cars, he was interested in trying.

washing cars

I was glad I cut the sponge in half, because the smaller sponges were easy for Buddy to hold. Playing with the sponges was Buddy’s favorite part. He’d never held a sponge before, and he spent a lot of time just squeezing the water on his leg.

washing cars 3

It was great to have a sitting water activity, because it allowed us to play for much longer than if we’d done it in the water table. When Buddy got antsy, we stood up and played in the water table. When his legs got tired, we sat back down with the car wash. Between the two activities, we played for more than an hour.

water table play

We love our water table (affiliate link), and the rain cups from the making rain activity continue to be one of his favorite water toys. These cups moved from the water table to the car wash, and Buddy loved making it rain on the cars.

Overall, it was a successful Water Wednesday, and I hope to do a car wash again soon. We might even try washing some animals or other plastic toys. If you have any fun water activities, I’d love to hear them.

Making Rain Sensory Activity

Since today’s weather forecast showed afternoon thunderstorms, I planned to do our Water Wednesday activity inside and decided to use the theme of rain. (Of course, we ended up having a sunny day, but it was way too hot to play outside so the inside activity worked out.)

While Buddy was napping, I used a hammer and nail to poke holes in the bottom of two plastic cups. I also pulled out pans made of several different materials, and put water in one of them. I wanted Buddy to be able to hear the different sound that the “rain” made when it hit different surfaces. (He loves things that make sound, so I knew the sound factor would increase his enjoyment of the activity.) I put water in a glass pan, and then I also pulled out an aluminum foil pain, a metal baking pan, and a plastic tupperware. I put everything on a beach towel because I knew there would be spilled water, and I wanted to minimize the amount that would need to be mopped up at the end.

Making rain set up

Buddy loved this activity. He loved the water, and he especially loved the sounds. The “rain” on the aluminum pan was his favorite! It was a huge mess, though. Buddy had trouble keeping the cup upright so the water would rain out the bottom instead of pouring out the top. He also had a tendency to pour it out the top of the cup onto himself (as shown in the photo below). He didn’t mind getting wet though!

Making rain 1

After awhile, Buddy started to have fun stacking and unstacking the two cups. Some day, I’ll just have to pull out a bunch of these cups and let him play. (He has his own set of stacking cups that he loves, but I think this was fun because they were new cups and could stack in any order.)

making rain 2

Although Buddy struggled with using the cups to consistently make rain, I would still call this activity a huge success. He was laughing and smiling and having so much fun! I think this was his favorite activity of the summer so far! We will definitely be pulling these materials out again soon.

Making rain 3

Playing with Ice Boats

The forecast earlier in the week said that today would be cooler, so I wanted an activity for Water Wednesday that could be done either inside or outside. I also wanted something easy to do because I had to go in to school for professional development for most of the day. When I came across this ice boat activity from Alpha Mom, I knew it would be perfect.

Earlier in the week, I prepped the ice boats by cutting down two straws and then taping them into cups. I added some water and put them into the freezer to freeze. I also cut sails from construction paper and punched holes in them.

Ice boats in cups

This would be a perfect activity for a water table, but unfortunately we haven’t set ours up yet, so I used a glass baking dish. Since it turned out to be a nice warm day, I set up our boats on the back deck.

Ice Boats 2

Buddy has no prior experience with ice, so he wasn’t sure what to think about the boats. He also has never played in water outside of the bath or a pool, and he said “uh oh” when he got the first couple drops on himself. However, Buddy realized that it was ok to get a little wet, and he started to have fun.

Ice Boats 3

Buddy loves to study things and figure them out, so once the ice started melting, he picked up the boats to check them out. He also enjoyed pushing the boats around in the pan and just touching the water and watching it ripple.

Once our water table is set up, I want to try the ice boats again. However, I would make a couple changes. Because the ice was so big and the dish wasn’t very deep, the boats didn’t actually float. That might not be an issue in our water table, but I’d like to try smaller dixie cups anyway. I also made my sails too big and they got a little soggy. Fortunately, Buddy didn’t mind.