I know that I’m a few weeks late on this post as we are officially in fall, but I figured better late than never. I had to tell you guys about our Water Wednesdays, as well as how we plan to change this activity as the temperatures get cooler. Here’s a little rundown of how we enjoy water when the temperatures are soaring, as they were this summer….
The water table is a fairly new addition to our ever-expanding collection of toys, and it came upon an amazing play date. My former roommate, and Super Mom extraordinaire (She has such an amazing blog called A Step in the Journey! If you are not already following it, you need to start following her NOW. Amazing!), hosted T and I at her new home, and after seeing how much fun T had, I knew a water table was in our future. I followed the recommendations of my many Mom friends, and set out to find a water table that had a cover, and an umbrella for my fair-skinned little T. We found this table at Buy Buy Baby, and you better believe we used our 20% off coupon! 😉 Even though it is a water and sand table, I fill both sides up with water. What sold me on this table was the cover, and how I could easily move it inside. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?!?! Sensory table for the winter!!! My mom has this table at her house, and T loves this one too! The many interactive elements it features are a big hit, and the circular nature allows for multiple kids to play around it with little to no fuss. No cover though. 😦 At the end of the day, ANY water table is a great way to allow your kiddos to play safely in the water on warm days! If you are thinking that you can get away with water table play without a bathing suit, you might want to re-think that thought. I had that thought on the original play date where I was inspired to get a water table, and boy was I wrong! Haha! We ended up having to borrow clothes to go home in (because I was totally that Mom that did not have an extra set in the diaper bag) because T was DRENCHED. Haha! Needless to say, the water table is a BIG hit at our house, and it was the start of our weekly Water Wednesdays!
Another early staple to our Water Wednesday fun was in a sprinkler attachment that I happened to get at a garage sale for $1. That’s right- $1! Seriously the best dollar I ever spent! It introduced me to the brand, Banzai, which has an entire line of water play items for every age. Seeing what a hit this was, I went on to buy another Banzai product from Buy Buy Baby. That’s right, used my 20% off coupon once again! 😉 (I couldn’t find it on Buy Buy Baby’s website, but found a similar on Amazon that you can check out here) It has also been a hit this summer! What I love most about these Banzai products is that they are easy to set up, as well as easy to store! Win, win! And… With summer officially over, everyone is marking these products down like crazy! I’m just saying that it might be a good time to snag one of these for your very own Water Wednesdays next spring and/or summer! 😉
I don’t know about you, but there are days when I just need to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! Am I right?!?! This is where a great splash pad can come in! There are so many great splash pads in and around our city (we are outside of Atlanta) that are either free, or very low cost. Atlanta Parent magazine rounded up 15 of their favorites, and you can check them out here. We are also a BIG fan of the splash pad at Zoo Atlanta, and we may have been there just this past week (let’s be honest- Fall doesn’t typically start in Atlanta until late October/November). Needless to say, there are many ways to beat the heat, and get out of the house, without breaking the bank. What are some of your favorite splash pads?!?!
(photo credit goes to Lyle Collins. These were all taken at the Zoo Atlanta splash pad)
Speaking of having fun without breaking the bank, we love ourselves a good “water challenge” on Water Wednesdays! Literally all you need is a couple of different sized tupperware containers, a pitcher, water, and perhaps some food coloring. I simply mix a drop or two of food coloring in the pitcher of water, and then pour some into one of the tupperware containers. The “challenge” is for the kids to get the water from one container to the next. Now, with toddlers, you can imagine that most of the water gets on them or goes everywhere, but that does not matter. They LOVE it, and it is teaching them in the process. Not only is this a great cause and effect activity, but it is working on and enhancing their gross motor skills. Let them explore and figure out ways to get water from one container to the next. Adding a drop or two of food coloring just makes it that much more fun for the kids! There are so many ways to create your own water challenge that I found in this great book recommended to me by my friend Erin (an AMAZING and creative mother of twins)- 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids. Worth EVERY cent! So many of my ideas come from this book, check it out!
Fun with Foam
One day I was a little “bored” with our Water Wednesday routine, and I wanted to change it up a bit. Using that amazing book I mentioned above, I found a great “recipe,” for lack of a better word, for some foam. Using ingredients that I am sure you already have in your house (water, dish soap, and food coloring), you can easily and quickly make a foam that will be so much fun for the kids! All you do is mix two tablespoons of dish soap with about 1/4 a cup of water, a drop or two of food coloring, and use an electric mixer (I prefer using a hand-held mixer versus my stand mixer) to whip it up. And presto, you have colored foam. You can get the full directions from the amazing book I mentioned earlier where I have read about so many amazing ideas – 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids. I made a few “batches” of the foam (in different colors of course), and put it in a storage container with a lid. The kids loved feeling the foam on their hands and blowing the foam off their hands. Since we incorporated it with Water Wednesday, there was plenty of water when it came time to clean up. A fun, and easy way, to change up Water Wednesday. The best part is, this could easily be incorporated into indoor water play. I envision play in the sink and/or bathtub in our future as the temperatures outside get cooler….
I’m pretty sure that many of you are wondering what the plan for Water Wednesday will be now that Fall is upon us. I am planning on incorporating water play indoors using the sink, bathtubs, and those great under the bed storage containers. I am also going to use this opportunity to create a new day in our routine, the “Working on…” day! As I have mentioned in previous posts, it is my personal goal to expose T to the basics before preschool- numbers, colors, shapes, letters, etc. Why not have a day dedicated to working on just these “basics?!?!” As we move forward into the fall and winter months ahead, I have decided to not only incorporate some indoor water play, but to also do a rotation of various skills that we are working on. Since we already have an art day dedicated to colors, I figured I would create a rotation of skills that we would work on these Wednesdays- shapes, numbers, and letters. I have already started doing a little work with shapes using our magnitude of shape sorter toys that we already have, and making up little shape songs and characters in my spare time. I feel that there will be another blog post in the future sharing these games, songs, and experiences as we delve into our “Working on… Wednesdays” in the future. Stay tuned…
Hopefully this will give you a little insight and inspiration for what our “Water Wednesdays” have looked like this past summer, as well as how we plan to evolve as the temperatures continue to drop outside. I’m looking forward to sharing more about this in the future, but I would love to hear YOUR ideas. How do you incorporate water play in your daily routine?!?! Thank you, as always, for reading.