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Summer's Coming: Let the good times roll

Summer is coming! And guess what that means? Time for some good old-fashioned water fun of course. Let the kiddos run wild with this list of activities that will get them tickled pink & pleased as punch. And one more thing, these activities are split up into three categories: Infant, Toddlers, Pre-Schoolers, and School-Age kids. So no matter what age the children in your care are, we have them covered.


Sponge water play

Materials needed for sponge water play:

  • Sponges cut in a rectangular shape

  • Water bucket/ Large clean bin

Sponge water play direction:

  1. Fill a large clean bin or water bucket with warm water. You can also use cold water if desired. But the warm water will make the activity more fun.

  2. Next, take the rectangular-shaped sponges and dip them into the water. If you don't have sponges cut into this shape, you can easily do so with a pair of scissors.

  3. Once the sponges are soaked, let the infants squeeze and splash them around in the water. If you prefer, simply add in a few toys for them to play with.

  4. And that's it. A simple yet enjoyable activity for any infant.

I find that infants really enjoy this activity because it allows them to explore their senses. You'll notice that they'll make some giggles and all sorts of funny faces as they splash around in the water. And it's also a great way to help them cool off on a hot summer day. I know what you're thinking, "Will they not eat the sponges?" And the answer to that is yes and no. Some infants will try to nibble on the sponges, and others will completely ignore them. You can train them not to nibble if it's something that concerns you. But for the most part, they'll have so much fun squeezin' and splashin' during this activity.


Pom Pom water sensory

Materials needed for pom pom water sensory play:

  • Water bucket/ Large clean bin

  • water

  • Pom poms balls (any color)

  • small bowls/scoops

Directions for pom pom water sensory play:

  1. Fill a large clean bin or water bucket with warm water. You can also use cold water if desired.

  2. Next, take the pom poms balls and add them to the water. I prefer to use different sizes & colored pom pom balls, but you can use any size or color that you want.

  3. Once the pom poms are in the water, let the toddlers use their small bowls or Scoops to scoop them up.

  4. And that's all. A simple yet enjoyable activity for any toddler.

Toddlers are sure to have a blast with this activity. They'll love scooping up the pom-poms and watching them float around in the water. And it's also a great way to help them develop their fine motor skills. According to Piaget's sensorimotor stage, children in this stage are like little scientists. They learn best through movement and sensation.


Squirt Gun Painting

Materials needed for squirt gun painting:

  • Squirt guns (mixed color)

  • water

  • Large piece of white paper or canvas

  • Food color

Directions for squirt gun painting:

  1. Fill the squirt guns with water and a few drops of food color. For example, you can use red and blue to make purple.

  2. Once the guns are filled, have the preschoolers point them at the large piece of white paper or canvas and start squirting water from the toy guns.

  3. Encourage them to experiment with different colors and patterns.

  4. And that's it. A simple yet enjoyable activity for any preschool

No more boredom with this activity. I find that preschoolers enjoy this activity because it's very open-ended. There's no perfect or wrong way to do it. They can simply let their imaginations run wild and have fun squirting the paint around. Plus, it's a fabulous way to help them develop their fine motor skills. And who knows, you might even end up with a masterpiece.

School Age

Water bucket Relay

Materials needed for water bucket relay:

  • water

  • cups

  • a team of children

Directions for water bucket relay:

  1. Have the children line up in teams. For example, if you have 10 children in your care, you can have TWO teams of five. Let them sit or stand in a line. (preferably sitting)

  2. Next, give each team an empty bucket and cup.

  3. At the signal, the last kid sitting in front of the bucket has to fill the bucket with water and then pass it behind to the next kid, who passes it to the next until it reaches the last kid in line.

  4. The last kid has to refill the cup and pass it back to the front. Then, the first kid has to pour the water into their bucket.

  5. The team that fills up their bucket first wins. (nobody should look behind them during the game.)

This is such a fun & effortless activity that school-age children are sure to enjoy. Not only is it a great way to help them cool off on a hot summer day, but it's also a great way to promote teamwork. And who doesn't love a good race? This activity will definitely get their adrenaline pumping.

A little word of caution: depending on the age of the children, you may want to use sunscreen on children under your care. If you opt for this activity, be sure to read the label on the sunscreen to make sure it is appropriate for use on children. And always follow all instructions.

Again for any reason, you might not be in a position to execute the sunscreen application. Then be sure to talk to the parents about this before the event so they can send their child with sunscreen already applied.

Weather watch chart: It will become increasingly hot as summer goes on. Switching up your summer activity plans to include earlier outdoor activities will come in handy to avoid the day's heat. You can consider using this chart to help you plan.

That's all for now. I hope you found this post helpful. Be sure to check back soon for more summer fun ideas.

meet the author

Pheolia Smith, Director of Operations

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