Splish splash: outdoor water activities for toddlers in the summer

Water games! They’re possibly the only activity for Baby that can actually leave them cleaner than they were when they started! They’re also a fun, refreshing way to get out of the house in the summer. If you have a hose, there’s a good chance you’ll have hours of fun with Baby with these games:

  • Water slide: You could grab a fancy Slip ‘N Slide from the toy store (these usually have built-in mechanisms to spray water on the slide) or just use a tarp splashed with water. You can use a hose to spray Baby as they go down the slide or races down the tarp. Check the grass for rocks before you put the slide down!
  • Sprinkler jump: Many homes have sprinkler systems built into the ground now, but you can grab a sprinkler for $10 or $15, hook it up to a hose, and just use it for fun if you want! Baby can run through it, jump over it, try to dodge it, or throw things through it. Just remember to move the sprinkler each time you play with it so one part of the grass doesn’t get overwatered or start to turn too muddy.
  • Water balloons: Balloons are great on-the-go water toys, even if you don’t have a lawn easily available. Just take a pack of empty balloons, have Baby help you fill them up at the sink or with the hose, and go crazy! Having Baby help you fill the balloons will help them understand the effort that goes into the fun and hopefully encourage them to use them wisely. You can play toss with them until they burst, throw them (gently) around, or play games like baseball or basketball with them.
  • Car wash: You can get some soap and shampoo and pretend that Baby is going through the car wash with the sprinkler or hose…or you could go out to the front of your home and wash your actual car! It’s amazing how the chores parents put off can be fun and exciting games for children. You’ll have to give Baby a boost for some washing, but you’d be surprised how much of the rinsing they can take care of with just the reach of a hose!
  • Knock ’em down: If you have a fence or a ridge you can line up object on, you can take a hose, put your thumb across the spout, and knock ’em down! This can also work by lining object up on the ground if you don’t have a place to balance them. It could take Baby a while to get the hang of shooting water out of the hose with their thumb, but as soon as they do, watch out!
  • Fill the bucket: If you have a few buckets or tubs lying around your home, you can use them for a little water race! Using a sponge, cup, or your hands, you and Baby can race between a water source and your individual buckets to see who can fill theirs up the fastest. Your water source could be another bucket filled with water, a sprinkler, a hose, etc. The winner gets to dump their bucket on the player of their choice!

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