I don’t know about you, but we are seriously missing the pool! Going to the pool is a chance for freedom of movement, taking the weight off aching bodies and for our children it’s just a place to have fun!
Isolation is difficult for all of us but for children especially. We struggle to explain the reasons for it and why they can’t do their usual favourite things. To help the little ones through this strange time, we have compiled a list of water activities that they can enjoy in the garden! Each section has suggestions of how activities can be adapted to suit children of all abilities.
Let us know if you try any of them, we’d love to hear from you!
These days there are paddling pools for all budgets and although it seems like a simple and straightforward idea, paddling pools can be used for a variety of activities to keep those little minds and bodies occupied!
- Plain and simple water play with armbands, float suits and goggles. Find little water safe toys and containers for added fun! For those brave ones amongst us why not add some bath bubbles too?!
- Fishing! Drop some toys and items that can sink into the water and let the children fish them out with a net. If you don’t have a net, why not use simple containers or buckets that can be found around the house?
- Ship ahoy! Have the children create pirate or island scenes on large pieces of cardboard, surround some of the pool (not all so that the children can still be safely watched) and they can imagine that they are pirates at sea!
You can adapt this activity for little ones with limited movement by ensuring the water is nice and warm and getting in the pool with them helping them hold the toys and feel the bubbles. You might also want to use water safe light up sensory toys for added enjoyment
Be mindful of slippery surfaces and clear the space of any potential dangers first and then grab your buckets and water pistols and get ready to soak your opponents!
You can adapt this activity for children with limited movement by gently pouring water on them or letting them join in with the chasing by pushing their wheelchair into the action with the others!
Make home-schooling fun!
Home-schooling is not an easy task and it can be difficult to help keep the children engaged. Here are some fun home-schooling activities that you and your children can enjoy with water!
- Task your children to make a sailboat. Have them think about what shape, sizes and design would work best. Once finished, they can test out their boat in the paddling pool, bath or a bucket!
- Sink or float - help the children gather various items from around the house. Have them write down predictions about whether they think each item will sink or float and why then they can test out it out in the garden or bath!
- Rainfall measuring - help the children create a container with measurements written inside. Each day the children can check and record how much rain has fallen in the past 24 hours. This could form part of a wider weather watching activity.
For children with limited movement you could help them push a boat you have created for them, help them decorate it with paint prints and pen marks. Help them drop the items into the water and explain to them which are sinking or floating. Explain the different weather and let them feel rainfall on their skin or talk about the sunshine whilst helping them apply sunscreen.
Container and bottle play
Why not fill some spray bottles with water for them to keep and spray themselves down with, or help to water the flowers. You can help them make different patterns of holes in containers and let them have fun filling them up and watching what happens when they empty.
You could adapt this activity by gently spraying water onto your child and letting them feel the ticklish water as it touches their skin. Let them see, feel and smell the flowers in the garden. Make sure that they can see the water emptying out of the various containers. Be quiet so that they can hear the water hitting the ground.
Dollies, teddies, toys! Help your little ones gather various items and give them a good wash in warm bubbly water in the garden. You could even make a mini clothesline and help them peg out the items once they’re nice and clean!
You can adapt this activity by bringing a smaller bowl of shallow bubbly water to your child and helping them wash the items. Let them feel the bubbles on their skin and talk about the washing process and how the sunshine can help them dry.
IMPORTANT: NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN UNACCOMPANIED WITH WATER