Water play is such an easy and fun activity to do with your kids. Even better it is also very time-consuming and can keep them busy for a very, very long time, giving you enough time to drink coffee while it’s still hot or check your email or just sit down. Playing with water is such a great activity for kids. It gives them experience touching different textures, pouring, scooping and just using their imagination. When you add in another texture like snow, it gives them a very different sensory experience. They can experiment with the difference in temperature between the warm water and the cold snow. They can feel how different it is with the snow being more like a solid than a liquid and how the snow melts when it gets too warm, usually once having poured water on it.
In my house we usually do epic water play at least once every week or two. The kids love the winter addition of playing in the snow inside. They have a lot of fun and fortunately where we are, we either have tons of snow or no snow, it’s either warm or freezing. When it feels like -40 going outside to play with both kids is not always an option.
With our epic water play battles it doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside we can always play inside.
- Every towel in the house and a large blanket.
- As many big bowls, measuring cups, wooden spoons, and other random kitchen utensils you can think of.
- A big tub or bucket full of snow, sometimes I use my kids empty toy buckets.
- A pitcher or large jug of water.
- Other optional add ins: food coloring, soap, ice cubes, plastic animals and toys.
The set up is key. I assume that whatever water and snow I give them will end up on the floor. They will be pouring it back-and-forth, they will be scooping and spilling. Every bit of it will be on your floor so try and protect it and make the cleanup easier. Get every towel you can get your hands on, I recommend doing this when you have a really messy floor, it will help clean it up with less work on your part! Lay out all the towels on the floor, overlapping the edges, cover it with a blanket, this will help the towels stay in place because the kids will move around and pull them up again. Pile other random towels around the edge of your play area. If you cloth diaper or did cloth diaper, grab some pre-folds, those things are amazing and can hold a lot of water.
Would you like to have a coffee? #waterplay is key to keep your kids busy! Click To Tweet
The key to water play is to keep them interested for a long period of time, so don’t put out everything at once. Stagger it. First we start off with just a big pile of snow and some cups and spoons to have practice pouring and transferring. I place plastic animals at the bottom of the bucket and they get to be archaeologist’s and dig for treasure like pirates. I add drops of food coloring to the snow so they can stir it around and see what happens. I give them pitchers of water, usually warm water to help warm up their cold hands. At this point they can practice pouring the water and melting the snow. If their hands are getting really cold I fill up a bucket with some really warm water and as you can see from the picture this happened. My son just climbed right in there and decided not to get out again. Then my daughter wanted to to do it too. I decided that this could double as bath time so I put some soap in there, filled up some more warm water and let them go to town playing. Now they are pretty darn clean, my floor is soaked, but also getting clean, I am on my second cup of coffee and almost finished this blog post. Win-win for everyone!
This can keep my kids busy for a minimum of 20 minutes, usually closer to an hour. As I said, the key is to keep introducing new things to keep their attention span. As the snow melts it starts to give them practice with different things like playing with liquids. My kids had fun playing, they also got a bath, I got to blog and drink hot coffee, and my floors are cleaner, isn’t water/snow play awesome? I strongly recommend you do this with yours, especially on days when you are stuck inside. It’s a great activity to keep them busy and a lot of fun too.
Try this great #winter #sensory activity with your #baby #toddler and #kids Click To Tweet
Make sure you have tons of warm clothes close by and extra towels to dry them off when they’re done playing because when they decide they’re done, they will be freezing cold and probably should’ve been done playing five minutes before. Make sure you bundle them up in socks, sweaters and shirts because they will be very chilly after playing with snow. Time to snuggle up on the couch and read a story and congratulate yourself for having a few minutes to yourself and letting them practice their exploring skills and creativity.
Do you do water play at your house? What are your favorite things to introduce in water or snow play to keep the kids busy? Please comment below with more tips so I can have a warm coffee and work on next weeks post!