summer outside water fun

Mayhem and Messy Play #16: Ice Messy Play for Kids

On a hot day, something nice is ice messy play for kids. The mess easily wipes up and the ice feels cool and inviting. Any size container, from a plastic sink to a kiddie pool. And almost any size ice. science fun for young children

With several days of warm, sunny weather in the forecast, we had time to prep for this and freeze some containers of water overnight. We used 3 different plastic food containers so we could have a small, medium, and big. In the hot afternoon, we took the 3 containers and a large bin outside to the deck. Just in case it was hard to slide the ice out we also had a small container of warm water. This wasn’t needed tho because the ice slid out almost right away. While I went back to the kitchen for some tools and toys to dig in the ice, the kids were feeling the ice, picking it up, and sliding it messy playTo add to the fun, they also used a big eyedropper, baster, spoons, and a toy teapot. They scooped the water from the small container and squirted it over the big chunks of ice. The outside began to melt quickly, leaving a frozen core in the middle. It took 10 minutes for the small chunk of ice to melt to the size of a hockey puck, and much longer for the medium and big chunks. Both kids continued playing  and even though the water was cold, there was no complaining. Of course, the splashes on clothes felt sensory play

While plain ice is nice, you might want to freeze something small in the ice for kids to dig out. Some possibilities are small plastic animals or people. We’ve done this with dinosaurs and pieces of Lego. Once the kids got the Lego, then they could build with the bricks. Buttons, bottle lids, and flat glass marbles can be pirate treasure to dig out of the ice instead of sand.water play

Playing with ice is both a form of messy and sensory play. Kids are busy discovering what works for making ice melt and what doesn’t. They are using language and developing thinking skills like observing, judging, comparing, predicting, and focussing attention. They are also achieving a goal when they finally get objects out of the ice or make it all melt. Is it hot enough for some ice messy play in your area?

Summer Great Outside Fun Includes Water and Getting Wet

One of the best things about summer is being able to play outside and get all wet. The fun promotes all kinds of early learning and development and kindergarten readiness. It comes with squeals of delight and eager anticipation.

outside summer water playOf course, any water play requires extra supervision from the parents and caregivers. With so much water around, it’s vitally important that kids are safe as they play in and around water.

In summer, there are plenty of ways for getting wet, such as backyard pools, water pistols, sprinklers, water parks, water slides, and splashing in lakes, rivers, and oceans. Kids enjoy playing in all of them. Being active is so important for young children that there have been almost daily articles recently about doctors writing prescriptions for outside fun. And what better time than summer.

A sprinkler outside in the yard is almost a tradition. In this short but sweet video below, running thru the sprinkler is more running around it. It’s quite a new experience for young kids. They may be familiar with water, but they are not at all used to water being combined with running. In a shower, the water is coming down not up so a sprinkler is a different sensation.

Backyard pools are similar to bathtubs but they have lots more room for splashing, pouring, floating, sinking, and squirting. Water parks are like giant sprinklers, combined with showers, fountains, and surprises. Some children like to know exactly where the water will be while others like the game of guessing, so they can either get really wet or not. Large bodies of water sometimes have waves that add another element. Temperature will vary a great deal, too.

Active play is particularly important during the preschool years. In addition to discovering how their bodies move in all kinds of ways, and how to coordinate their actions, kids are also building brain connections needed for thinking skills and strategies. Plus, playing in and around water builds wonderful memories of summer. Do you remember what you enjoyed doing in the summer? What does your child like to do?