We love water play, and now that summer finally appears to be here, it's an ideal way to get out in the garden and have some fun.
Water play is free - unless you happen to be on a meter like us, in which case it's not quite free, but it's certainly a lot cheaper than a lot of summer holiday alternatives!
This weekend, while we cleaned out the shed, Ruby happily entertained herself. I tied up a little washing line made from string, and gave her some pegs. I then gave her 2 bowls of warm water - one soapy and one plain. She busied herself for ages collecting up all her doll's clothes, washing; scrubbing; rinsing and wringing, before proudly hanging them out to dry.
She enjoyed the role play of being the grown-up and looking after her dollies - she did such a great job I might get her to do my laundry!
After that, we moved on to water painting and she practiced writing her name.
I have such fond memories of doing this at my grandparent's house, spending hours painting my grandad's garage door and fence panels. When they were dry from the sun, I'd do them all over again.
Fi at Childcare is Fun has a great post on water painting over on her blog.
Now that our hosepipe ban has finally been lifted, I can't wait to try out this amazing idea from We Made That taking an old fizzy pop bottle and turning it into a sprinkler!
Combining water with other materials encourages learning. How about this great idea from A Mother's Rambling, using bricks.
Rainy Day Mum writes about their water table and all the fun they have with it. Her post also has loads of fabulous other water play posts linked up, so do check them out for tonnes of inspiration.
The introduction of boats and other floating items brings a whole new dimension to water play.
Red Ted Art makes some adorable walnut sell boats, just the perfect size for washing up bowl races!
Or you could try crafting boats from bark and leaves like these.
These gorgeous canoes capture the Olympic spirit, and although made for water beads, why not try coating with PVA and testing their 'sea-worthiness'?
If you're feeling adventurous, why not add some food colouring to your water and let their imagination run wild! A Mother's Ramblings again.
The Boy and Me shares knowledge gleaned from her academic studies, to show just how important this type of play is to learning.
Cookie Jar life also has a great post about the benefits of water play and some simple ideas on how to extend it.
Here's to many happy hours of good clean fun!
Thanks to all the bloggers who allowed me to feature them here.
** Please supervise children with water, play safely and try not to waste our natural resources - use to water the plants after playing where possible **