OUTDOOR WATER PLAY NECESSITIES
Help keep the little ones cool in the summer heat with these easy outdoor water play necessities!
Summer time heat waves aren’t fun for anyone – and trying to keep multiple tiny humans amused and occupied in the heat can be quite a task.
So I was really thankful to have some staples on hand all summer to quickly throw together some easy water play on the days we needed something to do outside of the usual pool or sprinkler fun.
Here are my five easy outdoor water play necessities:
1. A Water Table
There are quite a few water tables out there. They vary in size, price and simplicity and you’re bound to find one that works for you specific space and age group!
When we’re in the mood for some water play we bring out our Ikea Flisat table. It’s not specifically marketed as a water table (and I would add a layer of sealant to it if you plan to regularly use it for wet play) but it’s an awesome sensory table!
We use the Ikea Flisat table because of how multi-purpose it is. It’s super light so we store it indoors and carry it out when needed. Various sized Trofast bins fit inside to allow for many kinds of play. It’s the perfect height for both our small twins and our older toddler. It comes with ‘lids’ for the spaces so it can be used as a regular table in the playroom too!
If you’re looking for a classic plastic water table that you can leave outdoors then I’d recommend either a Little Tikes or a Step2 water table! They’ve released simple ones that are an open rectangle as well as an array of fun ones that have attachments! Depending on the size of your home, these ones could be brought inside for winter or rainy days for indoor water fun too.
Don’t forget – most of these tables can also be used for sand.
2. REUSABLE ICE CUBES
A few years ago I started collecting reusable ice cubes as neither of us were great at remembering to remake them. Three kids later and they’ve become an awesome stash of sensory materials!
Our collection is from Dollarama and Disney Store but more stores that sell kitchenware will have reusable iced cubes. We’ve got simple shapes, animals, holiday themed ones and characters like Mickey Mouse!
For younger ones, simply add them to a water bin and supply different scooping materials. We practiced lots of scooping and transferring with them and they end up coming out all year round in this house.
3. SAND TOYS
Sand toys have so many fun uses outside of the playground or beach! At the beginning of every summer I do a sand toy inventory and see what we have, what’s broken and what we could use more of.
While the dollar store is a perfect one stop shop for some awesome sand toys I always check our local thrift stores first. They’re even cheaper at the thrift store and it saves them from heading to landfill. I will also check out the local Facebook groups like the Buy Nothing groups to see what others near me are unloading.
While they can be used in a sand box we also use sand toys for water play, oobleck, moon sand and foam play – just to name a few.
Some sand toy staples for us are:
- Animal shapes
- Small watering can
- A boat
4. KITCHEN UTENSILS
I guess these could technically fall under the same category as sand toys. But there are so many different kitchen utensils that pair well with sensory play!
Every time I’m at the thrift store I check out the kitchen utensils. They’re super cheap and always full of possibilities. Some really good quality choices too!
Our stash of thrifted kitchen utensils include:
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Garlic press
- Potato ricer and masher
- Different sizes of spatulas, serving spoons and whisks
5. BATH TOYS
Yup, you read that right! Most of the bath toys we have in the house are rotated through our outdoor water play activities, too. We use only toy that can be easily washed out and dried with no unknown mold potential.
These bath toys include:
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