15 Outdoor Water Play Ideas



It’s half way through the summer, time to pull out some new ideas for the kids!

If your kids are already tired of the same old water balloons, squirt guns, and sprinklers when it comes to outdoor water play, here are a few new ways to play with water to keep you going these next few weeks!


15 fun outdoor water play ideas to keep kids busy this summer



Instead of water balloons, have a Sponge Ball Water Fight like Create.Craft.Love.

Don’t just make a sprinkler, make a Glow in the Dark Sprinkler like this one at The Pink Lab.

Create a Water Obstacle Course like this one from Meaningful Mama.

Chill out on your very own Water Blob like this one from There’s Just One Mommy.

Explore these Water Math and Science Activities from The Measured Mom.

Get artistic with Water Balloon Color Mixing from No Time for Flash Cards.

Or Paint with Colored Ice like There’s Just One Mommy.

Make washing dishes fun with an Outdoor Dishwashing Station from Mama. Papa. Bubba.

Float boats down your own Foil River like this one from I Can Teach My Child.

Or create a Rain Gutter River like the one from Squashed Tomatoes.

Work together to build your own Water Wall like this one from recyclables at There’s Just One Mommy.

Make Rainbow Bubble Snakes like these super cool ones at Housing a Forest.

Or just have fun making a ton of Rainbow Bubbles like these from Gift of Curiosity.

Let the kids experiment with mixing colors with this Colored Water Play from There’s Just One Mommy.

Mix two loves:  Legos and Water with these ideas from Fun at Home with Kids.


Whatever you do, have fun and stay cool these next few weeks!

Remember, there are only 18 summers in their childhood; make this one memorable!


Activities for the Letter Y



If you are a regular reader here, you know we’ve been doing a vehicle alphabet series.

We have just two letters left!   Today it’s time for activities for the letter Y!

preschool activities for letter Y


The day we did our letter Y activities I used sidewalk chalk to write the letter Y, along with a few other random letters, around the outside of the house.

After breakfast the kids went on a “Y” hunt!

letter y activity -- letter scavenger hunt



To make it more challenging for my 6 year-old I wrote several words that use the letter “Y” and asked her to read them when we found them.   (I used the words “you,” “yes,” “yellow,” “by,” and “why” which are all words she learned this year in kindergarten.

As she read the words we talked about the sounds the letter “Y” makes.  The 5 year-old had fun practicing the “Y” sounds.

We had one other activity to get us moving and learning outside… a letter “Y” hopscotch!

letter Y activity -- letter hopscotch



The idea was to only jump on the letter Y, avoiding any other letters.  I quickly found that they are really good at this!


When we went inside the 5 year-old worked on writing capital and lower-case “Y” with this letter Y worksheet.  

letter y activities


They both colored  some yacht coloring sheets I found online.  (After all, sticking with the vehicle-theme, “Y is for yacht!”)

And then it was time to build our own yachts!

y activities -- simple yacht craft for the letter Y



We used a block of styrofoam that I cut ahead of time to make the boat’s hull.  (If you have to cut it, i suggest doing it outside!)

For the masts we used drinking straws.  Use a pencil tip to poke a hole in the styrofoam; it makes it easier to push the straw into place!

Then we added colorful paper sails and our yachts were ready to sail!

letter y activity -- floating yachts




Verbal Memory Game




Sometimes when we are driving in the car the kids start to pick on each other.  (Shocking, I know!)  The other day, as they continued to torment each other, I decided to try something new, a simple verbal memory game that quickly became a hit.

verbal memory game:  improve listening skills


I told them both we were going to play a listening game, so they had to be quiet so they could hear.

Then I listed three animals (cow, dog, horse) and asked the 5 year-old to repeat them to me in the same order.

I made a HUGE deal when he got them right, and then I gave the 6 year-old a turn, naming off three different animals (cat, pig, chicken).

Pretty soon they were hooked!

To make it more interesting I varied the lists, giving them lists of animals, numbers, shapes, colors, letters, vehicles…whatever came to mind as I drove.

After a few rounds I increased the list to include four items.  The 5 year-old was super proud of himself each time he got them right.


And the best part?  They were no longer fighting!  In fact, they were helping each other!


This game is easily modified for kids of different ages and abilities.

For younger children you may want to start off by just listing two animals.  For older children you could make lists of five or more items.  You could also ask them to give each other a list to repeat!

For a few rounds I had my 5 year-old repeat the numbers of our street address.  (You could also use parts of your phone number to help little ones start to learn it!)


Have a game you do to help keep the peace in the car?  I’d love to hear about it!  After all, we could all use a new trick!


DIY Water Wall



Summer is the perfect time for water play!  Over the years we’ve spent many hours in the kiddie pool, played in the pond, and have set up tons of water table activities.

Today we dug through the recyclables and experimented with our very own water wall!

Simple directions to make your own water wall



If you have a fence, you can easily set up your own water wall for hours of water play fun this summer!

What you need to create your water wall:

  • Large basin or shallow storage container to hold water
  • Plenty of plastic bottles, milk jugs, etc.
  • Wire Ties (sometimes called cable ties)
  • Scissors


We built our water wall on the fence that surrounds our outdoor play area.  If you don’t have a fence, the back of a few old lawn chairs with fabric/plastic strip backs you can hook things to might work.

I put our plastic storage container at the bottom of the fence and explained to the kids that we were going to use our recyclables to make waterfalls, all directing the water back into the plastic storage container at the bottom.

I used scissors to cut the bottom off of each bottle and milk jug.  Then they took turns deciding which plastic bottle to add where, using the wire ties to secure them into place on the fence.

We experimented with how each bottle needed to be angled, pouring water into the top container and seeing how it flowed so we could angle the next container just right to catch it.

We also decided to try using a hollow pool noodle, sticking the mouth of one of our water bottles into its end.

When it was finished they had tons of fun filling the top containers and watching the water flow!

DIY water wall activity



how to build a water wall



For a bit of added fun I brought out some water, mixed with pink and blue food coloring, and let them watch the colored water go through the maze of bottles and mix at the end.

colored water wall play

Our simple water wall activity kept them busy for almost 2 hours!

If you look closely enough at that last picture you’ll notice a few Squinkies  that came out to play.  The kids had a blast pouring the Squinkies down the water wall along with the water.  For a while it was a giant Squinkies water slide!


We plan on leaving our water wall up for the rest of the summer.  It definitely was a big hit today!


What’s your child’s favorite water play activity in the summer?