I had approximately 2 days of worrying about how I would entertain the kids for the whole summer under such conditions. Then, of course, the rain started. The "Wettest Summer on Record for 100 years."
Guess what? Within a couple of weeks we were no longer in drought conditions. We still didn't use the hose as much as usual- because the weather was generally too wet, but I truly couldn't imagine a summer without it.
|The joy of taps!|
Kids love water. We inherited a bidet in our house when we moved in, and both our boys mastered turning on the bidet tap even before they could stand unsupported. Their favourite trick was to turn it on hard and then put their hands against the flow so it sprayed in all directions. Hilarious (if you're small.) Needless to say, after a couple of bathroom flooding sessions we had to tie the tap handle down so they couldn't turn it on at will, but the love affair with running water had well and truly begun.
|Outside tap= unlimited fun.|
|Zac sharing his bath with "White Duck"|
|Tip out the toys, fill with water and enjoy!|
Of course a tub of water provides plenty of opportunities to explore things that float and sink, and you can wash the garden toys whilst you experiment.
Pouring water from one container to another also fascinates small children, they are subconsciously noticing that containers hold different amounts and discovering that liquids change shape to fit the container they're in, great for fostering early scientific curiosity.
I liked this idea for a hot day. Put a cheap toy in a margarine tub, fill the tub with water, then put it in the freezer overnight. Next day, challenge the kids to rescue the toy from the iceberg! Science and problem-solving in one. Mine tried bashing it and dropping it for ages before deciding that the only way was to melt the ice. (It's a good idea to wet the ice when you first tip it out so it doesn't stick to your skin.)
The Hose. Hmmmmmmm. They love it of course, but it does come with problems. If you have more than one child, the one holding the hose is completely compelled to spray the other, whether they like it or not. There will always be a battle to get them to hand over the hose when it's the other one's turn, and they will both scream when you say it's time to turn it off. That said, when it's fun it's great fun so you have to accept the bad bits. I tried to give them finite hosing jobs, like filling up the paddling pool or watering all the plants in pots, so that when the job was done I could say it was time to turn off, but of course, they do the job for about 2 minutes and then revert to hose wars.
|Making a stream.|
Putting the end of the hose on the top of a log and trapping it under a rock so that it made a waterfall down the sides of the log was another.
|Making rainbows with a plant spray bottle.|
All water play comes with a health and safety warning- never leave kids alone with it, but I'd like to add the opposite- don't get too close when they're in control of the water supply! It is very difficult to disarm a child with a hose- NEVER let them get between you and the tap or you're sunk!
|Water- it's all good clean fun!|