Many children love to play in water! It’s something you can do year round, either in the tub when the weather is bad or outside when the weather is nice. Many kids will talk or vocalize more when play in water. Here are some ideas you can use with your child. Please remember that children can drown easily in even small amounts of water an never leave your child unsupervised with water.
Tub Time: Your child can work on hand-eye coordination by using measuring cups like these or any plastic cups from your kitchen will work too. Encourage your child to pour the water from cup to cup. Use word to describe what they are doing such as “You are scooping water and pouring it out.” Talk about the water, “The water is warm.” Let your child do it independently.
Give your child a variety of sponges, loofahs, bath mitts to play with in the tub. Squeezing water out of the sponges will stimulate his sense of touch and strengthen small hands. Use some animal bath toys to practice giving them baths. I like these because you don’t have to worry about water getting inside and getting moldy!!
Out Door Water Play– Fill up a small pool of water and let your child splash around. If you don’t have a small pool you can fill plastic tubs or buckets. Talk about filling up the cups or buckets. Encourage them to pour water on their head. If they don’t like water in their eyes give them goggles to use when they play. Add small plastic watering cans, buckets and rubber toys that float. I really like these water toys. If you are looking for a sand and water table there are so many to choose from! I really like ones with a water wheel like this table has.
Bathe the Toys– Set up a small tub with warm water and soap suds to give your child a chance to bathe their own “babies” whether they are dolls, animals or rubber toys. This is also a great time to work on singing some songs! A very easy song is “This is the way we wash our toys, wash our toys, wash our toys. This is the way we wash our toys, all day long!”
Fill the tub or sink with warm water. Throw in some play cups/dishes/spoons or plastic play food and let your child wash them.
Make a car wash. Help your child gather his toy cars and trucks. Have your child line up the cars to be washed. Give him a small pail of soapy water and a sponge so he can wash them, rinse and then dry them off.
Watering Plants– Whether you have a vegetable garden or flower pots, children love to water plants. Use either a watering can or the hose and help your child water each plant. Talk about what you are doing as you water and let you child experience the responsibility of caring for growing thing.
For other toddler play ideas check out this post: https://tarafrieden.com/2020/06/03/fun-with-stickers-for-toddlers/