By Stephaine Vuolo
Photo Credit: Mads Boedker/ Creative Commons
Summer has arrived, with the temperature soaring well over 70 degrees all week in the Pacific Northwest. We have been flocking outside to take full advantage of Mother Nature's early gift, but haven't had to stray beyond our own yard for cool things to enjoy. It turns out it's easy to keep a toddler entertained with lots of different and frugal water activities, that don't involve a swimming pool or even a sprinkler.
1. DIY water table. You don't need to spend money on a fancy water table for toddler play. Just fill up a few buckets or bowls, add plastic spoons and cups, and let creativity take over. A few drops of food dye can add color to the water, which makes things a little more interesting.
2. Chalk painting. Make sidewalk chalk drawing stand out with more vibrant colors by letting your little artist dip the chalk in water before using. This is a great activity when paired with the DIY water table too.
3. Garden time. My daughter has been helping to refresh our vegetable garden every evening by manning the hose and filling the watering can. She gets a lot of joy out of being able to relieve the plant's thirst and I remind her how wonderful everything will taste because we've taken such great care of them.
4. Make your own puddles. The best part about watering the garden is that puddles are created on our stepping-stones. My daughter loves to jump and to splash in them, and it helps her to stay cool despite the heat.
5. A simple spray bottle. I picked up a little spray bottle at the grocery store for my daughter to use. She's been helping me inside the house by spraying counters this winter, but now she gets to use it outside. She washes the outdoor furniture, cleans the patio, and spritzes the plants.
What are your favorite ways to stay cool and enjoy the sun with your kids?