Most kids I know want to spend most of their free time outside playing; however, the Lone Star State also presents some special concerns, because once temperatures climb into the higher 80′s and above, park time becomes infrequent. This summer, break up the mundane boredom of being cooped up inside a house on a hot day with these fun water activities.
1) Shaving Cream “Freezy Dough”
[Disclaimer: Do not eat this product, as ingesting shaving cream is unhealthy. This craft is for sensory purposes only.]
Many kids love to cook and bake at play kitchens. Why not take it a step further and create outdoor cooking time that doesn’t require sweating over a grill? Here is a simple recipe for pretend ice cream so your kids can host an ice cream parlor for the day!
You will need:
- Shaving cream
- Any dyes you might want to add
- Cocoa powder and Kool-Aid for smell and look
Here are the instructions:
- Take plain shaving cream and put it into a container that will fit into your freezer.
- Mix vanilla flavoring into the shaving cream to make it smell more realistic.
- To add to the ice cream parlor’s options, you can use Kool-Aid to help achieve strawberry ice cream by simply adding in a package of red Kool-Aid into the shaving cream mixing it thoroughly. Chocolate is always a huge favorite and can easily be done by adding cocoa powder to the shaving cream.
- Once you have all the desired shaving cream options mixed up, place each one in the freezer for several hours.
When you are ready to open your ice cream parlor, just remove the pre-made ice cream from the freezer. Incorporate bowls, ice cream cones, and spoons to help allow the kids to serve one another this tasty treat. You can also make additional toppings to decorate their ice cream like rainbow rice or even real sprinkles.
2) Water Balloons & Sponge Bombs
Water balloons are synonymous with summertime; however, now that I have a parent’s point of view, hazards like overly aggressive throwing could potentially turn a fun activity into tears. Instead of the traditional water balloon fights, try these fun games that sneak in some classroom learning time. Depending on the age of the child, the balloons could be used for spelling, math, basic alphabet memorization, shapes, patterns, and more.
Simply use a permanent marker and draw on the water balloon. I particularly like this game of phonics because I can introduce word families by hanging cards up on a wall and having the balloon match up to one of the letters. If your child selects the correct balloon, he or she can then throw the balloon at that particular letter card!
A softer alternative to water balloons is a sponge bomb. A sponge bomb cuts down on the waste and mess of water balloons by being reusable. Just cut up your basic kitchen sponge and tie together with string. Super simple and fun!
3) “Working at the Car Wash”
Break out that shaving cream again because you are going to open a mini car wash, complete with your choice of different colored soap. First, let’s learn how to create the “suds.”
- Make up different soaps by putting small amounts of shaving cream into separate containers and adding food coloring or liquid watercolors.
- Once you have your first soap mixed up, have the kiddos gather their dirty cars to the car wash (aka water table) and have them begin scrubbing the cars.
- After the foamy soap, have the kids get down and dirty with a baking soda coating. Dry baking soda creates great bubbly fun when adding vinegar to the mix!
- Put vinegar in a squeeze bottle or spray bottle of your choice and have the kids spray the baking soda caked cars with the vinegar to see the bubbly excitement explode. If your kids don’t like the smell of vinegar, add in an essential oil like peppermint to reduce the strong smell.
Once the bubbly car wash is complete have the kids just do a basic wash of regular soap and water to further clean the cars. Not bad for a hard day’s work at the car wash!
4) “Ice, Ice, Baby”
When it becomes summer in Texas, sometimes water isn’t even enough to cool us off. Time to break out the ice instead!
You don’t think of volcanoes being anything other then extremely hot – that’s until you play with ice volcanoes.
- Making ice volcanoes requires a few simple supplies like small bowls, plastic wrap, balls that are weighted enough they will sink, and of course room in your freezer.
- Place the ball in a small bowl and cover both with the plastic wrap
- Fill the bowls with a mixture of baking soda and water, adding in food coloring to your desired color
- Make sure to fill up the bowls enough that the mixture completely covers the ball
- Next step: freezer time
- Once frozen, take your mini creations out to thaw slightly, then remove the frozen mixture from the bowl and the plastic wrap
Have the kiddos put vinegar on your icy creations and watch the volcano explode and bubble. You are now left with one icy volcano!
Need some more ideas? Do a search for fun ice activities like ice chalk paint or colored ice cube shapes, and you’ll be surprised what you find.