diy backyard water activities playing in the baby pool

9 DIY Water Play Activities for Kids

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There are so many fun things to do on a hot day with water to keep you cool and pass those long summer days by. If you don’t have a local pool nearby or want to worry about dragging the kids and all their swim gear out every day, DIY water play can happen in your own backyard! Not only are outdoor water activities fun for kids, it’s something you can get the whole family involved in. It’s one of those fun ways to bring the whole family together to make some lasting summer memories!

Many DIY water activities for preschoolers can be pulled together very inexpensively. My kids can spend hours outside during the summer, especially when I take a little extra time to pull some outdoor water activities together. I don’t know about your kids, but when my kids are occupied with something new, they spend less time fighting or complaining about being bored, and more time playing and laughing. When the kids are happy, mama is happy! Not to mention, water play can be so good for your children developmentally!

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Why water play is important for children?

Water play is one of the easiest ways to incorporate sensory play into your child’s daily life. Water is everywhere, whether in the bathtub, sink, a small container, a water table, or your outside pool! Children are naturally drawn to water and the endless possibilities of play it provides. Water play may not look like a sensory activity, but your child has the potential to learn so much while playing with water. From practicing eye-hand coordination as they transfer water between buckets, funnels, and cups. To experiencing cause and effect between the way different containers hold water or what items sink and float. Water play is one of the best forms of play-based learning!

Fun Water Play Ideas to Keep Your Kids Busy

If you’re ready to put together your own DIY water play activities this summer, check out this list of some of our favorites! These ideas are all perfect to keep your kids busy for hours on these hot summer days!

#1 Children’s water wall ideas

A water wall is such an awesome DIY water play idea that isn’t only fun, but great for hand-eye coordination! Preschoolers will love watching what happens when they pour water in different containers at different areas of the water wall. Many water walls can be put together with items already found in your home making this an easy DIY water play idea!

#2 DIY backyard water park

A water park without any lines? Sign me up! A DIY backyard water park is such a fun way to bring the games and “rides” to your own backyard. The more water play areas you create, the more fun to be had! Plus, you don’t have to wait in any long lines in the hot sun! With all the options, you can do this water activity over and over and the kids will never get bored!

#3 DIY water table activities

There is so much fun to be had with water tables beyond just water and toys! You can add bubbles, create small worlds, try your hand at water table painting, and more! You can make water table activities educational or keep them simple!

#4 DIY water slide

Slip and Slides are one of the most exciting outdoor water toys for preschoolers. This is such a great idea for toddlers who want to take part in the water slide fun, but can’t quite grasp the concept of running and sliding.

#5 Water Games with Sponges

There are so many water games that can be played with sponges. These DIY sponge bombs can be used for so many back yard water games to keep everyone busy and cool this summer.

#6 Preschool Water Experiments 

Anytime I can take a simple and fun activity and give it an educational twist is a total win. Sometimes kids can get bored during summer because their brain isn’t being challenged. These preschool water experiments are a great way to invite some play based learning into your summer.

#7 Preschool Art with Water

Painting with water is a fun mess free way to let your preschoolers creativity soar. Water painting offers little mess and hours of fun for your toddler. Water painting can even be done indoors on a rainy day!

#8 Toddler Pool Fishing

Toddler fishing is another great activity for encouraging your preschoolers fine motor skills. Preschoolers love to practice these skills, so this is one of those DIY water activities that can keep your toddler busy for a long time!

#9 Bubble Squirt Gun Practice

What kid doesn’t love being able to practice shooting with a squirt gun? This is a great water activity for the early years that your kids can take turns and work together.

Water play activities for early years can offer endless hours of fun, and help develop your child’s fine motor skills. Before you know it, you will be passing those long summer days by and making lasting memories!

What are your favorite DIY water play ideas?

diy water play activities

work at home mom ashleigh allman

Hey, I’m Ashleigh!

I am a former teacher turned SAHM. I’ve been working from home for the past 4 years with my 3 boys ages 3, 5, and 7. Now I help moms find smart ways to work at home so you can create a life you love!

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