Are your children looking for activities. I’m tempted to just say, leave space to find their own adventures. One of my favorite books for children is Weslandia. Wesley, the protagonist, needs a summer activity. What to do? He lets things happen. He lets a weed happen, and he creates a civilization around it. If you need a jump start for summer, give your child this book—listed for ages 9-12, but a preschooler could still have fun with the story.
Over the next few days, I’ll offer a few ideas for summer nature activities children for children of different ages.
Water Play for Toddlers
Babies and toddlers love water. Why wait until bathtime to have fun? If you need a way to cool off on a hot afternoon, set up the water play. One of my daughter’s favorite summer activities was slapping at water in a bucket for an hour or more at a time.
- Start with a wading pool or a bucket, and fill it up.
- Add kitchen tools: sponges, sieve, funnel, wooden spoon, whisk, cups, pots, ladle, and turkey baster.
- Strip down to a diaper. It’s going to be wet, so just go with it.
- ADD: Ice cubes! Especially if it’s a hot, hot day, it might be fun to cool off the water. And, you get to watch the ice cubes melt.
- ADD: Color! If you need to add interest toward the end of play, add a little color. You could use food coloring or just something natural and simple like beet juice. Watch the color spread through the water and talk about how it moves.
- ADD: Bubbles! Once you add bubbles, you have so many options. My children love to use loops of string to create giant bubbles.
Inspiration for Your Water Play
Watching Volcanoes of the World a while ago, during an episode filmed in Vanuatu in the South Pacific there was an amazing demonstration of water drumming. If you are looking for a little inspiration for water drumming, a boost before you and your toddler sit in the pool and start making music, watch this. I couldn’t find a video of the volcano show, but this Gaua video shows water music from the same tradition. This is the same island that has had some evacuations recently due to the active volcanoes on the island.