Written by: Angela Stinman, PTA
No pool this summer? PTC has you covered! Here are several easy and creative water play activities that you can do in your own yard. These activities are not only frosty fun for the hot summer days ahead, but will also help your child work towards their physical therapy goals and encourage strength and movement play. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Fill the Bottle
Cut a hole in a water bottle, tie it on top of your child’s head and then aim to fill it up with a water gun or spray bottle. Then tie it to your head and have your child try to fill it up. Make it a race and time each other or create more of a challenge by increasing the distance, changing the size of the hole, or by standing on one foot while shooting. You can have all kinds of fun with water guns…water gun tag or shooting at targets are easy and kids will love the chance to cool off!
Who loves Twister? Take it outside! You can do this fun idea with colored shaving cream for some messy fun. Or play with the sprinklers on, or spray down the players and game mat for a fun water challenge…it is sure to get slippery!
Beach Ball Race
Propel a beach ball across the yard using a water gun and see who can cross the finish line first. You can make it more challenging by putting obstacles in the way and each time the ball hits an obstacle that person must complete an activity (jumping jacks, stand on one foot, hopping, animal walks, etc.).
Fill the Bucket
Get a large bucket of water, two empty buckets, and large sponges or towels. Put the empty buckets on the other side of the lawn and make it a race to see who can fill their bucket the fastest. Incorporate animal walks, balance walking with the sponge on your head, or running backwards or sideways for a new challenge.
Who played Limbo as a kid? This is a fun twist on a classic game. All you need is a hose and some music! Turn the music on, spray the hose at a horizontal angle and limbo away. As everyone completes each level, gradually lower the hose, and see who can stay dry the longest!
Frozen T-Shirt Race
For this frosty game you will need one old t-shirt per player. Soak the shirts with water, wring them out and fold. Next, place wax paper between the folded shirts and put in the freezer. Once frozen, give one to each player. The first person who can unfold their shirt and put it on wins! You can put a fun twist on this by having each person balance on a different surface or hold a different position (like these “cool” kids half kneeling in the picture).
Water Balloon Bowling
Fill up a water balloon with water and food coloring and freeze. Once frozen remove the balloon and use the balloon ice cube as your bowling ball. Use plastic pins, lego towers or water bottles to complete your backyard bowling alley.
The options for wonderful water games are endless, and your PTC therapists would love to help you with some more specific activities to beat the heat and work toward your child’s therapy goals. Enjoy all the summer fun ahead!