The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Water Play for Babies

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Think outside the tub and head outdoors for some creative water play with your little fish. Whether your child is scooting, crawling, toddling or still working on tummy time, there are activities for them to enjoy. Splashing (and parental supervision) required!

No Time for Flash Cards

Water Painting

Kids painting with no mess? Yes, please! Fill a tray with water, grab some brushes and sponges, and put your budding artist to work painting deckboards, rocks, driveway or walls. Allison at No Time for Flash Cards suggests introducing different painting tools when attention starts to the drift. Head over to her blog for more playtime tips.

Design Mom

DIY Car Wash

Upgrade from sprinklers by building your little one through their very own car wash. Perfect for early walkers, they’ll love pushing their favorite “vehicle” through the water. Plus, you’re guaranteed some adorable photo opps. Visit Design Mom for a list of materials and assembly instructions.

Messy Motherhood

Tummy Time with Water

A little water transforms tummy time into a full-body sensory experience. Expect lots of giggles as your little one moves the water around and discovers the cause and effect of splashing. Check out how the resourceful mom over at Dirt & Boogers set up this splash-tastic activity with items from around the house.

Plain Vanilla Mom

Colored Water & Ice

This refreshing game is perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day. Jen at Plain Vanilla Mom explained how she entertained her 9-month-old by adding a little food coloring to standard ice cube trays and plopping them into a bucket of water. As the ice melted, your little one will love watching the water change color.

Asia Citro via Fun at Home with Kids

Giant Frog Pond

This giant frog pond provided hours of excitement for the tiny tadpoles over at Fun at Home with Kids. Hop over to the blog for instructions and sources for creating your own pond world.

The Imagination Tree

Five Little Ducks Sensory Tub

Attention, mama ducks! Adding an aquatic element to the classic children’s story, even the littlest ducklings will love taking the rubber ducks in and out of the bucket or tub as you sing the song. It’s a great way to work on numbers, counting and music. Set the scene with instructions from The Imagination Tree.

Learn Play Imagine

Kiddie Pool Play

Ball pit + kiddie pool = awesome! Your little one will have a ball splashing around in a kiddie pool filled with vibrantly colored plastic balls. Allison at Learn Play Imagine set up the pool for her 13-month-old twins, who loved tossing the balls out onto the grass.

Mary Cherry

Baby Waterbed

A mini version of the popular water blob, these colorful “waterbeds” are perfectly sized for baby play. Great alone or when filled with bouncy balls and other objects, your little one will love pushing the water around inside. Visit Meri Cherry to learn how to make your own.

Tinker Lab

Water Scooping

Just water, a bucket and colorful scooping tools can keep baby busy for a good long while. Using measuring cups, they’ll practice how to pour, empty and fill and will be captivated from start to finish. Get tips for play from Tinker Lab.

The Imagination Tree

Tray Play

Does your baby like water? Do you have a high chair or a baby plate with a suctioned bottom Yay! You have everything it takes to try this. Babies will splash, trickle, pour and go wild with just a little bit of water. Add a blast of color using food coloring to keep things interesting. Find out more from The Imagination Tree.

Growing a Jeweled Rose

Gelatin Bath

When you put blue Jell-) in the bathtub (try four boxes’ worth, spread evenly on the bathtub floor), you get an awesome ocean adventure. Add plastic fish, boats and duckies to keep with the theme. Learn more from the master mama of creative play at Growing a Jeweled Rose.

The Imagination Tree

Bowls of Bubbles

Sometimes the best toys are right in your kitchen cabinet. Anna at The Imagination Tree grabbed some measuring cubs, plastic bowls and dish soap and headed outside with her child for some bubbly fun. Her little one loved transferring the sudsy water from one container to another.

Dukes & Duchesses

Cubes on a String

Are you familiar with soap on a rope? Make an ice cube version of it by placing a piece of yarn throughout your ice cube tray and freezing colored cubes of water. The coolest part? The ice cubes, being attached, won’t slip away from your baby. Get the details from Dukes And Duchesses.

Growing a Jeweled Rose

Rainbow Bath

Babies love water and bubbles so why not combine the two? The blogger mama at Growing A Jeweled Rose throws food coloring and bubble bath colors in the sink for colorful water play.

Childhood 101

Small Bowl, Big Fun

A plastic bowl and a few baby-safe items are great for water play. Just a little bit of water is all you’ll need, along with a few simple items such as large smooth rocks, spoons and cups. This activity guarantees a wet baby so it’s best on warm, sunny days. For more on this simple but effective experience, check out Childhood 101.

Fun at Home with Kids

Baby-Safe Water Beads

Water beads for baby? Yes, provided you make these mini, edible water beads. Follow this tutorial from Asia at Fun At Home with Kids. With just basil seeds, food coloring and water, you’ll be on your way.

MI PHAM

A Simple Sprinkler

One of the easiest ways to let wee ones get some water action is turning on a sprinkler in the yard, set on low, of course. Any sprinkler head will do the job, but a kid-friendly one will add a little something extra to playtime.

Lauren Hill & Gabby Cullen

RELATED STORIES:

10 Ways to Keep Babies & Toddlers Cool in the Summer Heat

DIY All Day: 20 Sensory Play Ideas for Babies & Toddlers

Safe Fun in the Sun: The Best Sunscreens for Babies & Toddlers

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