Feeling Hot and Cranky? Cool Off with Summer Water Fun!
Kids love playing in the water whether it be a sprinkler, water table or pool. At home and in child care programs, water play can also be great for building social and motor skills as well as just plain old fun. It’s important though that parents and caregivers create a safe environment for all water activities.
- Children should always be supervised when playing with water. Children can drown in as little as two inches of water, which mean even in a sink, bath or a water table.
- Children should wear sunscreen and have it reapplied regularly. UV hats and protective clothing are good ideas for children who sunburn easily.
- Keep children hydrated by drinking plenty of water when playing outside and in pools.
- When playing at pools and water parks, teach your children not to run or take part in rough play.
- Make sure a life guard is on duty when visiting public pools, but remember it is your responsibility to supervise your child.
- If your child doesn’t swim and uses floatation devices, be sure that they fit properly.
- When visiting public pools, lakes and beaches, look out for glass and other objects that little ones can step on as well as hot surfaces.
- Empty water tables and buckets immediately when the play is over to prevent accidents.
- Water safety begins at home so teach your child to only play in water when supervised.
Safety Questions to Ask Your Child Care Provider:
- What kind of water play is planned this summer?
- How will you keep my child safe when swimming?
- What is the adult-to-child ratio during swimming?
- What is the emergency plan if an accident occurs?
- Will parents be given advance notice of water play days?
- Do your child care workers know CPR? How many workers will be around during water activities? Can your staff swim?
Water Play Ideas:
- Mix water with food coloring and let the kids paint outdoors. You can put the various color mixtures in spray bottles or open containers with a brush and let them paint on a roll of paper or an old sheet.
- Help create scientists by letting them mix potions using water and other items such as food coloring and dish soap. Give them containers of all sizes and shapes and let them go to work.
- Set up a baby washing area and give all the baby dolls in the room a bath. It’ll keep the kids busy and the dolls germ free!
- You can create neat underwater worlds with a few water toys and a mixture of found objects. Have the children create a story as they play.