Having fun outside is what toddlers do best. When summer time rolls around, what better place to keep them entertained than backyard swimming pool. While they may be too small for swimming and pool sports, there are some fun sensory and discovery games that will keep them laughing until nap time. Here are some ideas to make your next pool playtime more toddler-friendly.
The Ice Game
Toddlers are fascinated with ice and how it melts in the sun and magically “disappears” in warm water. The “ice game” uses this interest to help them learn hot and cold and understand the concept of melting. Prepare for this game the night before. Make ice cubes of all different shapes and sizes using ice trays and candy molds. Empty the moulding ice into a large plastic bowl the next day and take it with you for your pool playtime. Let your child pick ice shapes out of the bowl, and explain to them the cold feeling they get from touching the ice. To help them understand, place their hand on the pool deck that has been warmed in the sun and explain hot. Place ice on the hot pool deck and watch together as it melts. Allow them to bring the ice into the pool, showing them how the ice melts in the warm water. This will help to teach children about hot and cold while also helping to cool them down.
Wading Pool Scavenger Hunt
Another great game that toddlers will love is a scavenger hunt in the wading pool. Bring a bucket and some pool toys outside and have your toddler search for certain types of toys in the shallow pool water. If you have a tanning ledge or beach entry, this is an ideal spot for this game. This game will help them learn how to share with other children who may also be interested in the toys that you have brought. If your child is still getting used to going into the water, this may encourage him to wade further into the water than he would otherwise.
Watering the Flowers
The last great game for toddlers involves something they love doing- pouring out water. Bring a watering can or jug into the pool. Float toy flowers (or flower heads from your garden) in the water and let your toddler enjoy filling the watering can or jug over and over again to water the flowers. They’ll have so much fun doing this again and again- but be prepared to get watered yourself!
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