Now you’re playing with... er, water
As Autumn quickly approaches, I realize that the time for my children to play with water as messy and soggy as they wish, is coming to an end. Once cold weather hits, I can use sensory bins to replace a lot of this play. Until then, I am milking the good weather for all it's worth.
One of the easiest activities is to give my children containers of colored water and let them pour, scoop, and mix to their hearts content. (Actually, the easiest activity is squirting Dawn in the water table and letting them play in the bubbles. Plus it counts as a bath, right? No? Anyways.)
I have used this as a lesson in the past to show how mixing primary colors (red, blue, yellow) results in secondary colors (green, orange, purple). Further mixing leads to more vibrant colors or in our case, brown. My kids have long since learned this lesson, but still love this activity. Of course, the scooping, pouring, etc is still great for developing motor skills.
Because they no longer need the instruction with this activity, I love to listen to how they play and use their imaginations. Most recently, they have pretended to be chef's creating dishes that sound like they came from a Dr. Seuss book. They take the preparations very seriously and instruct each other in exactly the amount of tomato juice (red water) needed. Too much blueberry juice (blue water) will cause an explosion. However, cooking oil (yellow water) didn't seem to be too critical an ingredient.
This dish later turned into a superhero serum that fueled various powers when carried in the salad dressing bottles. It was squirted all over the yard to save various plants and objects from doom. The world will never know how much it owes to these superheros and their cooking skills.
Honestly, this activity engaged my kids for nearly an hour. All it took was water and a drop of food coloring. And here's the best part - I sat and did my own crafty thing as they played. It was amazing. I was still there, and interacting with them, but had time to work on a project of my own. Win Win Win!