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High on the list of summer activities for kids, but hated by my husband: sidewalk chalk.
I don’t know why, but he truly detests the stuff.
Not that this fact always stops me from handing out the stuff anyway, but that’s a different matter.
No, there’s a fun summer activity for kids to do that doesn’t involve any kind of sidewalk chalk or paint at all and it more or less cleans itself up.
One of our favorite water games because it’s quick and easy: painting with water.
Quick wee sidenote: Because I know how hard it can be to come up with fun games each time, I’ve created a 7-day challenge for parents of toddlers and preschoolers. This is a great way to get started if you’ve fallen out of the habit of playing with your kids, or to learn about fresh ideas and activities.
Each day for 1 week, you will receive an e-mail with an activity that you can do with your kids. Join the newsletter and start your 7 days of play today!
Painting with Water Game supports Development
For various developmental reasons, kids need to be able to make a mess.
It’s good for their creativity. Which, in turn, is good for their problem solving skills and confidence.
So the ability to draw or paint on different surfaces, with different mediums and under different circumstances is good for them.
It’s just not so good for our nerves (and the states of our houses).
Painting with Water
Which is why I was really excited when I picked up Q from school the other day and saw that they were painting without making a mess.
How the painting with water works
It was so simple, I can’t really understand why I didn’t think of this myself. But then the best solutions often fall into that category.
Painting with water is easy, quick and cost-free.
It works like this.
You need a bucket or container and you fill it with water.
Get a cheap paint brush (check the Dollar Store or local equivalent), at least one for each child.
Take container, brushes and kids outside. In fact, it’s best to not hand the paint brushes to the kids UNTIL everything is safely outside.
You know what kids are like with water (total chaos).
You might want to tell them that there is a limit to how often you’ll refill the container with fresh water.
At our house our youngest especially has the tendency to start splattering water left, right and center and before you know it we have new a small pond in our garden, but no water to play with (unless you count stamping in the puddles, a game in and of itself).
Painting with Water Game Tested
Obviously, I had to test this on my own kids; boys being perfect test subject to see how “mess-free” a new game really is.
Incidentally, the same goes for when you want to know whether something is truly indestructable
I took them outside and handed them the paint brushes.
Then went used our garden tap to fill two kid-sized beach buckets with water. I also added a bigger plastic container with water so they could refill on their own.
A game in a game, perfect!
I sat back, at a safe distance, and observed the proceedings over the edge of my magazine.
And noticed, that things were going well.
Q really got into stirring the water and making actual drawings on the tiles.
C really got into being artistic, striking poses and everything.
Even though I’ve seen them at play with water before, it never ceases to amaze me how long water can keep them under its spell!
It kept them busy for about an hour and even then they weren’t done playing with water yet.
That was just when all the toy boats needed to be pulled out to get washed, sunk and rescued.
Mom says, it was a success and a perfect game for a warm day.
Quick, easy, clean water game activity for kids
Some days, it’s just too warm to do anything. Especially cleaning up the mess the kids made in the garden.
For those days (and for any other days when it’s nice outside) this is the perfect game.
For this painting with water game you need:
- A container of water;
- Cheap or old paint brushes;
- Optional: toy buckets;
- Optional: a magazine for mom.
Hand the kids the water and brushes outside, or things might get messy. After that, just enjoy the giggles and fun!
Want to have more quick and easy fun with the kids, regardless of the weather? Download my 100+ family-friendly conversation starters; tested on my own husband and kids 🙂