It’s hot. With temperatures in the 90s and high humidity, it’s hot. Did I say that already? It bears repeating…it’s hot. So what to do when the desire is to leave the comfortable confines of air conditioning and spend some time outdoors without sweat pouring off our bodies like Niagara Falls?
Water. If we lived near a lake, river or the beach, we would be dipping our toes…er…correction, our entire bodies in them. But we don’t live near those ideal islands of respite. So, we make our own. Our area has its share of Splash Parks and Water Parks but we wanted to do something locally so we made our own water fun.
Here’s what it consisted of: sidewalk chalk paint (recipe #1), water balloons (got to have them!), lawn sprinkler (get everyone wet), a misting pole (for a quick cool down), and water guns. I would like to say I have a bunch of pictures of everything but with water comes the inevitable getting wet and my cameras/smartphones are not water-enabled so I will try to describe it…briefly.
Recipe #1 – Fun With Mama recipe
First water-based activity was getting the boys to make some sidewalk paint. Using old pieces of chalk, a tablespoon of baking soda, and water, I had the boys take a hammer and beat the chalk into “dust.” Then they mixed in the baking soda and water making a slurry solution which was poured into a couple of dollar store squeeze bottles. First “oops” – needed to get a funnel to pour it into the bottle. Second “oops” – though we mixed the slurry we didn’t find the small chunks, which proceeded to plug up the funnel. Third “oops” – once in the bottle, trying to squeeze the solution onto the driveway quickly ceased working because we “found” other chunks. So we took the tops off and just poured the “paint.” Lesson learned? Break up the chalk into fine powder before mixing it.
For about $8 you can get he parts to make several misting tubes. I made just one using a 4-foot long piece of ½” PVC pipe, 6 misting nozzles, a PVC end cap, PVC glue, and a connection that permitted the contraption to be screwed on to the end of the hose. It took a short amount of time to put it together, a little longer figuring out where and how to attach it to be useful, and then how to connect it to the hose (I used a leftover hose splitter valve). Results? A big hit with the boys! And with the extra misting nozzles I can build several more to cool down the deck and the gkids during the hot summer.
This was actually the main “asked for” (aka “demanded”?) water activity of the day. Using a mass water balloon product (see photo), the kids were quickly throwing balloons at each other and me. We went through three of these balloon fill-up devices before I told them we were done. Part of the agreement prior to starting was they would have to help pick-up all balloon pieces after we were done for the day.
Lessons? 1) Balloons and water do not mix with smartphone technology. 2) water balloons and hearing aids do not mix. 3) popped balloon pieces are small. 4) the device to fill up all of the balloons can be used to make mud, spray others and ??. We may do this again on the driveway where clean-up would be much easier.
Not much to say. Buy dollar store jug of bubbles and blow, or if you have a bubble machine load it up and let it blow. Then set the kids to pop, catch, and chase bubbles. The boys found they could pop them with the squirt guns (in the past they used dollar store badminton rackets, bats, and other striking instruments including their hands).
Squirt Guns and Water Sprinkler
Hard to beat this activity. For the quirt guns – Fill ‘em up, squirt ‘em out. Don’t intentionally aim for the eyes and stop squirting when someone has had enough cold water bathing.
For the sprinkler – turn it on and let ‘em run! Isaiah, the older gkid, figured out he could run through the water to the sprinkler then use the sprinkler to shoot water at the rest of us. Great for a while but it did get tiresome to us targets.
Lesson? Fun. Wet. Don’t aim for the head – it’s just no fun.
For our area where water is “plentiful” at this time of the year, this is a fun activity. Hot days can be enjoyed outside with a slathering of sunscreen, bathing suits and a variety of ways to help water splash each other.
- Using the water sprinkler as a super water gun…great if you are the one in control of the sprinkler.
- Using the leftover part from filling the water balloons as a sprayer, flower watering device and mud making enabler.
- When no pool was available, the boys literally “sat” in the water buckets. No, they couldn’t quite fit but they managed to get their feet and backsides in and proceeded to enjoy the outdoors until they fell over.
Lessons? Sometimes we only use, read, and think of things as they were originally designed without considering how else those things and thoughts might be re-used or re-thought. Who knew a pool could be a tiny bucket? Who knew a sprinkler, if aimed right, could be used to splash people far away? Who knew a “throw-away” part could become something to hang onto to see what other uses it may have.
Here’s to creatively thinking (and re-thinking) not outside of the box but thinking with no box-like constraints!
- Link: your turn! Go to your favorite browser and look-up “DIY Sidewalk Paint” and give one a try!
- Location: our place
- Cost: Balloon kit from a local warehouse store – approx. $19 for 420 balloons; Mister – approx. $12 with PVC goods at a local home store, however, bought misting nozzle kit online (cost a few cents more but came with a dozen misting nozzles and tapping drill bits)
- What did the kids like/dislike: Like – Balloons and all things water!; dislike – sidewalk paint because it did not work so well and it was hot
- Kids opinion of it: Thumbs up!
- What to do: get wet! Stay cool!
- New places to eat along the way: none today
- Discoveries: using throw away items for more fun
- Difficulty of getting around: none
- Return/Do Again?: definitely
- Restrooms: clean and available
- Parking: our driveway