Friday, June 14, 2013

{Sibling Play} Just Add Water: Simple Water + Nature Exploration

I stumbled into a popular monthly series on my blog almost a year ago when I shared my first Baby Play post. Caterpillar was already 1 at the time and was a baby in many ways, but also pushing his way toward the world of tot-dom as he was walking and verbalizing more and more everyday. Still, I enjoyed sharing our favorite baby play ideas for seven more months (some posts included activities we had done well before he turned 1). 

Finally, in February with Caterpillar over 18 months at that point, I shared my final Simple Baby Play post and decided I needed a new monthly series to take the place of my baby series as my "baby" was now so clearly a toddler. As Caterpillar became more able and interested in playing in ways that were similar to Wild Thing (his brother who is 21 months older), I realized that a Simple Sibling Play Series focused primarily on Tot/PreK little ones would be perfect. Along the same idea as my Simple Baby Play series, the ideas focus on activities that largely utilize things you probably have at home and that require minimal amounts of set up. 

The series began with some great finds from The Kid's Co-Op in April along with our coloring on the floor activity. In May, Mama Smiles did a great guest post on Sibling Sandbox Play. Now, Simple Sibling Play #3 - Easy Water Play!  

We got this large bucket on sale at Kmart recently for $4.50. (My last large bucket that I bought two years ago finally needed to be thrown out as it was cracked). Typically, Target and home supply stores (like Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.) carry these types of buckets as well.  When we first bought a big bucket two years ago, it was to bathe Wild Thing outdoors in the summer because he hated the bath tub, but loved the bucket!

Now, I love our bucket because it offers a safe, controlled way for the boys to play with water and to play together. It also limits the amount of water they can play with reducing water waste. (We often use the same water over and over for a few days). I love the way the bucket often prompts nature explorations as well as the boys seek natural items in our own yard to add to the bucket. (Lavender is one of their favorite items to add.)

The boys pick the lavender. Wild Thing often has to help Caterpillar in this process. Then, they smell the lavender and then add it to the water. They often will stir the water with the lavender or use a stick to stir instead. They also enjoyed adding pine cones to the water and Caterpillar liked using the pine cones as a scooper, especially when he realized he could splash his brother with the water he scooped from the pine cone. After awhile, Wild Thing (who loves taking photographs) decided he was done playing with the water and needed to take a turn with the camera. 

He showed me that his hands were clean and dry, and then asked for a chance to take some  photos with the camera. (I have a hand-me-down Powershot, and he is careful with it, so I was happy to let him take a turn). Here are some of his photos.

Wild Thing's photo of Mommy.
I love this photo of Caterpillar who is less than thrilled. 
I prefer this one of Caterpillar a bit more. 
I love the way Wild Thing captured Caterpillar's little hand in action in this photo!
What are your go-to sibling activities? Do your kids love water play? Please share your favorite water play ideas in the comments. I would love to check them out and pin them too! 

Sharing at: All Year Round Carnival: SummerSharing Saturday, The Sunday Showcase, Eco-Kids Tuesday, Artsy Play Wednesday, Mom's LibraryIt's Playtime and Discover & Explore: Outdoor Play.

You might also like: 

Water Play: Color Mixing
Ice Play for Baby, Tot + PreK
Tot/PreK Sensory Tray


  1. What a wonderful afternoon! Sibling play outdoors is definitely my favorite - few, if any, conflicts arise when my kids are outside, I find.

  2. Oh, what a fun day!! Water always adds so much to play. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  3. Water is the best kid toy! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday! I hope you join us again today!

  4. Definitely our favourite way to spend a summer's day! So nice to see how the simplest activities bring such joy.