10 Inexpensive Water Games Your Kids Will Love

water games

We know how summer can get. It’s hot outside, your kids are bored, and you’re sick of spending money to keep them entertained.

Let our creative caretakers at Mary Margaret help with these inexpensive but fun water activities! You don’t need much money, and you don’t need to take a lot of time to prep these games, either. Just set them up and let your kids do the rest. There will be no excuse for whining with these fun outdoor water games!

#1 – Jump the Snake

For this one, the only thing you need is a garden hose. Turn it on (be sure to let the water cool!) and then run a stream from the hose back and forth like a snake. Your child should try to jump over the stream without getting wet. If you have several kids over, turn it into a game. The kid with the driest feet at the end wins!

#2 – Backyard Bath Time

Here’s a way to kill two birds with one stone. Take advantage of those warm summer nights by taking bath time outdoors. Simply fill a kiddie pool with soapy water and bath toys, and then let your child splash around. This turns what can sometimes be a frustrating chore into a fun game.

#3 – Ball Blast

Using pegs and string, or some other kind of marker, create a large circle or square on your lawn. Next, place balls inside: soccer balls, basketballs, beach balls – anything works as long as they’re balls of different sizes and weights. Give your child a garden hose and challenge him or her to blast those balls outside the lines in under a minute. If you’ve got several kids, try this with water guns and turn it into a competition.

#4 – Soaking Sponge Race

Place two buckets – one filled with water and one empty – on two ends of your patio or lawn. Then, give your child a sponge. The goal of the game is to transfer water from one bucket to the other using only the sponge! This can be a timed race with one child seeing how fast he can do it, or it can be a race with several kids. Either way, your kiddo is bound to be soaked by the end!

#5 – DIY Slip-and-Slide

You don’t always have to buy the real thing. Do you have a plastic drop cloth and some garden or tent stakes? Lay the drop cloth on a hill, stake it to the ground to keep it in place, and then get ready with a garden hose or some buckets of water. Your kids won’t care that it’s homemade. They’ll just love sliding down again and again.

#6 – Baby Doll (or Action Figure) Bath

Does your child have a favorite doll or action figure? This activity is perfect for her (or him)! Simply fill a baby bath with soapy water and let your kid play parent for a little while. You never know … before long ALL of your child’s toys might be clean!

#7 – Chalk Paint

Do you know what happens when you add water to sidewalk chalk? Chalk paint! This can get messy, but your kids will have a blast painting on the sidewalk (or each other). Don’t worry, parents. You can always hose them off before allowing them back in the house.

#8 – Duck, Duck, SPLASH

If you know how to play duck, duck, goose, then you’ll know how to do this game. It’s an update on an old-fashioned playtime activity that’s perfect for a hot, sunny day. Instead of tapping a friend’s head, the child who is “it” yells “SPLASH!” Then he or she drops a water balloon or splashes a cup of water on “goose.” This activity is great when you’re entertaining several kids on a hot day.

#9 – At the Car Wash!

We remember playing this one as kids. Set up a make-believe car wash with sponges, buckets of soapy water, and a garden hose for kids to ride their bikes and tricycles through. This is a great role-playing game, or just a way for kids to get active.

#10 – Sponge Tag

Here’s another twist on a beloved game. The player who is “it” uses a soaking wet sponge to tag another player. It’s easy to spot the kid who’s been tagged … at least at the beginning! This one will have your kids running and laughing in no time.

Mary Margaret Cares for Kids

Do you need a break? Stop by Mary Margaret Day Care to learn more about our summer programs for kids. 

Are You Ready for the 4th of July? Here are some Tips and Activities to Celebrate Independence Day with your Kids!

4th of July

Can you believe it’s almost July? Independence Day is coming up quick, and if you haven’t made plans, we’re here to help. Check out these safety tips and activities to make the 4th of July fun for your entire family. In Saint Louis, we do the 4th of July right!

Safety First, especially when 4th of July Fireworks are Involved!

Some kids can’t get enough of fireworks. But as adults, we know it’s not all fun and games. There is a measure of risk when little exploding rockets are involved in your child’s play. Don’t forget to use common sense and follow these suggestions … 

Also keep in mind that not all young kids enjoy the loud noises and bright lights that come along with the 4th of July holiday. Your kiddos might become overwhelmed, especially if it’s been a long, hot day full of activity. Let children know what to expect ahead of time and teach your little ones to keep a safe distance. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Plus, you want to pass on the importance of safety to your kids.

Need Inspiration? Here are Some Fun Activities for the 4th of July.

For many families, the 4th of July means a barbecue out back and a kiddie pool for all the cousins. If you’re feeling ambitious, or if the kids need a little more to keep them busy on this long summer weekend, here are a few ideas!

Don’t Forget to Teach Your Kids the Meaning of Independence Day.

We at Mary Margaret love teachable moments. As you’re celebrating with your kids, don’t forget to talk to them about what the 4th of July is all about. After all, despite the back and forth of politics, we’re all in this together! So, review your history, and share it with your children. As they begin to realize just how lucky we are to live in this free country, the holiday will become even more meaningful.

Fall Crafts for Preschoolers

Although it may not feel like it outside, today is the first day of fall. Before you know it, the leaves will start changing colors and there will be a little nip in the air. At Mary Margaret Daycare we love to celebrate these little “firsts” with our kids. Not only is it a fun way to teach them about the seasons, it is also great way to incorporate learning about science and exploring the world around them with a little fun! These are lessons that can be reinforced at home with some fun, fall crafts for preschoolers. Today, lets look at ways we can incorporate science, art and all of the fun that fall brings.

Fall Crafts for Preschoolers

Marbled Fall Leaves

When you think of Fall one of the first things that comes to mind are beautifully colored leaves. We found a great craft project from the Teaching With TLC blog; shaving cream leaves. All you need to do this project are sheets of heavy card stock, paint, shaving cream, a cake pan and a butter knife.

colorful leaf, fall crafts for preschoolers

Photo credit thanks to Teaching with TLC.

This is one of the fall crafts for preschoolers that is really great for any age. Some adult supervision is required, so the entire family can create something beautiful out of shaving cream! Check out Teaching with TLC for complete instructions.

Fall Harvest Corn Wreath

This project also uses a unique ingredient to make beautiful art; bubble wrap! In order to make this festive door decor you will need a little bit of cardboard, bubble wrap, scissors, paper plates, glue, white and green construction paper and twine. You will also need non-toxic paint in red, brown, orange and yellow.

corn wreath, fall crafts for preschoolers

Photo credit  One Pure Heart

The kids can use the bubble wrap as a stamp on paper to create the corn. The bubble wrap makes it look like individual kernels on the page. Kids of all ages can help stamp and assemble the wreath. For full instructions, check out this blog post from One Pure Heart.

Musical Corn Shakers

That same bubble wrap can also be used to create a fun, corn-themed musical instrument. With an old Pringles can, some pop corn and the same craft tools from before, you can make a fall music maker to help ring in Autumn. Toddlers will especially love this project as they laugh at the funny faces on their instruments and make as much noise as possible. Just be careful to seal your can with glue or your kiddos will have just as much fun making a mess. (Something every parent knows that kids of all ages are really great at and love doing!) Simply follow this link for full instructions.

Corn shakers, fall crafts for preschoolers

Photo credit: Sow Sprout Play

We hope these fall crafts for preschoolers have sparked some fun ideas for your family. As the season rolls on we will incorporate many of these same themes into projects and discussions in our classrooms. If you would like to learn more about Mary Margaret Daycare and how we incorporate playtime, art time and learning time contact us today.

Indoor Summer Craft Ideas for Preschoolers

summer craft ideas

Store aisles are stocked to the brim with school supplies, and you can feel the first day of school is just around the corner. But don’t get too carried away with back-to-school prep and forget that it’s STILL summer! Summer is a kid’s favorite time of year  – endless play, swimming lessons, and all the time in the world to catch fireflies and get dirty outside.

But what about those sticky hot or rainy summer days? Well, we came up with a list of some of our favorite indoor summer craft ideas to keep your kids having fun the rest of the season – rain or shine. Some are even educational and will give their brains a kickstart for the upcoming year.

Incredible Indoor Summer Crafts for Preschoolers

We love these ideas because they are inexpensive, easy, and perfect for all age groups so that you can do them with the whole family. Click on the titles of each craft for instructions and supplies. 

Paper Plate Tambourine

If you choose to make this craft with your little ones, be prepared for some noise. These are so fun for the kids because they can get creative and decorate them however they like. Another plus to this craft is you can probably find all the supplies at home.

Egg Carton Sail Boat

This craft is awesome because it is also part of a reading lesson. It’s perfect for all ages because you can make it very simple or more creative and advanced.

Nature Collage

This project leaves you with a memorable piece of art you can admire all year long. Go hunting for nature pieces on a beautiful day or save a few items from a beach trip. Pull out their collections on a hot or rainy day to make an art piece of memories.

Garden Rock Caterpillar

This art project takes painted rocks and pet rocks to a whole new level! We think this would be a perfect accompaniment to the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Coffee Filter Umbrellas

These are so cute to make on a rainy day. Preschoolers will love creating these colorful mini umbrellas that catch sun rays in your window.

Shaving Cream Marbled Rainbows

This is a wonderful sensory activity to do with your little ones. Sensory play is important for preschool aged children. Warning – this one gets messy!

DIY Kaleidoscope

Have extra Pringles cans? Turn them into awesome DIY kaleidoscopes!

At Mary Margaret’s Daycare Center, we have fun making crafts, participating in sensory activities, and creating art masterpieces all year long. We can’t wait to have all our school year buddies back at daycare. We hope you have fun making these indoor summer crafts. Share your creations with us and let us know your favorites.

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