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Water Toys Straight From Your Kitchen

By Cara Terreri |
Rather than buying some one-summer water toys for your little ones, try rummaging through your kitchen for alternatives.
UPDATED: 07/13/11 | Originally Published: 06/30/09

I don't know where you live, but in my neck of the woods, it's H-O-T. It's unbearable to be outside unless you're in the water, which means that we've spent lots of time in our kiddie pool, the lake, our friend's pool, and in a sprinkler. For kids, water is all the more fun when there are toys — and sure, you could run out to your nearest superstore and buy a bunch of cheapo plastic toys, but that would be so un-repurposeful!

Here are some ideas for water toys using things you most likely have on hand already:

Colander: This old standby never fails to amuse kids and it's perfect for scooping up toys, pouring water to watch it "rain," and for straining out stray leaves and bugs from a wading pool.

Containers: Save back plastic containers of all shapes and sizes. Give your children a few at a time and when one becomes cracked or too yucky to play with, pitch it into the recycle bin and pull out a new one.

Cooking Utensils: Spoons, spatulas, ladles and whisks — all are great fun when it comes to playing in the water. For the very young, these tools are fun to manipulate and splash around; for the older ones, cooking tools invoke the imagination. Don't be surprised if you're served up some soup!

Rain Can: Save back a large tin can (like coffee) and make your own rain machine. Salt and Chocolate has a simple set of instructions and some great pictures to go along.

Spray Bottle: Kids love to spray anything and everything (which is why this is an outside toy!). If you're re-using an old spray bottle, be sure to thoroughly clean it out.

Sponges: These are also lots of fun for kids to squeeze and fill up, squeeze and fill up, etc. (Amazing how the simplest of things seem to amuse!)

What common household items have you re-purposed as summer water toys? Share your ideas below!

Share with Your Friends & Family
  • Patricia H. 5 years ago
    I pledge. I save plastic mustard squart containers for my grandkids to take to the swimclub to play cooking and they love them. Everyone want a turn to play with them. Like every household doesn't use mustard.
  • henry w. 5 years ago
    condiment squeeze bottles
  • jaun s. 5 years ago
    We fill up the plastic snowsled with water as a pool so we grandparents are repurposing items.
  • Elaine F. 5 years ago
    We use the hose sprinkler as a water sprinkler for the kids and put it on mist.
  • Michelle Q. 5 years ago
    I live in a condo and we're not allowed to leave my daughter's kiddie pool out overnight so when I have to empty the water after a day of play we use buckets and watering cans to water all the flowers, the garden, and the bushes in the yard.
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