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!