Once again, I bring you a tried-and-true kid activity. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded how much fun can be had with simple ideas, though, right? So today I’m talking about chalk and water play outside. Engineer and I are outside pretty much everyday in the summer, with and without his buddies.
Even though this activity is pretty simple, the children were exposed to sooooo much! They were out in the sunshine. They played around in nature. There was sensory exploration and fine motor skills. Science was touched upon, as was literacy and math. They were practicing both fine and gross motor skills. All of this in the guise of fun and “just playing”.
It was beautiful out last week, so I grabbed the kiddos and went out to play. We brought snacks, water bottles, sidewalk chalk, a spray bottle, some paint brushes, and a bowl full of water. Snoopy had fun drawing and writing with the chalk, as did Engineer. Snoopy, Girly Girl, and Engineer seemed to enjoy “painting” on the sidewalk with water, as well. They got a kick out of the fact that their paintings disappeared. Girly Girl eventually decided that she would rather “paint” the chalk pieces with water. She noted that the colors changed a bit with the application of the water.
Engineer soon discovered the spray bottle and fell in love. He squirted water at a chalk drawing he’d done, commenting on how the water caused the chalk to dissipate, “Hey! The water’s making my picture go away!” I had drawn some shapes near his picture (I can’t help it — the teacher in me just does things like that sometimes!). Engineer decided he wanted to remove the square, so he told me so and then proceeded to obliterate it. Giggling the whole time, I might add! I had also written a few random letters with chalk (yes, it’s a compulsion, I’m working on it!). I asked Engineer if he could spray the uppercase A, then do the same to the lowercase a. He happily obliged.
Then, the boys decided a lamppost needed watering. They moved along to do that, and it eventually turned into a game of chasing each other around the post. This lasted a few minutes before they all were too dizzy to continue.
Little Hurricane had fun dunking the chalk into the bowl of water, much to Girly Girl’s dismay. He got tired of that quickly, as Girly Girl kept removing the chalk from the water. After that, he had fun just carrying the now-empty spray bottle around. Engineer and Snoopy pilfered some water from the bowl to refill the spray bottle (after Little Hurricane tired of carrying it with him). They started spraying the grass, bushes, and trees. This eventually led to the discovery of ants on one of the trees. The big kids were fascinated watching the ants, but Little Hurricane just didn’t get the appeal.
When the ant-watching was done, we decided to go running around in the open area nearby (and by “we” I really mean the children). They had fun chasing each other, attempting to play tag, and exploring the trees and the pine needles. This ended up devolving into some kind of spies game. I’m still confused as to whose “spy team” I was on!
They did so much running around, they were pretty tired and sweaty by lunchtime. So it didn’t take any prodding on my part to herd them inside for a bit.
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