You don't have to be perfect to be the perfect parent!

Don’t work so hard…summer fun is easy!

Keep it simple…fun and learning can happen as easily as a bucket with water and a few ice cubes!

I was talking to my daughter the other evening after she had been babysitting some children of a wonderful Mom from one of my Mom’s groups I lead.  She showed me pictures of the toddlers entertaining themselves with a tray of ice cubes.  What a great way to spend the afternoon!  I often want to tell Moms…”Don’t work so hard at it!”  In other words, kids can be entertained and actually learn valuable concepts by simple activities.  It often does not take a lot of money or expensive toys or classes to fill a morning or afternoon with fun and kids always learn with fun!

It is summer and water is one of the best entertainers.  A baby pool filled with a couple of inches of water, a water table, or a large under bed plastic storage container filled with a few inches of water will entertain for long periods of time.

  • Dump ice cubes in the water and let the kids try to scoop them up or catch them.  Let them watch the ice melt.
  • Add measuring cups, spoons, pitchers, sieves and other kitchen items.  Let the children fill things up, pour and dump.
  • Add a little bubble bath and let them use an egg beater to make bubbles.
  • Take a bucket of water and add paint brushes and paint rollers.  Let them “paint” the sidewalk, patio, deck, or brick house.  My son “painted” our house for hours.
  • Get the tricycles, wagons, or even your car out.  Let the kids play car wash!
  • What floats and what does not? Let your child figure it out!
  • Pretend play with cups, spoons, and bowls…what will they “cook” with the water?
  • Throw a package of new sponges in the mix.  Can they fill up a new bucket by squeezing the sponges full of water?
  • Add dishes and a dish cloth.  Let them pretend to “wash” the dishes!
  • Give a baby doll a bath.
  • Have small trucks and cars out to wash or make bridges to get over the water.

Besides all of this fun…what has your child accomplished?

  • Fine motor skills and eye hand coordination through pouring, squeezing,  stirring, painting and scrubbing
  •  Math concepts of more/less, empty/full, greater than/less than
  •  Imaginative and creative play when playing car wash, painting, and cooking
  • Verbal skills talking about what they are doing

So, relax, it is summer!  Don’t work so hard Mom and Dad, keep it simple and fun.  Take a child, add some supervision, and who knew a little water and ice could entertain and teach so much!

Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.


1 Comment

  1. thisismotherhoodblog

    I love all these simple ideas!


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