We can hear you groaning from the very top of Infruition Towers. How can it be half term already? It was only mid-summer about a fortnight ago. We’ve gone from ice creams and rockpooling to hats, gloves and pumpkin carving in the blink of an eye. Are the little ones bored yet? We’ve put together some easy to assemble, minimum-mess sensory activities involving water (what else?). Have a go and send us your photos, we’d love to see how you get on.
Disclaimer: This does involve sweeties. Sorry about that. It looks awesome though – take a white plate and dot different coloured skittles around the edge, in a circle. Warm some water in a glass and gently tip over the sweets. After a moment the colours will run and make a supercool watery rainbow.
Take a large leaf of pale cabbage and slice in half, down the stem. Place each half in a glass of water, and add a few drops of food colouring. Leave for a few hours, and see how the coloured water travels up the stem through to the veins of the leaves.
These are great for little hands, and so easy. Take a laminating pouch and heat seal three sides. With the remaining open side, pour in 100ml of water, 50ml of baby oil, some food colouring, and some poster paint or baby shampoo. The oil will stop all the liquids from gelling together, giving love squishy globs to manipulate around the mat. Add glitter, sequins and even feathers before carefully heat sealing closed. Apply duct tape around each edge and give the mat a quick poke for watertightness, then lay your baby on their tummy and let them pat to their heart’s content.
Hi, 1980’s school days! Who remembers this? Take a bowl or shallow tray and fill with water. Stir in a few drops of food colouring, give your little one a straw, and encourage them to make lots and lots and LOTS of bubbles. Quickly lay a sheet of white paper over the tray and gently pat it down, before removing to reveal the bubbly pattern. You can turn this into legit art by adding other shapes and decoration, too.
Sink or Float Challenge
Take your little one outside and let them forage for 10 items in the garden, such as stones, sticks, leaves, snail shells (make sure they’re empty), and fir cones. Fill a tub with water and ask them which items they think will sink, and which will float. You can get at least half an hour out of this one, and it’s sciency, innit!
Oh, snowglobes are just brilliant. Very Blue Peter, but a doddle to make and visually inoffensive. You’ll need a child, a jam / sauce jar and lid, some sort of ornament or figurine, water-resistant glue, glitter, and water. Fix the figurine to the underside of the lid with glue, fill the jar with water, and add the glitter. Carefully screw the lid to the jar, make sure it’s extra tight, and shake. Add some ribbon to the rim of the lid for extra pretty points.
We’re betting your child has a menagerie of small, plastic THINGS lurking around the depths of their toybox. Under the cloak of darkness, gather some up and freeze them into small containers or ice cube trays. Once frozen, tip into a large tub or tray, and fill a jug with water. Add blue food colouring to the jug and help your child to pour the water around the ice, to create an icy sea. Your child will love watching the “glaciers” melt to reveal the treasure inside. Experiment by adding salt to the top of some icecaps, to see how this speeds up the thaw.
Ghost Gloop Soup
Ok, this one could get a LITTLE messy, so clear a space and line the floor with an old sheet or shower curtain. Take two cups of corn flour, one cup of water, and some food colouring. Mix it all together and pour into a shallow tray. Cornflour is made is lots of stringy particles that don’t dissolve into water, but sort of spread out to create something that is both a solid and liquid. Little hands will have great fun manipulating the gloop between their fingers, rolling and squishing it, and watching it “melt” back into the tray.
You see, water isn't just for drinking - although - that's a significant reason for it! But it can be exciting. We advocate fruit infusing water of course - but as all of these ideas suggest, you can use it to keep the kids entertained this half term!