We’re having a little bit of a cooling front in my neck of the woods, but we all know that those hot August days are fast approaching and we’ll all be heading into various forms of water to cool off.
Connecting with the element of water is so important in the summertime, even for purely practical reasons. I remember one of my wise parenting mentors once telling me:
Fussy Child + Water = Happy Child
I encourage you to get out and explore all different kinds of water with your little ones this summer.
To that end, here are some of my favorite Waldorf early childhood water toys.
Mixing Bowls and Spoons
Who didn’t play with mixing bowls and spoons when they were little? There isn’t anything particularly Waldorf-y about this suggestion, but I’m including it because I want to inspire you to think outside the box when it comes to Waldorf toys. There is no rule that says you have to provide your child with all of the finest, German-made, wooden toys that are out there on the market. Especially when it comes to outside play, you’ll want to choose things that you’re not worried about losing or leaving at the beach.
Though you don’t have to pick out anything special, I would recommend having a dedicated set of bowls and spoons so your children can take them outside and get them dirty, and you won’t end up with sand in your bread dough.
These nesting bowls are nice because they can transport so easily.
The Toy Boat
When it comes to playing in the water, there’s nothing like a toy boat to help your child’s imagination come to life. When my children were little, we had a small boat that was open on top so they could put little figures and animals inside and take them for a ride. That boat was so popular and it usually came out at bathtime, but on occasion I took it along to the pool, too. This little boat from BellaLuna Toys is so sweet and it will inspire all kinds of imaginative play.
The Wading Pool
Back when my kids were little, I remember searching for an alternative to the inflatable kiddie pool. It seemed like those darn things sprung leaks all the time and we were looking at purchasing a new one every year. I hated the thought of all that plastic going into the landfill.
Space issues prevented us from buying one of the hard plastic type pools, so that was out for us.
Hard as I searched, it seemed that no one had come up with a good alternative, and it appears that a solution is still lacking.
We did enjoy and appreciate our little inflatable pools and I always thought that if we were getting good use out of it, then I felt less guilty about the waste. I did, though, on occasion come up with alternatives to going the inflatable pool route — here are some suggestions.
- Go to public pools and spray parks. There is still the water use to consider, but with so many other people enjoying them, public pools and spray parks somehow seem less wasteful.
- Pull out your old galvanized washtub. A little one could use it just like a wading pool. One word of caution: Don’t think that because it’s not a wading pool you can set aside your worries. Watch over your child just like you would if he or she was swimming in a real pool.
- If you must purchase a wading pool, search for a used, hard-plastic pool first. The hard plastic is sturdier and less wasteful. If you can’t find one then opt for a new hard-plastic pool. Finally, if you must, go with the soft inflatable, but make sure you use it well and take care of it. If it does spring a leak that is beyond repair, this site has some ideas for reusing that old inflatable pool.
What are some of your favorite water toys and activities for your little ones? Share them in the comments!