How To Safely Incorporate Water Play Into Your Child Care Center This Summer

One of the best parts of summer, from the perspective of a child, is getting to play in the water on a hot summer day. Young children love playing in the water; have you ever watched how a young child can be entertained with the sink faucet for minutes on end? Even if you don't have access to a pool to take the children at your child care center to, you can still incorporate water play and water days into your child care center's weekly summer schedule.

Adding Water Days To Your Schedule

It can be helpful to have specific set water days for each classroom at your child care center. For example, the toddler rooms could have their water days on Wednesday, the three to four-year-old rooms could have their water day on Thursdays, and the 5-year-old rooms could have their water day on Fridays. Providing set days for your water days will allow your staff time to set up and prepare age-appropriate activities for each group, and will help you ensure that your staff can safely supervise all children participating in water activities.

Clothing For Water Days

If you decide to have water days at your center, be sure to communicate this to your parents. Ask that each parent brings appropriate water clothing for their child. If you are doing a water day in your playground, make sure that you let the parents know that their child will need specific shoes that they can get wet for water day. Additionally, ask each parent to send sunscreen for water day. Make sure they bring a towel as well.

When water day arrives, try to have an extra staff member on hand to assist each room with getting ready for and supervising water day. This can be a rotating summer staff member who just covers water days throughout your building. On water day, have the kids change into their swimsuits or swimwear and put sunscreen on each child before you go outside. Make sure that you bring towels with you outside as well.

Water Day Activities

There are many water day activities that you can incorporate that do not involve a swimming pool. To start with, you can move your sensory tables outside and fill them with water and toys that the children can play with. You can provide them with different items to engage in each week, such as funnels and measuring cups one week, and sponges the next week. The objective is to let them play with the water and get messy with it in a way that they can't do inside the classroom.

Next, you can set up buckets of water and provide your students with water guns. You can provide them with targets that they can shoot with the water guns. If you allow students to shoot water at each other, make sure that you stress that they should only spray water on other student's bodies and not their eyes.

Another great option that is always popular is sprinklers. You can set up different types of sprinklers or vary the location each week so that your students have a variety of different ways to engage with the sprinklers.

Finally, you can set up a kiddie slide with water going down it so that students can go down their own mini water slide.

Water days can be a great way to break up the summer at your daycare. If you decide to add water days to your schedule, make sure that you let the parents know and that you clearly communicate water day expectations to the children under your care. Make sure that you train your staff on how to safely supervise water days, and provide extra staff if necessary to facilitate this fun summer activity.