Monday, September 27, 2010


I asked my daughter for an idea for Just Add Light, and she said "water."

Holly has played in small water and large, and suggested I recommend water play for its soothing effects, and for being one of the least expensive materials for exploration and entertainment. Bowls, pans and measuring cups. Water in sand or dirt. Showers and bathtubs. Wading pools. Ice makes a good floating toy. Ice cubes, or ice frozen into a mold, a pan, or a plastic bag will not need to be cleaned up or put away later. Ice in a wading pool. Ice in a sand box. Ice in a toy dump truck.

There was a time when Holly took two or three baths a day, just to be in the water, playing with a wash cloth, a colander, a funnel and some cups. She would listen to music and sing.

When our kids were very young, we would put a thick towel on the patio, set out shallow pans of water, little cups and bowls, and let the baby pour and splash.

For older kids and adults, a float or a swim, if possible, or some new soap and a long shower can make a difference in mood and moment.

Letting water run over your hands, feeling the smooth, gentle flow can move you toward peace.


  1. My youngest loves water.

    Any suggestions for water activities in the colder months? Besides the obvious showers and baths (she has taken to no longer liking baths)?

  2. When Kirby was two or three and didn't want baths, I would set up a plastic dishpan in the tub, but not put water in the tub, and ask him if he wanted to wash his toy dishes. One container of soapy water, and one of rinse water, and pretty soon he himself was wet. It didn't matter if he totally washed, but it was creating a happy association with the tub where he was more in control.

    If your shower is big enough for a smaller child to play in the corner while you shower, with whatever toys they're liking (I'm remembering Holly with a long-haired plastic pony or a Barbie, "taking a shower," that's another possibility.

    Depending on the kitchen, maybe water play on towels or blankets (or maybe you have a bathroom or laundry room that could handle some water on the floor, for container play in winter).

    Our city has a couple of indoor pools with wading pools, and one has slides. Some hotels have small water parks, and many have indoor pools. Maybe you could have a "family vacation" that's in your own town or one nearby, just to use their pool (and maybe hot tub or sauna. You wouldn't even have to sleep there, if the kids wanted to stay home.


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