Babies love to play in water

Published 10:58 am Monday, July 2, 2012

Column: Apryl,Gorton, Thrive Initiative

Water and summer seem almost synonymous. If it is not raining, most everyone can be found in the pool or sprinkler.

Apryl Gorton

Babies love water, too. They don’t need much to have a good time, but they do need constant supervision and plenty of water to drink so they stay hydrated.

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Try these water adventures with your mini-merperson.

The watering can: Fill a small watering container half full so that baby can toddle around (outside) with it. Show him or her how to water the plants and your feet and the dog and soon everyone will be giggling and wet.

Frozen floats: If you have a plastic pool, frozen floats are a lot of fun.  Freeze about 1 inch of water in the bottom of a Dixie cup (you can put a tiny amount of food coloring in the Dixie cup for a little added excitement).  Tear off the Dixie cup and toss the frozen floats in the water. Baby will have fun trying to feel and catch the “cold fishy.”

If you need some time in the kitchen, but your baby also needs to play near you, washing dishes is the perfect game. Put baby in the high chair and give her or him a cake pan with a little water in it. Add some measuring cups, spoons and a clean sponge. You will get your cooking completed, baby will enjoy “washing dishes” for you, and you may have a clean baby and floor when the task is finished.


A toddler’s special gift

Rain sticks are a great way to capture the sound of rain without the wet stuff getting in the way of the fun. Here is what you need: Paper towel tubes, paint, beans and rice, strong paper, two rubber bands, tape, glue, and decorating material. Rain sticks need to be made in stages. Paint the paper towel tube first and let dry. It works well to stick it over something like a slim vase to hold it off the table.

Next, glue some large dry beans inside the tube and let dry. After the beans and paint are both dry, cut a square piece of paper and rubber band it around one end of the tube. Tape it to secure. Fill the inside of the tube a quarter full of dry rice and dry small beans. Secure the other end with a square piece of paper, rubber band and tape, as well. Now decorate with anything you want and, voila, a rain stick to play with and give to those envious cousins.


Ideas for play

When you are at the grocery store, allow your child to collect the free food cards, recipe cards, and coupons that are found in the aisles as you shop. You can use these cards in various ways to learn about new foods.

• Discuss how the food might taste and smell.

• Talk about how the food is grown, caught or made.

• Get two cards for each food and play a game of go fish or matching.

• Question if the food is healthy or not.

• Draw pictures of the food and have a family art show.

• Each time you are at the store try a new food and discuss at dinner what you liked and disliked about the item.

Enjoy each other. Sometimes play is more about time together than amusement.


Apryl Gorton is the director of New Direction Tutoring and a volunteer with the Freeborn County Thrive Initiative. Visit the website at