We’ve had lots of paddling pool fun recently. The slide that Andrew got for his birthday in the winter is really coming into its own now that we can use it as a water slide into the pool. This picture is what’s technically known as a ‘doubler’ in Andrew’s language – they both go down together, and seem to like it. I think Andrew stopped himself at the end on this one though, as the water was a bit cool still and he wasn’t that brave!
As the hot weather has continued, I’ve been trying to think of ways to have fun outdoors and stay cool. In the mornings we’ve mainly been going to indoor places to stay out of the sun at the hottest part of the day, coming home for lunch and a nap, then going outdoors about 4pm onwards when the sun is less directly blazing down on us. Our garden (or the communal garden of our block of flats that nobody else ever uses) is perfect in the later afternoon because it’s mostly in the shade of the building. The temperature has been perfect for getting the paddling pool out there in the afternoon.
Apart from the activities I wrote about in last week’s Country Kids post (‘painting’ with water on paving stones, playing with bath toys in the paddling pool), I came up with another fun game involving water. I remember having water balloon ‘fights’ when I was little, and thought that Andrew would love it too. He finds it hilarious when balloons filled with air pop, so I knew he would find this just as fun if not more so because he loves playing with water too. And we all need to be sprayed with cool water in this heat!
So when we were in town this week, we popped into Poundland and bought a bumper pack of balloons for, of course, one whole pound. Whilst the boys were napping, I started to fill the balloons with water, enough of them to fill the washing up bowl in the kitchen sink. I put the opening of the balloon over the end of the tap and slowly turned the tap on just a little. As these were only cheap balloons, I didn’t want to drench the kitchen even though I wouldn’t complain about an early drenching myself!
Once both boys were awake, I lowered the washing up bowl full of balloons out the window onto the grass (we live on the ground floor) and then we headed out into the garden ourselves. Andrew then decided to transfer all the balloons very carefully into the paddling pool where I’d sat Joel down. We played with them there for a while before I picked one up and threw it. I was surprised that it hadn’t occurred to Andrew to do this yet, but once he’d seen me do it and witnessed the pop and splash moment, there was no stopping him. He absolutely loved it, and it was quite an effort to persuade him to leave a couple for when Daddy came home a bit later, as I was sure he would enjoy the cooling off too 😉
The balloons worked perfectly, just what I was hoping for, so I thought I’d share it on here and link up with Country Kids, the amazing outdoor fun linky by Fiona at Coombe Mill. Take a look, there are some great ideas! And just a note to say that I won’t be linking up next week as we’ll be away on the boys’ first trip abroad, to celebrate my (special) birthday. But I’ll be back the following week, no doubt with tales of our German adventures. See you then….
With all this glorious sunshine, it’s not been at all difficult to entertain two little ones who love being outside. It’s been lovely just to spend time in the garden, and to go to our favourite parks and open spaces.
The paddling pool has been a big hit with both boys, though I can’t believe how small it looks to me now – the last time we had it out we only had an 18/19 month old as opposed to a nearly 2.5 year old and an 8 month old taking up their space in it. With some bath toys in it, this provided hours of fun throughout the week, starting at the weekend when Daddy was around; we’ve had it out both in the garden and on the balcony.
We’ve also had some fun with numbers and letters this sunny week. Andrew is very into them, and he enjoys saying them out loud whenever he sees them written somewhere. One afternoon I took a beaker of water and a paint brush outside and told him that we were going to do some painting. He was excited, and was intrigued to watch me ‘painting’ with water on the bricks of the drive; he then had a go himself, and was fascinated to watch our artwork disappear (pretty quickly in this heat!). We painted a few things on the bricks that were warm in the sun, but his favourite was of course the letters. I heard of this idea a while ago, I think when talking to a friend at a group, but I can’t actually remember who, when or where now. But it provided some cheap and cheerful fun on a sunny day.
One morning we popped up to Anglesey Abbey, our local National Trust property. I blogged about this for Country Kids earlier in the year when it was much colder and Andrew went everywhere with his yellow coat on. Since that time, Andrew has made a new game which we have to play whenever we go, he won’t let me get away without it! There is a path that leads through a part of the gardens with lots of shrubs in, and for each specifies/variety there is a little plaque with a number on next to the plant. I presume there must be some guide book that you can take out with you which tells you what each number is, though we’ve never done that. Andrew’s game is to ride along the path on his bike and shout out all the numbers that he spots on his way. Sometimes they are obvious, and others are hidden under leaves and harder to spot. He would happily go up and down this path all day if he could. Here is (quite a long) video of him playing this fun game!
So that was our week of outdoor fun in the sun. Let’s hope the good weather continues!
Linking up with the fantastic linky over at Coombe Mill’s blog – Country Kids