We used to fill old icecream tubs with water and freeze them. Fill a paddle pool with cold water and put the ice from the tubs in... like icebergs.
Kept the water cool and the kids loved swimming and pretending they were ships.
I don't have toddlers any more but I've done the following recently:
- Fairy/Garden soup - lots of big icecubes made with a touch of food colouring if possible), big old bowl, add some cold water, glitter, flowers, leaves, sparkly stones, any other decorations. Give them some small plastic bowls, spoons, ladels etc and let them play
- Ice age dinosaur dig. Might be a bit old for toddlers but get a big container that will fit in your freezer and some plastic dinosaurs. (Plastic toys of any description will do). Put some toys in the bottom, layer of water, freeze, add some more toys and water, freeze, etc until the container is full and frozen solid. Give them some eye droppers, syringes (from old panadol bottles), turkey baster or just small cups and some tepid water they can then pour over the big ice block that's been removed from the plastic container and put in a shaded spot on some grass.
- Sensory play with cold water, plastic boats, ice cubes. Those plastic boxes that go under the bed are excellent for sensory play. You could also just have put water in the box and with some plastic containers, funnels, jugs, bits of hose, sponges etc so they can pour the water into different containers. Add some ice to the water to keep it cool.
- Sprinkler on the lawn
- Use zip ties and a soaker hose to rig up a spray system in the garden so that they can play about on the grass with a light mist of water flowing on them.
- If you can invest in either a shade tent or cantilever umbrella for some shade
- Utilise early morning or late afternoon for outside time
- Plastic box with water, dollies suitable for giving a bath, an old toothbrush and some bubble bath and/or food colouring. Kiddies can give their dollies a bath.
- Let them 'paint' a wall, tiles or similar with either a large paint brush or roller and some water.
Look up rainy day ideas too for the indoor time.
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