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With the threat of summer looming near, now is the time to start thinking about ways to beat the heat and have some fun. The kids like to go outside first thing in the morning before it gets unbearably hot. Without a pool we’ve had to get creative with our summer water play activities. 

While we don’t have a full size, in-ground pool, we do have plenty of plastic containers, buckets and a cheap baby pool from Walmart. That’s basically all you need to have some fun and cool down while you’re at it.

Summer Water Play for Toddlers, pig water sprinkler, backyard toys for toddlers

6 Summer Water Play Ideas for Toddlers

I’ve never met a kid that didn’t like to play with water! 

Sponge Bombs

Inner Child Fun has a video for a quick tutorial on making sponge bombs. Basically you’ll take two (or more) buckets of water and try to toss your sponge bomb into the other person’s bucket and make a big splash!

Gone Fishin’ Sensory Bin

All you need is a large bin, bath color tabs, and a bath toy net/fishing rod. Eventually they’ll toss the net and just get in there with their hands. Visit our post on 6 Fun Sensory Bins for Toddlers for more information.

Water Play Sensory Bin for Toddlers using Bath Toys

Painting with Ice

I love this idea and can’t wait to try it with my kids! Mommy’s Bundle shared this activity that is actually edible popsicles just in case they decide to use them as a a treat too! For preschoolers/kindergartners you can make this a learning activity and have them write ABCs, numbers and sight words.

Washing Stations

Have your little one grab all their toys and head to a bin filled with soapy water for a wash down! For activity details visit Little Bins for Little Hands.

Rain Gutter River

You can use an old piece of rain gutter or cut open a pool noodle for this one. Take two bins filled with water and prop the river up between them. Using cups or jugs of water send the water rushing down the river! You can also make this into a race using two pieces of noodle and a small toy. Activity by Frugal Fun 4 Boys.


A summer classic for the pool-less family! We found a cheap fun sprinkler at Target last year and the kids had a blast running through the water and knocking it over. Definitely a great way to beat the summer heat!

Summer Water Play for Toddlers, pig water sprinkler, backyard toys for toddlers

Stay cool this summer! If you have other summer favorite activities for your toddlers be sure to leave them in the comment section below!

Summer Water Play for Toddlers, pig water sprinkler, backyard toys for toddlers