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5 Kiddie Pool Sensory Play Ideas

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As warmer weather hits us, we are pretty quick to get out our kiddie pool. I dutifully fill it up using both the hose and hot tap water to make it a more desirable temperature. My kids splash and play. I watch them not fight play nicely for a good thirty or so minutes. But as is the case with many things in life, eventually motivation and interest taper. I am less keen on filling the pool and my kids are less enticed at the prospect of playing in it. Then the pool just sits there (as it does in the off season too) totally unused and purposeless. So I decided to come up with some kiddie pool sensory play ideas that we could do either in the pool or even on those days when the weather is cooler. What I love about these kiddie pool sensory play ideas is that they take minimal effort and cost less than $5 to set up. They have my kids engaged and playing collaboratively outside.

Easy Kiddie Pool Sensory Play Ideas For Less Than $5

Make your backyard a sensory experience with these easy, budget-friendly kiddie pool sensory play ideas. All ideas are under $5 and all ideas are guaranteed to promote play-based learning. Again, super simple, easy, and fun ideas!

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Excavating Construction Site

What you need
  • 8.5kg (about 20 lbs) of top soil, can be a bit less (costs $3 or less)
  • Tractors, diggers, and other similar toys
  • Blocks for building
What to do

This is the easiest of all the kiddie pool sensory play ideas and is great for a colder day too.

Take your kiddie pool, dump in soil, and spread it around. This particular quantity is great because it is enough to play with. But because there isn’t too much dirt, it is easy enough to leave about a third of the pool uncovered so kids can sit in the pool without getting too dirty.  Added in toys and blocks and encourage kids to build, dig and play. When this kiddie pool sensory play idea has lost its novelty, the dirt can be easily put into a clean garbage bag for later use, used as top soil for your lawn, or gardening.

allow your child the freedom to express their creativity and explore at their own pace...-The Undeniable Power of Play- (1)

 

Foaming Coloured Bubbles

Make your backyard a sensory experience with these easy, budget-friendly kiddie pool sensory play ideas. All ideas are under $5 and all ideas are guaranteed to promote play-based learning. Again, super simple, easy, and fun ideas!

What you need
  • 3/4 cup of liquid dish soap
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • Hand or standing mixer
  • Food colouring
What to do

Make sure pool is dry and clean. Then inside, take two tablespoons of liquid dish soap and 1/4 cup of water and place them into your mixing bowl. Add desired amount of colour. Then, mix for 1-2 minutes on the highest setting. Set colour aside and repeat steps with the next one. We made orange, yellow, blue, purple, red, and green. This is a great opportunity to teach your child about mixing primary colours to make secondary colours. Once each colour is made, put them side by side in your kiddie pool and let your kids have fun! This is especially fun on a hot day because chances are, your kids will be covered in suds and will benefit from a good spray down after they’re done.

NB This activity is best for kids who won’t put bubbles in their mouths or eye because both may cause irritation.

This kiddie pool sensory play idea is perfect to FOLLOW the Excavating Construction Site idea! The reason is that once the colours are really mixed up and no longer discernable, it’s a great time to throw some dirty toys in to give them a wash.

Physics of Force and Floating Pool Noodles Game

Make your backyard a sensory experience with these easy, budget-friendly kiddie pool sensory play ideas. All ideas are under $5 and all ideas are guaranteed to promote play-based learning. Again, super simple, easy, and fun ideas!

What you need
What to do

Cut pool noodle into two-inch pieces width-wise with a serrated knife. Fill pool with water. Place pool noodle pieces into the pool. Then, fill pool noodle water guns with water and squirt the pool noodle pieces across the pool.

There are many ways to play with this. One way we played was having two people stand at opposite ends of the pool. Each took turns passing all of the noodles pieces across the pool using the water guns. Another way to play is to only have a couple of pool noodle pieces and create a game of pool noodle hockey or soccer by trying to get the pieces in the other person’s side to score.

This is an especially fun way to play because the water acts as a physical force moving the pool noodles and the noodles float as a result of their low density (both lessons in Physics!).

 

Noodle Water Works

Make your backyard a sensory experience with these easy, budget-friendly kiddie pool sensory play ideas. All ideas are under $5 and all ideas are guaranteed to promote play-based learning. Again, super simple, easy, and fun ideas!

What you need
  • Pool noodles ($1 at dollar store)
  • Zap straps
  • Funnels (package of three at the dollar store was $1.25)
What to do

Secure pool noodles to a fence or lattice using zap straps ensuring on end is perfectly upright. Insert a funnel into the top end of each pool noodle. Set pool up underneath noodles and fill with water. Then have fun!

I love this activity because it also teaches basic physics to young children as the water requires gravity to pour out the other end!

Turn your backyard into a #sensoryplay experience with these 5 simple ideas! #playbasedlearning Click To Tweet

Slippery Fish Sensory Play

Make your backyard a sensory experience with these easy, budget-friendly kiddie pool sensory play ideas. All ideas are under $5 and all ideas are guaranteed to promote play-based learning. Again, super simple, easy, and fun ideas!

What you need
  • 3-ounce (85g) box of jello
  • Silicon mold (can be purchased at dollar store for about $2) or a muffin tin can be used if you don’t have a silicon mold
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Olive oil or non-stick cooking spray
  • Slotted spoon

 

What to do

Grease silicon mold or muffin tin. Boil one cup of water and then pour it into a bowl with the jello mixture. Once the mixture is entirely dissolved, pour it into silicon mold. Put in fridge to let set. Once set, pop out jello. Using a butter knife may help if you aren’t using silicon molds. Place jello in a kiddie pool filled with water. Have kids fish out using slotted spoons! Once play has finished, collect all jello using a slotted spoon and discard. Discard water immediately after use. Though this is taste safe, this craft is not recommended for consumption.

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