Kids love water, and my two boys are drawn to it, says Katherine Miller

Messing about with water is great fun, and although every parent is aware that just 2in (5cm) of water can be a danger to a toddler, there are lots of ways to enjoy water safely. Supervision is the most important factor in any water activity for all ages of children. We haven’t got a pond in our garden, but if we did I would probably fill it in, due to the fact that my three-year-old would be drawn to it like a magnet, and that would mean he would have to be constantly supervised.

In the recent hot weather the children have enjoyed splashing in the paddling pool, and afterwards we always transfer the water into cans to use on the garden. Just because my youngest son has been dried and dressed doesn’t mean he won’t suddenly have the urge to jump in again, fully clothed, if he feels like it.

The boys are always asking if they can squirt the plants with my water spray; luckily I have two, one for plants and one for ironing. Invariably it ends in a water fight and I have learnt that even wielding a camera does not protect you from being targeted!

When I was a kid, my great aunts and uncles always enjoyed a bit of rhyming slang and we would often make up our own words, so our water spray is affectionately named ‘Norris McSquirter’ (McWhirter). It seems perfectly normal for the boys to ask for the ‘Norris’, but to the outside world, we are all mad and our house is a crazy place…


Water activities for children

When it’s hot, watering in the morning prevents the plants from wilting, and less water will evaporate if you do it early. Or wait until after school, but don’t leave it too late – the leaves need time to dry before nightfall so that fungal diseases don’t develop.

We re-use water from the fish tank when we have cleaned it out. This ‘old’ water is nitrogen and phosphorus-rich, which is free plant food.

Water fun - safe water activities for childrenThe kids had a great time squirting the plants (and each other) with sprays – which hold much more water than a pistol! (above)


recycling water - activities for childrenWe filled watering cans from the paddling pool (above), which avoided the danger of the can filling being unsupervised.


Water fun - safe water activities for childrenThere is nothing like warm rain on a hot day. Jumping in puddles and seeing how much water can be caught in buckets is always good fun.