Paddling pool games


Image: Marie Le Fevre | Words: Sara Conway 

The sun’s out!

Which for many means emptying our lungs into a paddling pool (yes, we lost the pump again), and running in and out of the house with bowls of water (so heavy, so sloshy!)

But it’s worth it to see their little faces light up when the pool’s full – for about five minutes. And then they bugger off and play with something else. We’ve got two choices. Paddle ourselves (tempting). Or lure them back with one of these fun science games… If the sun lets us down, you can play most of these indoors with a bowl of water.

1 Collect objects and guess with your child whether they’re going to sink or float. Then drop them in to the water and see who guessed correctly! Good things to try… a plastic toy, a ball, a pebble, a sponge.

2 Play & rescue! Oh, no – your child’s toy needs help getting out of the water! But here’s the twist… they can’t use their hands to rescue it. What will they use? A ladle in your mouth, a foot…?

3 Conduct an experiment. Will the water in the pool heat up if its left in the pool all day? Use a cooking thermometer to test the temperature at the start of the day, then do the same at the end of the day. (If it’s sunny all day it should get warmer! But if you’re in England, we can’t make any promises.)

4 Make sailing boats! Just cut a square of sponge to make the base, a triangle of paper to make the sail, and find a cocktail stick. Push the cocktail stick through the top and bottom right corners of the sail, and into the middle of the sponge. Then move them with the wind (a huff and a puff from you!) P.S. You might have to experiment with the size of the sail to find one that doesn’t tip over the boat. But hey – that’s science, too!

5 Guess what holds the most water. Pour water from one object into another – do you think it’s all going to fit? Looks can be deceiving.

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, @5minutefun!