“Parenting without a sense of humor is like being an accountant who sucks at math.” — Amber Dusick.
As a homeschooling family, one of our greatest joys of living on the West Coast is the joy of being outside. We often spend 7 hours at a park, with no hesitation to ordering in a pizza for dinner (delivered to the playground of course) if the fun is still going strong at dinner time.
My storage room is full of outdoor equipment from bikes, to kayaks, to scooters and life jackets. We just cannot get enough of the great outdoors and are grateful for the opportunity to enjoy nature where we live. So, when the air starts to cool and fall creeps in, we often mourn the summer's end and try to find ways to make the summer last just a little bit longer.
Living in a condo we don't have a lot of outside space, but that doesn't stop us from getting creative with our options. One of my kids' favorite toys is the water table we have on the patio. My daughter was born in water. so it comes as no surprise that the water table is her favorite toy year round.
Come winter however, it's a bit of torture watching her play at the water table because she gets cold. One year, I felt so badly for her little fingers and yet she refused to change activities and come inside. Then it dawned on me that there was a way to let her play outside at the water table while staying warm even when it was cold out. This parenting hack has been a life saver for both of us.
So, what's the hack you ask?
I simply pour warm water from the kitchen sink, into the water table on cold mornings or winter days. She is dressed in full body rain gear and this allows her to enjoy water play, without frost bite year round. This amazing trick stretched out our summers and also allows for early morning play in fresh air.
Bonus tip: Sometimes, after she's finished playing in the mud, or when we come in from an outing, i'll add dish soap to the bowl I fill with warm water at the sink. It creates a tremendous amount of bubbles which she thinks are hysterical. While she plays in it, she doesn't even recognize she is washing her hands clean for much longer than she would have if she were at the sink. We've been washing hands for more than 20 seconds long before Covid-19 made it a popular thing. lol.