5 Places to Splash at the Dallas Arboretum

The second week we were living in Dallas, a new friend invited Emma and I to join in on a trip to The Dallas Arboretum.  Ever since then, it has seriously been our favorite place in Dallas.  We typically go once a week.  It is very easy to spend hours upon hours of fun there, but because we are members sometimes our trips are short.  One of our favorite things to do at the Arboretum is to cool off by splashing.  There are 5 really great places to cool off in the water.

Springs

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The springs are a great place to splash and not get completely wet.  This is also a favorite picnic spot. One of our current favorite activities is to have leaf races.  There have been days that we have gone to the Arboretum and spent our entire time in this area.

Frogs

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The frogs are at the end of Crepe Myrtle Allie.  This spot is really beautiful year round. Be sure to pack a towel and change of clothes if you plan to splash here. Emma normally winds up completely soaked.  

The Rory Myers Children's Garden

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Right inside the gate to the Rory Meyer's Children's Adventure Garden, there is a great splash area.  There are shaded seats along the outside for parents, but NO shade when splashing.  Make sure you take some sunscreen if you plan to go to this area.

Toddler Garden

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The Toddler Garden is right inside the Rory Meyer's Children's Adventure Garden.  This is a great shaded area with plenty of room for your little ones to run out some energy.  This is a favorite for us right now because the shade is perfect for baby brother.

T. Boone Pickens Pure Energy at the Children's Garden

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Emma calls this area the 'hand splash pad'. This is a great opportunity for learning through play.  While older kids will get more, educationally speaking, from this area, the younger kids have SO MUCH FUN here.

We feel so blessed to have The Dallas Arboretum to visit regularly.  It is our favorite place in Dallas, and I will be forever thankful to the friend that introduced us to the gem!

The Dallas Arboretum | Dallas, TX | Water Activities for kids | Rory Meyer's Children's Adventure Garden | Things to do in Dallas with kids

Ideas for Water Fun

If you read my post last week about my weekly summer planning (free planning printable), you know that we plan to have Water Fun Wednesday this summer.  Of course we will mostly go to the pool and different splash areas around Dallas, but I made a list of water activities for those days we don’t want to leave. And some of these are just great for that moment when you realize you have an hour of time to fill.

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Paint with Water

Have your children paint with water.  This is great for ANY age. Literally all you need is a brush and bowl or cup of water.  They could paint the patio, the sidewalk, the fence, the side of the house, etc….The possibilities are endless.

Paint Ice Cubes

This idea came from Busy Toddler.  She has the best SIMPLE activities.  In this activitiy, she just had her kids paint ice cubes.  So simple. So fun.

Play with Sponges in a Plastic Tub of Water

Just place some sponges form the dollar store in a tub or bowl of water.  Your child will have a ball playing, and you just bought yourself a few minutes.

Outdoor Alphabet Match

This super cute idea came from I Can Teach My Child.  Fill a kiddie pool with water and foam alphabet letters.  Write the alphabet out on your sidewalk or driveway. Have your child match the foam letters from the pool to the corresponding letter on the sidewalk.  This is a fun way to cool off and fit in a little letter practice. AND, if you have a younger toddler or baby, they can splash in the baby pool while big sister or brother is matching letters.

Frog on A Log Activity

Does your child love the ‘5 Little Speckled Frogs’ song? Mine does, so when I saw this activity from My Bored Toddler I knew we would be trying it at some point.  This one takes a tad bit of planning, but would be worth it...especially if your child is learning to count to 5.

Bath Crayons

We use bath crayons all year long.  We love them. My preschooler doesn’t want bath time to end when we she gets to play with bath crayons. Occasionally I ask her to draw something specific or squeeze in a little letter writing practice, but I mostly just let this be a fun time where she can use her imagination.

Color Mixing

This activity from Hands On As We Grow is simple, yet so fun.  Just add food coloring to bowls of water. Have child mix the colors in new bowls.  This is a great learning through play activity, and such a tactile way to learn about mixing colors.

Pouring Station

If you have not tried a pouring station with your young kids, try it now.  This one is great for EVERY age. Just offer water in different containers/pitchers with plenty of scoops, funnels, etc for lots of play. Lots of math skills in this activity.

Make Bubbles

I’ve been reading about bubble sensory play for years, but have never taken the time (aside from a bubble bath) to offer this one.  This is going into my plans for this summer. All you do is mix dish soap and warm water. You can mix it with a hand mixer or have your child whisk the bubbles.  We will probably do a little of both. There is a tutorial here for those of you wanting more info.

Glow Stick Bath

This would be a fun rainy day activity if you have a bathroom with no windows.  I think every age would love this, and you can grab packs of glow sticks at Dollar Tree.  Go ahead and grab some so you will be ready for a rainy day soon!

Pipes and Water Sensory Play Station

In this activity from Moms and Crafters, you just place some building pipes, measuring cups, and funnels to your water play station.  

Water Gun Painting

We are looking forward to doing this soon to help with decorations for a Unicorn Birthday Party.  I will share the results on Instagram. Just add watered down paint to water guns and spray on paper, canvas, poster board, kraft paper, cardboard, whatever you like.

Painting with Ice

Dye water and freeze in ice cube trays.  Use several different colors. Then just have your child use the ice to ‘paint’ on white paper. Find a tutorial here.

Squeezing Water

Work on your child’s fine motor skills with this activity.  Have your child use this and this to squeeze water and squirt back out.

Water Balloon Stomp

Ok, this one is SO cute from Laura over at Sunny Day Family.  She filled a tub with water balloons and had her kids stomp on them to pop them.  I can just imagine the giggles that this brought on.

DIY Splash Pad

I stumbled upon the cutest blog, Little White House Blog.  What she did with this square piece of concrete was genius! Check it out to see for yourself!

Backyard Carwash

Let your child wash their Cozy Coupe or other outside riding toy.  This is actually a good lesson in responsibility, as well as loads of fun for the littles.

Net Fishing

Fill a tub or kiddie pool with little caps, balls, or even rubber ducks.  Have your child use a net to fish out each item. Find out how one mom did this here.

Frozen Water Beads

If you caught my Top 5 Ideas for Sensory Fun post, you know just how much we love water beads! I thought this was a fun twist to water bead play.  Just freeze them, and then PLAY!

Colored Ice Cube Sensory Play

This one is a lot like painting with ice cubes, but this mom let her toddlers play with the ice cubes in a water tub.  Check out what she did here.

Pool Noodle Water Wall

Angela over at Teaching Mama put together this super cute pool noodle water wall.  Check out her tutorial here. We do not have a backyard, so this would be a good one for us to keep in the garage and pull out as needed.

Sprinklers

Set up a sprinkler in the yard.  SIMPLE. FUN. Gives you a minute to prop your feet up outside!

Water Table

Water tables are just a great way to entertain a toddler in the summer.  I suggest getting one NOW. You will not regret it.

Water Mat

I’ve never had one of these water mats. But might order one for our 6 month old.  I think he would really enjoy this.

Kiddie Pool

And of course, a kiddie pool.  I’ve mentioned this in several of the other activities, but the kiddie pool by itself is a great way to fill some outside time without getting too hot.

DIY Water Blob

I have always wanted to make one of these DIY Water Blobs.  I think it would be tons of fun. The next summer that we have a yard, we will be making one of these.  I’ve seen many tutorials for these over the years, but here is one that I thought was the best.

DIY Tin Foil River

This is a great activity for all ages, but I think your older preschool boys will LOVE this one.  Find all the details here.

Ice Block Play

The last activity I’m sharing is this one from Macaroni Kid.  I’ve wanted to do one of these for a while, and I think she did a great job of setting up this activity.  I really think this would bring a good hour of fun to your backyard.

Thank you for joining me today to read about all my ideas for water fun this summer.  I hope you found something that will add to some Summer fun at your house!

Ideas for Water Fun-Ideas for Stay At Home Water Fun--Every SAHM needs a water fun list for Summer