National Play Day: Water Play

It was National Play Day this week. So, we tagged along with a few of our friends to the Whitworth gallery to join in on a day of water based play!

Playday occurs every year on the first Wednesday in August and is a campaign held to celebrate the importance of Play in children’s lives.

Inspired by our day at The Whitworth and determined not to have our spirits dampened by the rain, we decided to recreate our own day of water play.

Activities You Can Try At Home

Bubbles & Paint

At The Whitworth pots filled with water and soap were accompanied by straws and socks for children to attempt in creating an array of different bubble structures.

At home we filled the paddling pool up with a mix of water, washing up liquid and water based, non-toxic paints. We then used this mix to explore and play. Encourage children to touch and smell and splash. Take the lead in assessing what happens when. For example when I spray the water at the paper, what shapes does it make? How do the bubbles change the way I paint?

Washing Up

Even the most basic of activities and/or chores can offer up huge levels of fun, especially for kids. Theon is obsessed with doing the dishes! And although he can’t be left unattended, every time he has a go he learns as he plays.

At The Whitworth activity sinks were set up with tubes and utensils as well as construction pipes for channeling long lines of water. Water Play is a brilliant first introduction to STEAM.

Bath Time

The perfect way to start and/or end a day. For us it was an extension of our day of messy water play. A great way to clean up and wind down! Our favourite go to for bath time activities at the moment is Lush. Their chemical, child friendly products are a little pricey, but great as a holiday treat. Theon is in love with their ‘Forever Blowing Bubbles’ soap. It triples up as an easy wash down paint, bubble blower and soap. And it smells heavenly; the perfect extension to sensory play. Ticking an array of boxes: Colour, Smell and Touch.


To reduce your mess and depending on the weather, if at home I would tend to either strip the kids down or get them wrapped up in their rain suits and wellies.

Although only officially one day every year, National Play Day has inspired lots of local groups to hold various free events across the Summer Holidays. So, check out your local libraries, galleries and museums for more info on free play days for the kids.

In the mean time if you want more inspiration on how to get creative at home, why not watch our IGTV video ‘A Day of Water Play’. Or check out our sensory play and STEAM boards.

And remember it’s all meant to be fun. Don’t push yourself to do more than you can manage. Adapt to the space you have and join in. The more they interact with the activity, the more energy they use up!

Happy splashing!

Berrit x

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Ella @ Typical Mummy

    I didn’t realise there was a National Play Day…how wonderful!! This post has taken me back…I used to pass the Whitworth on the bus every morning on my way in to University! #KidsandKreativity

    1. Booberrit

      It’s such a great place isn’t it!? As the kids played my friend Kerry was telling e all about what it was like when she was younger, how it’s always been a strong pillar to that area but how it’s also become so well utilised. It’s a lovely family friendly place to hang out and play!

  2. We love water play! And often add some extra sensory element into it, such as essential oils in the bath, ice cubes/blocks in the paddling pool (though they melt so fast on a hot day!), food colouring etc. Great fun 🙂 x #KidsandKreativity

    1. Booberrit

      Brilliant ideas! On the warm summer days we over add petals and citrus fruit all great sensory additions!

  3. Emma

    This is the first I’ve heard of National Play Day! The Whitworth brings back happy memories from art college. #KidsandKreativity

    1. Booberrit

      Me too! The Whitworth is such a fantastic place to celebrate and play!

  4. Kerry

    Some great ideas here, and I also didn’t know there was a National Play Day! Thanks for linking up with #KidsandKreativity, hope to see you back next time x

    1. Booberrit

      Yep it’s definitely gone in my diary for next yr!

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