It didn't take long to set up (I had the Farmer's help) and clean up was a breeze since it was outside! Just hose everything down afterward!
The kids loved it and when the Farmer asked me which activity was the favorite, I had a hard time deciding until I remembered that the soapy water bucket used to clean hands was probably it!
You can find most of the items we used in your pantry, although you may need a bit more than what you usually have on hand.
Here are the activities we had:
Cloud dough bin: 24 cups of white flour and 3 cups of clear oil (baby oil or mineral oil). This is actually cheaper than buying play sand and I love the texture! It also leaves your hands soft from the baby oil!
Water beads: There are 2 sets of water beads in this bin. Simply place them in a bowl of water overnight and then add them to a large bin for play. These were a big hit!
Shaving cream table: I squirted shaving cream all over our outdoor table. Also a hit! Shaving cream from Dollar Tree.
Goop/Oobleck: I LOVED this stuff! It is so cool. I first saw it on Housing a Forest (almost a year ago!) and have wanted to try it ever since. Sweet P played in this long after everyone left.
Dried pasta: The kids had fun putting this in the dump truck and then dumping it out.
Painting station: I rolled out a piece of paper and taped it to the sidewalk (ignoring the fact that packing tape does NOT stick to cement). There were markers, paint with forks or hands/feet, and paint filled ice cubes to use. The ice cubes didn't work so well so we ended up tossing them into the pool.
Mini water pillow: After seeing this genius idea on The Mommies Made Me Do It, the Farmer set to creating a mini one for the kids. We used what we had on hand (which was plastic for windows) and it wasn't very durable, but duck tape works wonders! We tested our prototype the day before with Sweet P and Baby Blue and I was shocked at how refreshing it was! We are definitely doing this again with a bigger version.
Sand table with play sand: The sand in the table is play sand from Toys R Us. You can't get it at Home Depot or Ace Hardware. I tried. And all they have is regular sand. Play sand is much, much finer and easily moves through funnels. This was actually the least played with activity!
Dirt digging: A few kids played in Sweet P's garden, using a rake and shovel.
Sidewalk chalk road: We had a ride-on tractor and several other push toys for the chalk road.
Squirt bottles: I had 2 squirt bottles with water out and 2 of the girls LOVED squirting the house! Such a simple activity and they loved it.
If I had to guess I'd say it was a hit! I love that the kids experienced so much sensory and science without even knowing it!
Want more ideas for playdates? Check out B.Inpsired Mama!'s 20 Tips for Successful Play Dates!