Rain, rain, come and play
According to famous Danish landscape architect Carl Theodor Sorensen, “Children are happiest when playing with junk.” Any parent who has witnessed the hours of play generated by an empty appliance box can attest to this truism.
Put junk to great use outside by making a vertical water wall to help kids explore the physics of water. Attach plastic containers, bottles and tubes to a wall or railing to create a course for water to flow through. (You can drill these objects in, secure them with zip ties and chicken wire, or just use string and nails.) Then start experimenting: Add food coloring to see what happens when colors are mixed together. Track the rainfall by measuring the amount of rain in each bottle. Explore how water levels change with the shape of each container. The possibilities are endless.
For a fun twist on the water wall, use old gutters or halved PVC pipes to create a gutter course. Prop them over lawn chairs, bricks or rocks; add leaves or small toys and make a race out of it.