Summer Boredom Buster-Paint the Fence with Water!

It’s hot.  Your daycare kids are tired of running through the sprinkler and the day is only half over.  What to do?  Here is a favourite summer activity that I enjoyed as a girl.  My next door neighbour and I never tired of this activity and it stayed appealing year after year.  It is inexpensive, requires just a few common household objects and only takes one minute to clean up.  And it’s a great way to stay cool on a hot day.  My good old wholesome fun activity is…..painting the fence with water!

Sound too simple?  Find a few new paintbrushes in whatever size you have.  Larger ones cover more area and this is the type I would recommend.  Fill a pail with water and make sure the children are in clothes that can get a little wet.  Ask the kids to see if they can find out what happens when they ‘paint’ the fence with water.  The children will be delighted when they see the wood change to a darker colour.  It looks like it was really painted!

They can try to paint the whole fence before the sun dries the wood and it returns to its original colour.  They can try painting other materials such as brick, pavement, siding, stone and see what happens.  Sure enough it doesn’t take too long before somebody decides to try to paint themselves or their friend.  This starts a fun game of everyone trying to get each other wet and ends in giggles.

Once the fence has been painted the clean-up is fast and easy.  I love this activity because both small and big children can enjoy it.  It is safe and can be very creative in the pictures they make.  Everything becomes a potential canvas and the repeatative motion of painting has a soothing quality to it.  Water painting is also very environmentally friendly, no paper is ever used!

I often bring this activity inside during the colder months.  I use a small paintbrush and a cup of water on a blackboard easel.  It is amazing how often the children ask to paint the easel and the children focus on the activity with determination.  Be careful with very young children and indoor water painting because sometimes so much water gets on the easel it ends up dripping wet.  I put the easel in the kitchen and spread a towel out underneath it.  A waterproof paint smock protects the child’s clothing.

Just think, after a few summers of practicing painting the fence with water your children will have develped excellent painting skills.  They will be ready  if anyone needs help painting a fence with real paint!
Enjoy the sunshine and the sound of children’s laughter, happy painting everyone!


  1. Do you think children (aged 4-5) will like making pictures with water on the fence of things like faces, people, animals and houses? I might give it a go and will probably join in with them. We can have painting competitions with no mess!

  2. Hi. It’s Ellie here again. My little nephew loved the activity this summer. He liked the pictures I made and he made some of his own. He then enjoyed seeing the water fade in the sun. I’m sure he will have fond memories of the activity for years to come. 🙂