Our coffee shop activity with sand, soap and water provides hours of open-ended, imaginative play for kids of all ages.
Last Friday was a P.A. day so a few of our “graduates” joined us for the day. Because of the larger group and the wider age-range (1 to 7), I wanted to offer an engaging activity that would appeal to everyone. I came up with the idea for this coffee shop activity just a few short hours before they arrived Friday morning, (cuz some of my best ideas come to me in the 11th hour) and I have to say, it was without a doubt, one of the best activities we’ve ever done here.
If you’re wondering where the inspiration came from, my hubby and I had picked up a couple of Timmie’s coffees the night before, and when I saw empty coffee cups in the recycling bin, a “light-bulb” went on.
If you’ve been following us for any length of time, you know that I’m all about activities that are easy and inexpensive, but at the same time offer my daycare children lots of opportunities for exploring, experimenting and learning. And I especially love an activity that is captivating enough to hold their attention for a long period of time. Our coffee shop met all the criteria and then some.
In the past, other super-popular activities that have held the hooligans attention for the better part of an entire morning have been our Muddy Car Wash, Baby Bath Station, and our Ice Age Bin. Please click on the links to see what they’re all about. Each one is easy to prepare, and requires basic items that you likely already have around your home.
This one was no different. I simply gathered some odds and ends from the toy room and craft room, and the only “ingredients” we used were sand, water and dish soap.
What I used to create our coffee shop:
- metal or plastic tea pots, coffee pots or pitchers
- milk foamer/frother (you could probably use a whisk or a hand-held egg-beater or even a blender)
- clean milk/cream carton
- plastic mugs, disposable coffee cups
- stir sticks
- spice shaker with large holes (ours still had popcorn flavouring in it)
- small “sugar” bowls
- a few squirts of dish soap
- plastic serving tray or cardboard take-out drink tray
- our camping water jug so the children had access to and control of “running water” in the yard
This is what the coffee shop looked like before the hooligans descended on it. The photo isn’t great, but the kids pounced on everything so quickly I wasn’t able to get a better one shot of the set-up.
Inexpensive work table:
The table that we use for a lot of our activities is a really light-weight coffee table that I picked up at a second-hand shop. Because it’s so light, it’s easy to move around the yard or in and out of the house to where-ever we need it. I paid about 6 bucks for it, and I don’t know how we ever did without it.
I simply filled the teapots and coffee pots with water, and I added some sand to the “sugar bowls”. I added water and a few squirts of dish soap to the milk foamer, and I pumped the handle a few times to produce the beautiful foam that you’ll see in the following photos.
Our camping water-jug is always a popular, warm-weather addition to our outdoor play space. The kids enjoy having access to “running water”, and they love to crank the spigot to refill their containers or to rinse their hands.
Mmmmm Mmmm! Muddy, sandy play never looked so good!
So good, in fact that this activity has given me an idea for another one that I think will be just as fun! Stay tuned because we’ll be doing that one next week!
If this is your first visit to Happy Hooligans, I’d love for you to pop over and LIKE us on facebook. I update my page daily with easy and affordable arts, crafts and play ideas.
You can follow me on Pinterest too! I have over 90 boards dedicated to all kinds of kids’ crafts and activities, as well as some personal interest boards too.
See you there!