In front of you is something that has:
- Four black wheels
- A classic red, metal base
- A long, black handle
- And, bright white words etched along the side.
Can you guess what it is…?
If you were like me as a kid, you’ll know the answer right away: it’s a radio flyer wagon.
Did you have one too?
And, I loved mine..
Which is why I was thrilled when Radio Flyer (a Happily Ever Mom sponsor) reached out to us here on the blog. I hadn’t bought a little red wagon for my kids yet, but I immediately started remembering about my epic walks around the block with my stuffed bears in tow. For my kids, I stuck with the classic red wagon like the one that I had. Although, all terrain wheels are a pretty sweet upgrade.
Have you seen them?
They roll over the grass like it’s nothing. My hill racing skills would have been ridiculous with those wheels.
But, I digress…
See, my kids have already fallen in love with their wagon.
From pulling each other around the corner of our block to begging me to take them even further down the street, my kids were like a toddler with a roll of toilet paper: they just couldn’t stop playing.
But, as we were playing with our new, shiny wagon, I realized that there are some pretty sweet activities that I hadn’t thought to do before. These 10 epic NEW ways for kids to play with their wagon will give new life to beloved wagons or have you begging to get your own shiny wagon.
So, go ahead, grab those wagons because there’s a ton of quick and easy activities for your kids ahead. And, if you don’t have a radio flyer yet, add it to your must have list, because these are just too good to pass up…
Before we dive into the activities, I’ve got to tell you that this post is in honor of Radio Flyer’s 100th anniversary.
In honor of this awesome occasion, Radio Flyer has created kids travel agency to encourage kids to get out and play this summer! You can read all about the travel agency HERE. Share the adventures that your kids are having with their radio flyer by using the hashtag #radioflyer100 and you’ll earn a chance to win their summer giveaway of $100 towards any radio flyer product.
How awesome is that?!
Remember, just share the hashtag #radioflyer100 and you’ll have an entry into our summer giveaway of $100 for your own radio flyer product.
Now, let’s dive into our Epic Summer activities for kids and our favorite red wagon…
Use the Wagon as a Sensory Table.
I’m not sure if you’ve heard of a sensory table before, but it’s just a fancy way of saying that you have a tub outside for kids to use their senses (primarily, I think of kids getting to explore their sense of touch with sensory tables). The most common way to use a sensory table is to fill it with water and toys so kids can scoop, splash, and play with their hands. I actually don’t have one for my kids (but I used them all the time when I was a preschool teacher), so we used our wagon instead and it worked beautifully. Just fill the wagon with water and let the kids play! Other things to fill it with that won’t make it rust: dry beans, dry rice, bird seed, etc.
NOTE: You want to really dry out the wagon afterward. We did this on a hot day – when the wagon basin was in the shade and not hot – and then left it in the sun to dry afterward. The wagon could rust if you leave water in it.
Everything But the Kitchen Sink…
Set up a water station in the wagon with soap and whisks.
See if your kids can make bubbles by whisking the water. My kids absolutely love using all of the scoops, spoons, and turkey basters from our kitchen drawer to play with. They actually love it SO much that I have to put a limit on how many things they can take from my kitchen! The nice part is that you can just throw them in the dishwasher when you are done playing.
Toy Bath Outside
Add water, soap, and cars for a car wash. Try using dolls for a bath too.
One of the ways that my kids love to paint is by using shaving cream.
Just squeeze a little shaving cream into muffin tins, add a drop or two of food coloring, mix, and you’ve got great “paint.” Let kids paint the wagon and then rinse it off. It’s so simple, but you’ll be surprised with how much your kids will love to do this activity!
Stacking Cups Game
This is a really simple game that you can take to a whole new level with your wagon.
Let kids stack cups inside the basin of the wagon, then try to take the cups for a walk without knocking them down. This is a fun little math game that will frustrate some kids and fascinate others – can you guess how your kids will react to this game? (psst…I’ve got one who LOVES it and one who gets frustrated by it – ha!)
Water Slide Walk
I’m not going to lie, you’ve got to be a bit brave (or crazy) to try this idea with your kids. But, my kids begged to get into their swimsuits and sit inside of the wagon with the water inside. Then, they asked me to pull them around.
It was like pull kids around in a bath tub. It was crazy. It was weird. But, it was ridiculously fun! If you’re like me, you’ll be willing to try it out, but keep safety in mind. You know your kids better than I do, so you make the call if this would be a safe activity to try out with your kids or not.
Forget standing on the corner!
Pull a mobile lemonade stand around your neighborhood. Take extra cups and a container that won’t leak when you pull it around in the wagon. Make a 10 cents stand to go on the back so people know what your lemonade stand is all about.
Mini Wagon Floats
Turn your wagon into a car or anything that you want by putting cardboard around it. My kids wanted to build a racecar. Just grab a big box, tape it around the outside of the wagon, and let the kid’s imagination take over. Again, if you’re brave, add paints or markers so that your kids can decorate the cardboard. You can turn your wagon into a mini float to parade around the neighborhood!
Keep it simple and take an i-spy walk through the neighborhood. Pile in the kids in the wagon and see what they can find while you go for a walk. You can make our favorite heart-shaped binoculars to help you spot things as you go.
Keep it Simple
Even though my kids LOVED these activities that we did with our wagon, a simple walk around the block or to a local park will make any kid’s day.
The key is to make these suggestions to your kids, but to remember that if they’re happy playing, don’t mess with the magic! If they just want to pull the wagon around, let them!
I’m a big believer that if kids are enjoying themselves, then don’t mess with it. But, if they need a little inspiration or if they need a little nudge to get excited about their wagon again, these activities are the perfect way to encourage play.
Which one do you think your kids would love to do? I’d love to hear!
More Summer Activities for Kids from Happily Ever Mom
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Radio Flyer. The opinions and text are all mine.