Camp Ask Holly Week Four: Rub-a-Dub-Dub—Water Fun with Kids and a Tub!

Water Fun

Two of my summer pet peeves that I can complain about from here to Montauk (driving on the L.I.E. brings out the worst in me) are:

  1. People who throw outdoor parties without a pool or beach during July and August.
  2. That nasty smell beach towels get went not dried properly. For real—that smell can stick up a whole load of laundry and no amount of regular washing can get it out.

Last weekend in this heat, I was the fool who threw that outdoor BBQ. The kids were too hot in the 90+ degree weather, so I went old school and tried out a water game my brother, my cousin David and I invented back in the day when my mother employed the old “in or out” rule. She wasn’t a fan of air conditioning the metro Detriot area, and we, being stupid kids, picked “out.”.

The water fun game is called  “TUB” because that’s what we called it as kids—simple and descriptive. I had kids playing this game for an hour, no amount of fancy backyard toys seem to stack up to this stupid old game.

Water Game

Here is what you need to play Tub:

  • A tub of some sort (a rubber storage bin would totally work)
  • Plastic cups (the bigger the better)
  • A hose
  • Over-heated kids

Fill the tub with water then make a perimeter around the tub with the hose about 7′-10′ out. This is the soak zone. Arm your kids with cups.

Water Game

The Rules: 
You can only throw water on someone inside the soak zone. If they are 3/4 of the way outside the soak zone when you throw water at them, you get “tubbed.”The tubbie must now stand in the tub while the other players dump water on him/her. THAT’S IT. During a good game of Tub one must refill the vessel a few times and usually a drunken adult walks over to join in the game. The kids soon discover that a 40 year man, a few sheets to the wind, is a slow and easy target.

My son’s favorite fake out method is to claim he just wants to drink the water then he dumps it on you. He  has the devil in him and I can’t imagine where he gets it from.

Now for my pet peeve #2 – De-stinking the mildew smell from your towels:
It only takes one forgotten load of towels in the washing machine to get this stinky smell. Sometimes is is just a wet beach towel left in the car overnight but the smell will not come out with ordinary washing—trust me I’ve tried.

Getting the smell out:
Fill the washing machine with hot water, add one half of a box of baking soda and mix. Add the towels and let soak overnight or for a few hours. add detergent to the loads and 1/2 of a cup to one cup of vinegar (depending on the size of the load)  to the fabric softener dispenser. Run the load and dry the towels in the drier with softener sheets.

I don’t normally use softener sheets because they tend to gunk up the drier but they are nice to have at hand in the summer. I reuse pool towels a few times to cut down on my housework. Throwing those used towels in the drier with a sheet for about 15 minutes makes them feel and smell a bit nicer.

Summer craft/fun questions? Ask Holly in comments.

How are your kids spending their summer? Playin’ Tub and kickin’ it old school?

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