Most kids love playing with water. In summertime we have outdoor water play outside pretty much everyday. A few inches of water in a shallow bin or tub, or in a small paddle pool, plastic containers to fill and pour from and a wooden spoon or two, and my little water nymphs are as happy as larks for ages.
If your children love water play as much as mine do, here are 10 simple water play ideas that are sure to extend playtime next time they are ready to splish and splash!
10 Easy Water Play Ideas
Playing with water is a wonderful tool for laying the foundations for future mathematical thinking and scientific learning, providing children with hands-on experience with;
- Learning about measurement: Which container holds the most/least? Which container holds more/less?
- Experimenting with scientific concepts: Which object will float/sink and why?
- Learning new vocabulary: Empty and full, shallow and deep, wet and dry, etc
- Learning how to sort or categorise: These objects all float, these ones sink.
Plus, water play is a fabulous sensory play idea and the benefits of sensory play for young children are well documented.
Here are ten cool water play activities to increase the learning potential and up the fun factor;
1. Squeeze It: Add a big car cleaning sponge for squeezing water into containers as an alternative to pouring. Mesh bath sponges are fun too.
2. Good Clean Fun: Add dolls, figurines or cars and a cloth for washing toys.
RELATED: Getting Started with Water Play for Babies
3. Exploring Flow: Add plastic drinking bottles with holes punched into them, plus a waterwheel and some lengths of clear plastic tubing from the hardware store.
4. Bubble Trouble: Add a little dishwashing detergent and some whisks and let your kids create bubbles in the water.
5. Tea Party: Take your child’s cooking play outside – tea set, pots and pans, cups and saucers, and spoons for stirring, then add water, and even a little sand if you’re feeling brave.
6. Keep It Natural: Try water play with natural materials – small river stones, seed pods, leaves, small sticks and bark.
7. Floating and Sinking: Choose a range of objects that will float and some which will sink. Notice these properties out load as your child plays with the objects in the water.
8. Build a Boat: Challenge your child to make a boat from recycled materials and add your child’s plastic people or animal figurines for a day of boating on the water.
9. Water Painting: Give your child a bucket of water and a chunky paintbrush for water painting. You will be amazed how much fun toddlers and preschoolers have with this water play activity.
10. Get Muddy: Go all in and add sand for some seriously fun play with mud! Make mudpies and mud cakes or drip castles! Here you’ll find our pick of fifteen of the best mud play ideas.
For even more outdoor fun, check out these related articles;
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Christie you're excellent at demonstrating ways to allow learning to happen naturally through play.
Narelle Nettelbeck says
The children also enjoy it when I set out 2 tubs of coloured water (eg one yellow and one blue) and then let the children mix away!!
I haven't tried the bottle idea but I have cups in the water play box with holes in the bottom - the children love that so I can't wait to try the bottle!
Teacher Tom says
Honor Bowden says