I like to keep things simple in life. It definitely helps me keep my sanity and allows me to accomplish so much more with my time. This is oh so true for activities that I plan for my daughter. I can’t do extravagant. It just doesn’t work for me but I truly believe that you can provide the best play and learning experiences with next to nothing. This easy water play activity for young toddlers is pure magic! What I mean by that is you will be amazed at how long your toddler will stay entertained with these few items.
I specifically love activities that combine sensory play and being outside. This water play activity is easy enough to whip out on any day with very little advanced preparation needed. I’m all about being actively involved in your child’s play experience, so I’m providing lots of ideas to make this an enriching learning experience. Yahoo!
Easy Water Play Activity for Young Toddlers
If you follow my blog, you will soon find out that I am obsessed with Dollar Tree. I mean OBSESSED! I bought all of the items you see in the picture there (except for the alphabet letters.) You likely have most of these items already at home, but if you don’t or you want to keep your personal kitchen items separate, I recommend getting these items there!
Here’s what you need:
2 bins or buckets
Scooping materials (I used measuring cups & different kinds of kitchen spoons)
Pouring items (I used cups & bowls)
Ice cube tray (optional)
Dish Soap (optional- I used Dawn)
Alphabet Letters (optional)
Quick Water Play Set Up
Fill one bin or bucket with cold water. Place a handful of ice cubes into this bin. Fill the other bin with warm water. You can also add dish soap and the alphabet letters into this bin. This is not necessary but it does lead to some additional exploration topics. Bring the bins, scooping and pouring materials outside and you are good to go!
Engaging Concepts to Explore During Water Play
Explore opposites!Ask your toddler to touch the water. Describe how one feels warm and the other is cold. Demonstrate pouring the water fast and then pour it slowly. Have your toddler do the same.
Build vocabulary! Describe the sound the water makes as you pour it. Use the word float to describe the ice cubes and alphabet letters. Talk about the bubbles. You can scoop some out and put it on different parts of your toddler and say something like “the bubbles are on top of your head.”
Tie in science!Take an ice cube out and put it on the ground. Have your toddler watch it and ask them what happens. Explain how ice melts and turns back to water. Watch it evaporate too and use a simple explanation such as “first is was a solid piece of ice, then it melted into water, and now it evaporated and is all gone.”
Learn the alphabet! As your child scoops out an alphabet letter, you can tell them what letter they found and make the letter sound/s. Try to find an object that starts with that letter.
Describe, describe, describe!Let your child use their own imagination and play with the items however they like. Describe what they are doing. They’ll likely scoop, pour and transfer the water is many different ways. Try to provide specific feedback like “I love the way you are using the big red spoon to dump water into the small pink cup.”