Last Updated on May 17, 2021.
Are you looking for cheap and easy ways to entertain your toddlers? There are many benefits and very few negatives of water play at home for toddlers! Here’s our epic guide.
What is Water Play?
Water play is a freeform activities that kids of all ages can engage in. The options are limitless. It can be done indoors or outdoors. You can add toys, colors, textures, and a plethora of other items to prolong water play. It can be a therapeutic activity and/or an educational opportunity. Best of all, it takes virtually no prep!
Why is Water Play Good for Toddlers?
Water play a cheap and easy way to foster your toddlers development and growth. Here’s why you should include water play daily!
Develops Motor Skills
Water play will help children develop very important fine motor skills. Pouring, squeezing, dumping, and stirring encourage these skills. Things like learning to control their pour from one bucket to another and learning how to control the direction or height of a splash give them opportunities to experiment and refine motor skills.
Promotes Creativity and Imagination
You can add an unlimited variety of toys, kitchen utensils, etc. to encourage creativity. A little food coloring can also encourage the imagination.
In addition to improving fine motor skills, water play also improves coordination. Kids will be able to steady their hand while pouring or splashing. They’ll strengthen muscles and be able to use both hands at the same time.
Encourages Sensory Exploration
Water is a unique sensory experience for kids. Very small children try to grab water only to feel it fall through their fingers. Toys feel different when they are wet. Regular water play encourage this type of sensory exploration for kids!
Offers Opportunities for Social Development
Water play can definitely be a solo activity. But it’s a great opportunity for kids to get social. Kids can learn cooperation and friendship skills through water play.
Enhances Focus and Concentration
Children who play with water often enter “the zone.” They can play with water for hours. Focus and concentration are skills that require practice, and water play offers the perfect opportunity for kids to develop these skills.
Introduces Math and Science Concepts
Disclosure: Affiliates allow us to keep our content free. If you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. I will never betray your trust and recommend something I wouldn’t use! You can read our full disclosure here.
Water Play Activities for Toddlers
Here’s an epic list of water play ideas to inspire you. Get creative!
In the Sink
- Sink of float game
- Create an under the sea scene
- Paint small figures and then wash them off
- Washing pretend (or real) dishes (What a great way to introduce chores!)
- Animal wash station
In the Tub
- Babydoll bath
- Sponge play
- Glow in the Dark Water
At the Counter
- Melt ice with salt
- Lemonade Sensory Activity
- Make a magic potion
- Frog Pond Sensory Activity
- Lemon Potions
- Spoon transfer (one cup to another)
- Flower Potions
- Ice cube transfer (one cup to another)
- Ocean Pollution Cleanup Activity
- Lemon & Ice Activity
- Painting with Water
In a Water Table
- Letter fishing
- Cups, funnels and colanders
- Ice Dig
- Add ice cubes (dyed with food coloring for extra fun)
- Soap Foam Activities
- Go fish (with a small net)
- Disney Ice Escape
- Recycled Material Water Play
- Explore how to melt ice
With a Hose
- Splash Pad
- Water table
- Make muddy puddles to splash in
- Wash stones (perfect for prepping for rock painting)
- Make it spray in different directions with your thumb
- Fill water balloons
- Other water balloon activities
- Paint the pavement
- Make garden soup
- Squirt guns
- Make backyard sea water (with table salt)
- Build a Foil Stream
More Epic Water Play Guides
Tips for Water Play
Here are practical tips for using water play!
- If you’re paying with water in the house, put towels down!
- Add color tabs for extra fun!
- Have your kids wear their favorite swim suit for easy cleanup!
- Avoid wearing shoes that take a long time to dry.
Do you have other ideas for water play at home for toddlers? I’d love to hear your ides! Share them below in the comments.
What You Should Do Next…
Are you ready for more activities to build a rock-solid bond with your kids? Try our Connected Parent Challenge! It’s 15 Days of 15 Minute activities that are sure to improve your connection, diminish bad behavior, and create lasting memories. Plus, I’ll deliver more amazing parenting strategies to your inbox weekly (don’t worry, unsubscribe any time!).
Connect with like-minded moms (and dads!) in our free online community. You’ll find a plethora of resources to help you through your parenting challenges. Plus, you’ll find me there! And I’d love to connect.
Do you need actionable strategies right now? Register for this free 60-minute webinar titled How to Get Kids to Listen, Without Nagging, Yelling or Losing Control. You’ll walk away with parent-tested tactics to get your kids to listen starting today.