Where I live it gets HOT in the summers. It is on the scorching summer days that the only way that I am going to let my kiddos play outside is if there is a lot of water involved. Enter the water table.
If you do not already know, water tables are fabulous! They are exactly what they sound like: a table that holds water for exploring and play.
The one minor issue… like with all things, you kids
can will start to loose their interest in it if you don’t change things up every so often. Having already personally experienced this with T last summer, I made sure to prepare myself this time around.
So, without further ado, I present to you… The jumbo list of water table activities!!!
1. Turn it into a pouring station – give your LO (little one) all kinds of items to use to practice their pouring skills. (In addition, this is a GREAT fine motor skill activity.) Some ideas: watering pail, ladle, baster, measuring cups, funnel, and different sized & shaped containers.
2. Shaped colored ice – I LOVE having an excuse to use my silicone molds. I got one of bugs, and one of dinosaurs to use for my kiddos. For this one, place your mold on a plate for stability. Once you add water to each compartment, add some food coloring to each section. Then pop it in the freezer.
Bonus – Use colors that you know once they melt will turn the water into a brand new color. Ex- yellow and blue ice will turn the water green, and red and blue ice will turn the water purple.
This way your LO will get to have the sensory play of experimenting with the ice, AND will get to explore colors.
3. Car wash – This one is a classic. Get the water sudsy, add some toy cars and various sponges/scrubbers, and let your kiddo go to town washing their toys!
Added twist – use any water-friendly toy for this activity. T LOVES getting permission to take his little dinosaurs out with us to give them a bath.
*Note: Help protect the environment- look into using a soap that is environmentally friendly.
4. Squirt gun station – Let your water table multi task as a squirt gun refilling station.
Extra suggestion – set up targets not too far away from your water table for your LO to aim at.
5. I Spy ABC– Add some plastic ABC letters into the water, and make a game with your LO of finding and identifying them.
Bonus– Do the same with shapes and numbers!
6. Bath time! – Let your kids play with some of their bath toys in their water table! You may want to clean them off when they are done 😉
7. Sink VS Float – Use this opportunity to teach your kids some science. Collect random objects from your home to let your kids drop into the water table to see if they sink or float.
Remember – be sure to talk to your LOs about WHY each item floats or sinks. Keep the vocabulary simple for young children (“light” and “heavy” for example), and up the vocabulary for older children (such as “density”).
8. Explore Nature – Similar to “Sink VS Float,” let your children put nature items from around your yard in the water table to explore things such as if the item will sink or float, or if the item changes color at all when wet. Good things for this- leaves, flowers, different kinds of rocks, and sticks.
Science tie-in – This would be an awesome experiment if you want to teach your LO about plants and plant parts, or about the different kinds or rocks.