Tip 155: August 2021 – Science Activities Using Waterplay
Website Educational Tips for Cognitive Development
Waterplay needs no formal introduction. All children love to play in water,
and it has many advantages. It is a soothing experience and can help calm a
disruptive child. It also can help develop a variety of scientific critical
thinking skills using inexpensive materials to provide young children with
the opportunity to experiment with water.
Children usually find playing with water very soothing and relaxing. It
gives them the opportunity to learn how natural materials behave and
teaches them about scientific concepts. It also helps to develop their arm
and hand muscles and improves their skill at pouring. It is important to
avoid the idea that getting wet or messy is naughty. Instead try to teach
children to keep the mess within limits and make sure they always help in
Infants: Things That Carry Water:
The major advantage of waterplay is the inexpensive nature of learning
about science, and the inexpensive easily found materials. Water activities
should not be limited to one place. They should be done both indoors and
outdoors where young children are given the opportunity to investigate the
properties of water. Some of the following materials are valuable to have
pots & pans colanders & strainers egg beaters & whisks
trays & pails measuring cups & spoons ladles & watering cans
corks & brushes pitchers & funnels eye droppers & sponges
Things That Float:
Allow children to experiment with things that float or things that sink in
a large pan of water. Make an experience chart of those that do (straws,
corks, plastic lids) and those that don’t (keys, nails, paperclips). Have
the children make a simple boat by using an empty jar lid with some clay
stuck in the middle. Have them cut a triangle out of paper and stick a
tooth pick through it. Put it in the center of the clay and have a race
where the children have to blow on the sail to move the boats across the pan.
Preschoolers: Things That Dissolve:
Children usually have no idea what dissolves in water. This activity
provides first hand experience. Have them make predictions and write them
down on an experience chart. Next test their assumptions. Try using dirt,
sugar, pepper, salt, oatmeal, rice, and cornflakes .
Don’t forget to demonstrate that water is not always liquid. It can be in
the form of vapor, like fog or steam or it can be solid, like snow or ice.
Try to come up with your own creative ideas and have fun.
WATER IS THE DRIVING FORCE OF ALL NATURE
(Leonardo Da Vinci)