A young girl sitting in a swimming pool, playing with a bucket and spade.

Water Play and Experiments for Kids

Unrestricted play is how kids develop their creativity and imagination, and as your little ones grow older, you can combine this kind of activity with a few fun experiments to teach them something new.Not only does this encourage growing minds to think outside the box, it can also help to inspire an early love of science and nature.

Learning about the things that make the world work is much more fun when you can see them in action with your own eyes – which is why we’re showing you some cool water experiments for kids.

Water play for kids

Most of the water experiments below can be done inside and outside, as long as you don’t mind the area getting a little wet! But, before you and your kids start your first water experiment, a safety warning: always supervise any water play, even if there are only a few inches in the container. Also make sure your kids know not to drink the water they're playing with – cold water can be very tempting on a hot day!

As a starting point for these experiments, you’ll need a large plastic bowl (or an old tire tube lined with plastic) filled with water. Once this is ready, your kids can pick one of the following activities:

  1. Make a paper boat following this step-by-step guide, and bring their dreams of being a pirate or budding sailor to life!
  2. An easy, but very educational water experiment: let your kids collect a few things that sink and that float. Thinks of feathers, corks, acorns, leaves, rubber balls, and anything else your child might find. Before your child drops the object into the water, ask whether he or she thinks it will sink or float! Make it more exciting by letting each child have a guess at every round. The one who guesses it right the most times, can call him- or herself a real scientist.
  3. This one is a little more difficult, but that makes it all the more fun! In addition to the bowl of water, you’ll need a cup and a piece of paper (one of each for each participant) for this water experiment. Let the kids crumple the piece of paper and put it in the cup, making sure it doesn’t come out at the top. Then, being as quick as they can, each child has a go at pushing the cup (turned upside down) straight down to the bottom of the bowl. When done right, a pocket of air will fill the cup and protect the paper from getting wet. It may take a bit of practice, but once your kids get the hang of it, they’ll feel like little geniuses!

Mixing play with educational activities is a great way of teaching your kids about the world. Why not take it a bit further and teach them how to nurture plants with these gardening activities, or show them the importance of recycling by following these handy tips and tricks?

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