Color mixing is such a great way for kids and toddlers to experiment! They choose colors, observe what happens, and try out different combinations to see what comes out. It nurtures their curious mind and develops their thinking skills. And they are able to do it by themselves which is always so much fun! The set up requires some help from an adult but you can also involve your kids in the design process and foster some DIY engineering abilities. We kept trying out the angle of the bottles together to see if we had to position them in a “more vertical or more horizontal” way. Keep reading to find out how we set up this water play for kids:
3 plastic bottles with their tops
A big container to collect the water
3 containers to mix primary colors
Something to scoop and pour water (we used measuring cups with handles)
Food coloring (red, blue, yellow)
Water Play For Kids Set Up:
Cut off the bottom of two of the bottles and cut the other one in half
Fix them to a tree, wall, corkboard… we used nails to fix ours to a big pine tree
Mix water and food coloring
Experiment with colors
That’s it! A simple set up, loads of color mixing fun.
With hot summer days around the corner and school out, it is time to start thinking about what you can do to entertain your kids. If at the same time you can keep them cool and help them learn then it is definitely a bonus! In this post, I have gathered some great water play activities your children will enjoy and I have added some observations about how you can add some STEM learning to them. All activities are low prep and lots of fun! So keep reading and check them out.
Such a great little activity with so much learning potential! This activity aims to teach toddlers about absorbency and again, water transferring. She offers questions and keywords at the end of the post so you’re good to go with this one!
Another easy water activity that can wake up some STEM thinking. In this post, you will find an activity to build a river using only tinfoil! That’s it! So simple. The good thing about such simple activities is that you can add difficulty or challenges to it and keep the kids entertained. Some added challenges you could include with this activity:
Obstacle course: Mark a starting point and ending point and add some obstacles they have to go through.
Build a dam: to collect water at a certain point. What materials will they use to stop the water? Where will you put your water entrance and exit if you want to collect as much water as possible without blocking it?
Build a bridge: How can they get water to go over a bridge? Does it need to go fast or slow?
Water race: Make different rivers but they all have to have the same elements, for example, 4 curves (should they be close together or far apart?), a bridge that goes over a big stone, a dam with water entrance and exit diagonal from each other. Have a bucket at the end of each river and start pouring! See who is the first to fill up the bucket
Water and colors! Such a good combination. With this activity, children get to explore mixing colors and finding out about new colors! Here are some color conversations you can have with your children while they are playing (or after as a reminder of the fun they had):
What color combinations were you able to make?
What happens when you mix colors in the same proportion? In different proportions (for example, 3 cups of red with 1 cup of blue)?
Engineering, science and math all in one! Making a water wall is a fun and engaging activity that has a lot of learning potential. Just making it and then playing with it, observing what happens when you pour water is great for learning but if you want to go a step further and challenge your kids to think a bit more you could include things like:
Can you add an element to your wall to make water flow faster/slower?
Can you exchange two pieces and keep the water flowing?
This great activity teaches kids about water displacement. She does a great job of explaining the concept and how to engage children with this activity. Some additional things you could do with older kids or to see if they grasped the concept:
Categorize your stones by size or weight
Make a couple of lines on your container and ask children to try and find the stone that will displace the water until that line
Ask them to use the least possible number of stones to get the water out of the container
A classic float or sink experiment. You can use it for all different ages. Just start collecting objects to see if they float or sink. If you want to dig a bit deeper this post will guide you on how to use the scientific method (with a free printable) to find out an answer to the question: Why do things float or sink? Let your little scientists discover how the world of water works!
Another classic, build a boat or raft. This post is great and explains how they built a boat following an engineering design process. It also sneaks in some different challenges you could do. Great fun and learning!
That’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed this round-up and that you have found some inspiration for some fun STEM water-play this summer!
For more information about STEM and how to transform your STEM activities at home, check out these posts: