Water Themed Activities for Kids
Looking for some water themed activities for kids? Look no further. Here you will find an extensive list of activities that are water based. These water activities are perfect for the spring and summer months of school where kids are getting anxious for summer break. Water games, arts and crafts, and much more.
ART & CRAFTS
1. KOOL-AID PAINTING
Sprinkle unsweetened Kool-Aid on a piece a paper. Have the children move a piece of ice over the Kool-Aid. Watch as the Kool-Aid turns to liquid and makes a yummy smelling picture.
MORE KOOL-AID ART
- Sprinkle Kool-aid crystals onto a piece of paper.
- Have children spray water from a spray bottle onto the paper.
- Use different colored kool-aid mix.
- For added adventure, you may choose to take children out into the rain with a piece of paper that has Kool-aid on it.
2. BLEEDING TISSUE PAPER ART
Materials: Paper, tissue paper, spray bottles, water
Cut tissue paper into desired shapes.
Fill bottles with water.
1. Have children place tissue paper on other paper and spray with water.
2. Remove tissue paper to see how it bled and created designs on the construction paper.
3. SPLATTER ART
with Daubers (Bingo Markers)
- Give children a piece of paper and a small bowl of water.
- Set out some different colors of dauber pens.
- Children take daubers and dip the tip into the water. Then slightly smash pen onto the paper.
- The water will splatter the paint out.
- Repeat with other colors of pens.
- Splatters will create interesting designs on the paper.
4. FLOATING ART
Cut construction paper into desired shapes (Can be seasonal or holiday shapes.)
- Fill a plastic dishpan with water.
- Have the children help grate various colors of chalk into powder.
- Let each child choose 2 or 3 colors of chalk and sprinkle the powder on top of the water.
- Next have children float a sheet of paper on top of the water to absorb the chalk design.
- Hang the shapes on a line or lay flat to dry.
For variation use India ink on top of the water instead of chalk.
Swirl to make a design, then lay the paper on the water’s surface to absorb the design.
5. OCEAN IN A BOTTLE…
Materials: A clean, empty two-liter plastic bottle with a cap, clear vegetable oil, water, a funnel, blue food coloring, shells and sea creatures (available from craft stores- be sure to use lightweight items that float), one teaspoon of glitter, white craft glue and a hot glue gun (to be used ONLY by staff or supervised by staff at all times).
- Fill bottle halfway with water.
- Add a few drops of blue food coloring and swirl around to mix.
- Add glitter and sea creatures/shells and then fill bottle the rest of the way with vegetable oil using a funnel.
- Make sure that cap and rim are dry— and then apply white glue around the rim and seal cap.
- Use a layer of hot glue around the outside edge of the cap for additional protection from leakage.
- Turn the bottle on its side to create a wave in this ocean habitat! From Kids domain website.
6. OCEAN TREASURE IN A BOTTLE
Ocean Treasure”–add coins and beads!
TIP: If you have trouble getting the entire label off – you may want to place a label over the ‘old laaber’ and write the “childrens’ names” and “Ocean in a Bottle”.
A fun alternative to chalk!
7. SIDE WALK PAINT
You will need equal portions of water and corn starch. Mix well.
- Add a drop of your favorite food coloring!
- Paint this wonderful concoction on the sidewalk. Give it a few minutes to dry and you’ll have a wonderful work of ART! It washes off easily with a pail of water or hose. (Cornstarch Paint in cupcake tins photo from Craft Addict)
8. SWIMMING FISH… (A craft and science in one!)
- Fill a large plastic soft drink bottle about one quarter full with water.
- Add a few drops of blue food coloring and a very small drop of liquid detergent.
- Pour in a small amount of clean sand or aquarium gravel. Blow up two small balloons, release most of the air, then tie the ends closed. Push the balloons into the bottle and screw the cap on tightly. When you have finished, you will have a fish tank with two bobbing “fish” inside.
- The fish will swim in the water by holding the bottle sideways and rocking it back and forth. You may just discover that each child will want one of their own.
9. WATER TASTING (This can also be used in the ‘Snack Area’)
1. Provide tap water, soda water, mineral water, and distilled water.
2. Pour the different types of water into paper cups and have children taste them.
3. Discuss the differences.
4. As an extension you can do a survey/graph
10. EXPERIMENT WITH EARTH JARS
Gather the following:
4 jars with lids, dirt, sand, salt, gravel and a large pitcher of warm water.
Have the kids help pour the warm water into each jar. Add one of the elements to each jar, and cover it tightly.
Have children predict what will happen when you shake each jar. Shake them one at a time. What happens in each instance? Which of the elements dissolve in water and which ones sink to the bottom? The children may want to bring in other nature items/substances to continue this experiment.
11. WATER DROPS ON A PENNY
One drop at a time, use a medicine dropper to drop water onto a penny. How many drops will the penny hold before the water spills? The amount may be a surprise!
12. SINK OR FLOAT
Gather different items such as a variety of cans, coins, pencil, etc. and a large bowl of water. Small aquariums are good for this. Clear plastic tubs also work.
Have the children make predictions of what they think will happen. Will it sink or will it float? Have the children take turns dropping each individual item and discussing the results…
13. WATERMELON SINK OR FLOAT? (SCIENCE & SNACK COMBINED!)
Fill a bin or aquarium or tub half full with water. Place everyday items near the bin. Get the kids to guess which items would sink and which ones would float.
WHEN COMPLETE…cup up and serve the watermelon for snack!
A watermelon will float because its mass is less than the mass of water it displaces. This is due primarily because the inside of melon is hollow. It is mostly air, which has a much lower mass than water.
14. WATER EVAPORATION
Fill two jars with the same amount of water and mark the level of the water on the outside of the jars. Put a lid on one of the jars. Put the jars in a sunny place for a few days. Discuss with children what happened. Have children note that there is more water gone from the jar without lid and that inside the jar with the lid they can see tiny drops of water.
Ask questions such as…
What happened to the water in the jar with no lid? (The water went into the air. It evaporated.)
What happened to the water in the jar with a lid? (The water stayed in the jar, Because of the lid, the water wasn’t able to escape or evaporate.)
15. Make some SALT WATER…
Leave it in a warm place for a few days.
Questions to ask: What happens when salt dissolves in water? What happens to the standing salt water after a few days ? Why?
16. Nice for Pre-K/K…COLORED ICE CUBES…This is a nice visual experience of COLOR CHANGES.
Make red, yellow and blue ice cubes using food coloring and water. Place one red and one yellow ice cube in a ziplock baggie, one red and one blue ice cube in a ziplock baggie, and one yellow and one blue ice cube in a ziplock baggie. Place them in the science area. As the colored ice cubes melt they create new colors.
17. CARNATION SCIENCE
Here is a great little “science” project that will amaze younger children.
- Get a white carnation.
- Leave it out of water to 1 – 2 hours until it starts to wilt a bit.
- Cut 1″ from the stem.
- Place carnation in red-colored (or other color) water made by adding red food coloring to water. Cover 6″ of stem with water. Observe what happens to the carnation.
18. RED WHITE AND BLUE CARNATIONS…
Make tie-dyed looking red, white and blue carnations. These flowers look great for any red-white & blue theme!.
Red and blue food coloring
- Pour water into a glass of water. Add 7 to 8 drops of red food coloring to the glass.
- Pour water into another glass and add 7 to 8 drops of blue food coloring to the glass.
- Cut the stem of a white carnation lengthwise. This will make the carnation stem into two thin stems.
- Set the two glasses of colored water together. Put half of the stem of the carnation into the red water and the other half into the blue water.
- Let the carnation sit for a few hours. The carnation will begin to change gradually into red and blue.
- Take the flower out of the mixture in just a few hours before the colors can change the white carnation entirely. You want it so that some of the white is still on the carnation.
- Wrap the stems together with green thread and place the carnation into a clear vase of water. Make several flowers and show off your beautiful red, white and blue flowers in a vase.
19. OSMOTIC CELERY
Cut the bottom of celery stalks and set them in glasses of tinted water; the longer the stalks are in water, the deeper the color will be. (Wait a day or two) The stalks will absorb the color. These will also be ‘safe for children to eat! (Gage the amount of mixture to about 10 drops of color to 1/4 cups water.)
20. MAKE ‘HEALTHY’ SNOW CONES
Frozen Water Treat!
To make each cone, place crushed ice in a paper cup. Mix one part unsweetened frozen apple or orange juice concentrate with one part water. Pour the diluted concentrate over the ice.
GENERAL GUIDE TO ‘JUICE SNOW CONES’ (Good for Home)
- Freeze orange juice (or any other flavored juice) in ice cube trays. When frozen put frozen juice cubes in a plastic bag to store.
- Put three to six of these cubes at a time in a blender.
- Pulse the blender -on then off, on then off, until cubes have a snowy consistency. Pile into a cup to serve.
TIP: If you blend the entire batch at once, it will keep its carnival consistency stored in a container in the freezer. Kids can serve themselves. Adding a little water makes it “slush”. Even kids who don’t care for orange juice like it this way!
How about making some good old fashioned lemonade?!
21. CLASSIC LEMONADE
This lemonade is quick and easy and refreshing on a hot summer day. Pour a large pitcher and garnish with fresh raspberries, cranberries or slices of lemon.
3 cups water
2 cups sugar
4 cups crushed ice
Cut 1/2 OF ONE LEMON into thin slices and set aside. Juice a(Squeeze) the remaining 9 1/2 lemons and pour into a glass pitcher or punch bowl. Stir in the water and sugar until dissolved. Pour in the crushed ice and float the lemon slices on top.
About 6 glasses
You could also use a ‘lemonade mix’ to make lemonade.
TASTE TEST Extension Idea:
1. Make lemonade a couple ways…Regular and Pink Lemonade (frozen) mix from a can–Home made lemonade and powdered mix lemonade.
2. Have children taste each-and vote/graph which they like best…
22. MORE WATER THEMED SNACKS…
- Don’t forget WATERMELON!!!
- How about making ‘SUN TEA-ICE TEA? (Recipe below)
- You could also make JELL-O (It starts out liquid and turns solid…science and snack in one!
- Make Kool-Aid Popsicles
23. SUN TEA
1 gal. cold water
6 tea bags
Place cold water in large, clear, glass jar.
Add tea bags. Cover top.
Put in sun tea is desired strengh.
Remove tea bags and drink over ice.Add sugar, lemon, mint as desired.
Tip-Since water is not boiled, keep refrigerated and drink tea within one to two days.
24. MISCELLANEOUS ‘WATER THEMED’ IDEAS…
THINGS TO ADD TO A ‘WATER TABLE’…
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Funnels and Colanders
- Buckets/Plastic Containers
- Bath Toys/Boats/Plastic Animals
- Ladles and Whisks
What to do with the above:
- Compare the sizes of containers by filling one with water–then PREDICTING whether another will hold more or less. Test predictions.
- Supply a variety of SPONGES. Which will hold the most water?
- WHISK UP BUBBLES!
Add bubble bath to a tub or sensory table. Have children whisk away and play with the resulting bubbles!
25. HAVE A CAR WASH…
If you have older kids…how about organizing a car wash? This could be a ‘fund raiser for a community service, school, or child-care program’!
Set up a ‘lemonade and ice cold water stand’! Sell the cool beverages while people are waiting for their cars to be washed!
26. DON’T FORGET THE BUBBLES!
Supply children with bubble mix and bubble wands to make them.
MAKE YOUR OWN BUBBLE MIX
2 tblsp dish soap
9 oz water
1 tblsp glycerin
For best results, let it rest over-night…
27. WET FASHION SHOW
(Good for a party, field or water day!)
What you need:
- 1 bucket per team full of water
- Lots of newspaper
- A few black bags to collect all the wet paper when the groups are done.
- A willing adult/teen for each group (The kids will LOVE this!)
Using only wet newspaper, have your own crazy fashion show by dressing up your teacher/caregiver/parent! (you could also ‘dress up’ kids within each group…)
Be sure that all the newspaper is cleaned up before the next group arrives. (This idea is taken from our Outdoor Water Fun Category.)
TIP: COLLECT ‘FREE WATER PLAY’ SQUIRT BOTTLES
Save all those liquid dishwashing & ketchup/catsup plastic containers.
When empty, clean them up and make great “squirt each other” bottles! Marvelous for water fun! Put these on your wish list to parents to get a large supply!
28. TOY WASH!
Children in swim suits
Washable toys, water
Sponge and bubbles
Instead of a car wash…have a toy wash!
- On a hot day —take all washable toys outside and let children have fun washing them.
- Children cool off…and YOU get clean toys!!!
Great for End of the School/Day Care, or Summer Camp!!!
If you combine some of the above ‘Water Themed Ideas’ with activities from the ‘Outdoor Water Games and Fun’ page-you’ll have an amazing ‘Wet and Wild Water Theme’ for a day, week or longer!
29. BOOKS ON WATER (Available at the library and on Amazon.com)
- All the Water in the World
by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson
- Hydro’s Adventure Through the Water Cycle
by Randi S. Goodrich, Michael S. Goodrich
- Our Earth: Saving Water (Our Earth (Children’s Press))
by Peggy Hock
- The Magic School Bus Wet All Over: A Book About The Water Cycle
by Pat Relf
- Saving Water (Green Kids)
by Neil Morris
by Frank Asch
- Science With Water (Science Activities)
by Helen Edom
- A Drop Of Water
by Walter Wick
- One Well: The Story of Water on Earth (CitizenKid)
by Rochelle Strauss and Rosemary Woods
- Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean (Let’s-Read-and-Find… Science 2)
by Arthur Dorros
- Why Should I Save Water?
by Jen Green and Mike Gordon
- The Secret of Water
by Masaru Emoto
KIDS, HEAT AND WATER NEEDS!
How much water do kids need when playing outside? WHEN IT’S HOT OUTSIDE… and kids are playing sports—or even just actively playing—head off problems by making sure the kids drink fluids before, during and after activity.
As a guideline, encourage at least 4 ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes, or whenever there’s a break or time-out. Tip: One ounce equals about one “gulp.” So kids need a minimum of 4 GULPS OF WATER EVERY 20 MINUTES!
In high temperatures, kids don’t sweat as much as adults do, so it’s harder for them to cool off. This makes them more at risk for dehydration and heat exhaustion.
There you have it, 29 Fun Water Themed Activities for Kids. Make sure you check out our fun outside games as well.
This page contains Water Facts, Information and Trivia to discuss and/or write about with your students.
DIFFERENT BODIES OF WATER…
is shallow, narrow, natural body of of flowing fresh water confined by opposing earthen banks running in parallel direction with the steam’s flow. In general, streams run slow enough and are sufficiently shallow and narrow enough to be safely traversed without the aid of watercraft.
is a small, shallow stream with a more rapid current, often characterized by a rough or rocky bed.
is a small, shallow stream of generally slow moving water, often characterized by a smooth or sandy bed.
is a creek that flows intermittently between higher and lower land elevations with varying depth and speed depending upon changing seasonal weather conditions. An arroyo may transform almost instantaneously from a dry shallow to a swiftly moving body of water. In dry, mountainous areas, arroyos are often the source of flash floods.
is a larger body of water continuously flowing downhill over considerable distance from smaller upstream sources to a larger downstream reservoir, lake, sea, or ocean. Rivers are generally deep enough and wide enough to require the use of watercraft.
is a narrower, shallower body of swiftly flowing water connecting two larger, deeper bodies of of water.
is section of fast moving water characterized by a rough, rocky bed and precipitous changes in elevation. The white water refers to the bubbling, roiling foam that results from the swift water flow twisting and turning over a winding uneven bed.
refers to a shallow basin of still water of less than ten surface acres. They may occur naturally, but are often man made.
(loch) is a large body of relatively still (usually fresh) water which is nearly or completely surrounded by land. Lakes may result from the accumulated flow of streams (either above or below ground level), or from mountain or glacial run off. Lakes are characterized by broad basins and may vary in size from approximately ten surface acres to several hundred square miles of surface area.
is similar to a lake, but is the result of human engineering. Reservoirs may consist of a natural basin flooded by the deliberate damming or redirection of natural waterways, or they may be entirely manufactured by mechanically pumping water into large lined basins.
is a large body of relatively deep (usually salt) water with limited or no connection to the greater oceans of the world.
is a vast body of salt water forming the interconnected waterway that surrounds the entire world. Oceans are deep and derive their currents from a complex system variable water temperatures and weather systems borne out of their varying depths and their absorption of the sun’s radiated energy.
Talk to kids about the IMPORTANCE OF WATER AND HOW IT IS USED in our every day lives…
Some things are:
- For drinking to hydrate our body
- For cooking/food preparation
- Washing dishes
- Personal Hygiene
- House cleaning
- Watering lawns and gardens
- Recreation…swimming, boating, fishing, skiing, etc.
- Fire protection
- Washing our cars
- To generate power and to cool electricity-generating equipment
WATER RELATED TRIVIA…
What is the most common substance found on earth?
Does water regulate the earth’s temperature?
Yes (it is a natural insulator)
At what temperature does water freeze?
32 degrees F, 0 degrees C
At what temperature does water vaporize?
212 degrees F, 100 degrees C
How long can a person live without food?
More than a month
How long can a person live without water?
Approximately one week, depending upon conditions
How much of the human body is water?
How much of the earth’s surface is water?
How much water must a person consume per day to maintain health?
2.5 quarts from all sources of water and food)
How much water is used to flush a toilet?
How much water is used in the average five-minute shower?
How much water is used on the average for an automatic dishwasher?
On the average, how much is used to hand wash dishes?
How much does one gallon of water weigh?
What is the weight of water in one cubic foot?
How much water drops with an inch of rain on one acre of ground?
27,154 gallons, which weighs 113 tons
Of all the earth’s water, how much is ocean or seas?
How much of the world’s water is frozen and therefore unusable?
How much of the earth’s water is suitable for drinking water?
Is it possible for me to drink water that was part of the dinosaur era?
Yes – water is constantly recycled
How much water does the average residence use during a year?
Over 100,000 gallons (indoors and outside)
How much water does an individual use daily?
Over 100 gallons (all uses)
How many community public water systems are there in the United States?
How much water must a dairy cow drink to produce one gallon of milk?
How much water is used during the growing/production of almonds?
How much water is used during the growing/production of french fries?
How much water is used during the growing/production of a single orange?
How much water is used during the growing/production of a watermelon?
How much water is used during the growing/production of a loaf of bread?
How much water is used during the growing/production of a tomato?
How much water us used during the production of an egg?
How much water does it take to process a quarter pound of hamburger?
Approximately one gallon
How much water does it take to produce one ton of steel?
How much water is used to produce a single day’s supply of U.S. newsprint?
300 million gallons
What is the total amount of water used to manufacture a new car, including new tires?
39,090 gallons per car
How much water is used during the growing/production of a chicken?
Water is the only substance found on earth naturally in three forms.
(Solid, liquid and gas)
How much water do these utilities process daily?
38 billion gallons
What does it cost to operate the water systems throughout the country annually?
Over 3.5 billion
How many miles of pipeline and aqueducts are in the United States and Canada?
Approximately one million miles, or enough to circle the earth 40 times
What were the first water pipes made from in the US?
Fire charred bored logs
Where was the first municipal water filtration works opened and when?
Paisley, Scotland in 1832
Of the nation’s community water supplies, what percentage are investor-owned?
How many households use private wells for their water supply?
More than 13 million
Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency
Did you know that World Water Day is March 22 each year?
WATER THEMED PAGES…