23 Easy & Fun Water Play Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

With summer upon us, it's time to start thinking of fun ways to stay cool. With these water play activities for toddlers and preschoolers, kids can learn and play at the same time. If you give kids a bucket of water and a cup, they'll find a way to have fun with it by splashing, sprinkling, pouring, scooping, and stirring.

water play for toddlers

Water play is a fantastic way for kids to cool off on a hot, sunny day as well as learn some valuable skills at the same time. These simple water activities will keep little ones entertained and learning for hours!

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water play activities for toddlers and preschoolers

Easy Water Play Activities for Toddlers & Preschoolers

We have a few fun water play activities right here at Messy Little Monster. Our water bombs are a must for water fights to beat the heat. Our water sensory bins are a gentler, quieter way to explore water.

fun water play for kids

5 Little Ducks Activity

Our 5 Little Ducks Activity is perfect for babies and toddlers! Sing the 5 Little Ducks song along with your child as you play, or just leave it as open-ended play. This water activity is so easy to set up. You can have it ready in 2-3 minutes for lots of splashing good fun!

water play for toddlers - 5 little ducks

Sponge Water Bombs

Your kids will have a total blast with our DIY Sponge Water Bombs. They're easier than you think to make; you only need some sponges, some elastic bands, and a few minutes of your time. Have a family water fight when you're done!

water activities for kids - diy water bombs

Fish Ice Play

Our Fish Ice Play is such a cute way to cool down. Make ice fish using a fish-shaped mold, and don't forget to add colours to each of them so your little one can explore colour mixing as she plays.

ice water play for kids

Lemon Sensory Bin

This Lemon Sensory Bin is a simple water activity with added ice and lemons! The lemons smell fantastic, and it gives kids something to scoop and transfer.

lemon water play sensory bin for preschoolers

Muddy Animal Water Play Activity

A little more messy than plain old water, but toddlers and preschoolers will love the idea of washing muddy animals clean! This muddy animal sensory bin is easy to setup and great for teaching little ones about hygiene. 

Muddy animal water play for toddlers and preschoolers

Colour Mixing Water Play

Have fun mixing colours with this fun and easy to set up colour mixing water play activity. Add lots of small containers filled with water to a larger bin and then add some colour to a few of the containers of water. Toddlers and preschoolers can then have fun using pipettes to mix the colours. 

Colour mixing water play activity for toddlers and preschoolers.

More Fun Water Play Activities for Kids

Here are even more water play activities for toddlers and preschoolers to cool off or try indoors when the weather is just too hot to endure.

water activities for toddlers and preschoolers

Pom-Pom Squeeze Water Play

Gather pom-poms of all sizes (though larger ones are best) to set up this Pom Pom Squeeze Water Play activity from Fantastic Fun and Learning. It's a great boredom buster for indoors or outside. Encourage your child to squeeze one pom-pom and then several at once as well as other techniques to fill up the containers.

fun water play for toddlers - pom pom squeeze water activity

Sensory Soup

The next time you go camping or go on a nature walk with the kids, bring a bowl or pot along to make Sensory Soup. This activity by The Crazy Outdoor Mama, a childhood classic, encourages kids to explore all the sights, smells, and textures of nature (while playing with water, of course).

fun water play for toddlers

Alphabet Slap

Use this Alphabet Slap activity by Fun with Mama to get your toddlers and preschoolers excited about learning their letters. They'll have so much fun slapping the letters in the water that they won't even realise it's educational.

alphabet water play activity

Water Play Activity to Strengthen Fine Motor Skills

Teaching 2 and 3-Year-Olds has some great ideas for Fine Motor Water Activities, such as using basters to move water from one container to another. Squeezing the baster involves kids' fine motor skills as well as plenty of concentration.

fine motor water play activity for toddlers and preschoolers

Washing Dishes Sensory Bin

Start teaching the kids early about practical life skills using this Washing Dishes Sensory Bin idea from Toot's Mom is Tired. All you need is a bin, some toy dishes, dish soap, and water. Or, you could have them help you with the actual dishes. They'll think that chore is fantastically fun.

washing dishes sensory bin water activity for toddlers

Water Transfer

Pouring and transferring water from one container to another is a useful skill for little ones to learn. That's the point of this Water Transfer STEM Activity from Live Well Play Together. You can do it indoors or outside, and you'll be surprised at how long kids can spend simply pouring water.

water transfer STEM activity for toddlers and preschoolers

Summer Sensory Bin

This Summer Sensory Bin is a simple and fun water activity. The lemons make the water smell amazing and the added colour makes it more interesting for toddlers and preschoolers.

lemon summer water play for toddlers

Glowing Galaxy Water Bin

Here's a fun space-themed activity for little ones! The Glowing Galaxy Water Bin is filled with glittery purple water, glow sticks, marbles, twisty droppers, and funnels for lots of sensory fun.

glowing galaxy water sensory bin for toddlers and preschoolers

Feed the Ducks Sensory Bin

Toot's Mom is Tired put together this cute Feed the Ducks Sensory Bin using rubber ducks, corks, and foam lily pads. The corks become the food for the ducks, which kids can scoop and pretend to feed to them.

duck sensory bin water activities for kids

Ocean Sensory Bin

Start learning about the ocean while engaging in a fun water activity! This Ocean Sensory Bin by Natural Beach Living is a fantastic way for kids to spend a little time with their ocean animal toys and some cold water. It's perfect for hot summer days outdoors.

ocean sensory bin water activities for toddlers and preschoolers

Colour Sorting Water Bin

This idea for a Colour Sorting Water Bin from Teaching 2 and 3-Year-Olds is such a great idea for kids who are just learning their colours. Reusable ice cubes are perfect for this activity since they float, but if you don't have them, any small toys of various colours will work. You'll need some tongs, too!

colour sorting water activity for toddlers

Water Balloon Tennis

Use this activity from Artsy Momma to make a big splash with water balloons. Kids will have a blast playing Water Balloon Tennis with their racquetball or tennis racquets. It's a wonderful activity to get the whole family involved and is perfect for parties.

water balloon tennis water activity for kids

Summer Flower Sensory Bin

Gather some flowers from your garden (or from the shops) to make this fun Summer Flower Sensory Soup by Simple Fun for Kids. Use this opportunity to explore the smells of the flowers before adding them to water, and then explore scooping, pouring, and mixing.

summer flower water play for toddlers

Red, White, and Blue Sensory Bin

Feeling patriotic? Set up this Red, White, and Blue Sensory Bin from Simple Fun for Kids. Use pool noodles, funnels, and other things to scoop and pour, all with the red, white, and blue theme.

red white and blue pool noodle water play for toddlers and preschoolers

Sink and Float Activity

It's never too early to start exploring initial science concepts like buoyancy, as you see here in this Sink and Float Activity from My Bored Toddler. Kids use items from nature, such as sticks, leaves, flowers, rocks, etc., and make guesses as to what will happen with the older children. You can also incorporate counting and other early learning skills into this activity.

sink and float water play activity for preschoolers and toddlers

Foam Blocks and Water

There are so many things you can do with Foam Blocks and Water. This activity from Still Playing School can be used to practice colour identification, to make all kinds of shapes, to graph, to stack, and more.

foam blocks and water activity for preschoolers

Water Balloon Piñata

Water balloons are a must for summer. But instead of simply throwing them at each other (which is, admittedly, fun), hang some to use as Water Balloon Pinatas. Kids can use this activity from Red Ted Art to practice their swing for tee ball!

water balloon pinatas water activities for kids

Water Xylophone

Make music together by setting up a Water Xylophone for the kids to play with. Adding food colouring, as Mombrite did, makes it extra fun. You'll be surprised at how much they enjoy it and how long they'll play with it.

water xylophone water activity for preschoolers

Vegetable Soup Water Play

Set up this Vegetable Soup Activity from Protecting Your Pennies in the water table or in a bin full of water. Encourage kids to prepare "soup" using their toy vegetables (or real ones, if you're so inclined), to serve to the family. Playing pretend chef is a fantastic way to engage those creative thinking skills.

vegetable soup water play for toddlers

Ice Block Shark Hunt

How fun is this Ice Block Shark Hunt activity from Glitter on a Dime? Kids use water to melt the ice away, revealing the shark toys frozen inside. It's fantastic for a steamy summer day.

Ice block shark hunt ice play and water play for preschoolers.

Pin this list of water play activities for toddlers and preschoolers so you'll have some easy play ideas whenever you need them.

23 fun and easy water play activities for toddlers and preschoolers

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