Water Play STEAM Activities


Summer is great for using your outside space or park to get your kids outside exploring and trying new things. Water play is fun, messy, and full of opportunities to incorporate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) into your play time. Here are some of my favorite water play ideas.

Color Mixing

Color mixing is a fun way for children to see how colors work together. All you need is:

  • Several small containers to fill about half full of water
  • Food coloring: red, blue, yellow
  • Eye droppers (or straws)

Once you put a few drops of red in one of the containers, do the same for blue and yellow. Let your child stir in the colors. Then, show your child how to gather water with the eye dropper and put it in another container. If you don’t have eye droppers, you can use a straw. Place the straw in the liquid, then put your fingertip over the other end to hold it inside. Try to supply enough containers so your child can make a lot of different colors! While you stir and mix, you could use this opportunity to talk about primary colors and how colors work together to create other colors! 

Water Painting Over Chalk

Water painting with chalk is an artsy way for you and your child to be creative this summer. You will need:

  • Chalk
  • Water
  • Paintbrush

Start by creating a picture with sidewalk chalk. This can be anything—have fun with it! Once you are done creating your masterpiece, dip your paintbrush in some water and paint over your chalk piece. Ask your child: “What do you see? How has the picture changed?” Water painting is not only tons of fun, but it encourages your child to think about how water and chalk react to each other.

Water Experiments

Water experiments can help introduce your child to science in a fun way! Here are some things you might already have around the house that you could use for your experiment:

  • Cotton
  • Wool
  • Paper towels
  • Napkins
  • Facial tissues
  • Newspaper
  • Tissue Paper

Take these items and place a small amount of water on them, and, with your child, watch how the water moves and grows throughout the material. If you want to change it up, add food coloring to the water and then add that water to these materials and watch the water move. (Tip: It might be easier to see the water if there is food coloring in it.) Make guesses as to how the water will react when dropped on your household items and discuss what you see: “What do you think will happen to the cotton ball when we drop water on it?” Then, do the experiment with your child and see if you were right.

Water play can be a great portal for learning and development. Have fun this summer!


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