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Let’s Explore Water

Set up an outdoor water center. Use a water table if you have one available. Other containers that hold water can work as well. While children are playing and experimenting with “what happens when?” they will be developing and using basic science skills.

Water center supplies:

  • Buckets and other containers of various sizes and shapes (drill holes in the sides of a few so children can observe how the water “shoots” out)
  • Tubing of various sizes and shapes
  • Water wall (pieces of plastic coated wire shelving made to stand on side like a wall, tubing can be passed through and supported by wall)
  • Plastic connectors
  • Simple hand pumps
  • Funnels
  • Turkey basters, eye droppers, and other squirting tools
  • Paintbrushes
  • Various objects of different materials (wood, metal, paper, plastic etc…for children to observe what sinks/floats)
  • Food coloring
  • Any other containers, objects etc… that will allow children to experiment with the properties of water and how it changes, passes from one object to another, and make other observations

Questions to ask children (these are only a place to start):

  • How can you move water through the tubes?
  • What will happen if you put the wood (or other object) in the water?
  • How will a funnel help water get into the tube?
  • Ask children to predict if an item will sink or float. Why does ___ sink/float?
  • What happens when you put a drop of water on the pavement? The grass? Sand? A piece of paper? Why is it different for each?
  • What happens when you add food coloring to water?
  • What happens if you mix colors?

Encourage children to share their observations and ideas. Take pictures of children as they play and experiment. Share their pictures and observations with the class. Allow children time to openly explore the water. After they have had time to openly explore the water focus their exploration with eye droppers, tubing, questions, challenges (i.e. Can you get the water into the tube?), and observations for them to explore.