More Activity Ideas

  • Measure rainfall with a homemade rain gauge. Use an empty water bottle with the top cut off and place it outside. Make your child the “rain tracker.” Have him measure and record the rainfall after a storm. Keep a record of how much it rains throughout a week or month.
  • Dip a paintbrush in water and draw a letter on a black sheet of paper. Can your child tell you the name of the letter before the letter evaporates or disappears?
  • Make music with water. Fill plastic bottles or cups with different amounts of water. Blow across the bottles or gently tap the sides of the glasses with a metal spoon. Ask your child to describe the difference in the sounds. Change the level of water in the glasses and repeat.
  • On a snow day, make three snowballs and bring them inside. Place one in a bowl in the refrigerator, one in a bowl on the table, and one in a pan in a warm oven. Together check them every few minutes and talk about what’s happening!
  • On a bright day, take water and sponges, paint rollers, and paintbrushes outside and paint the house and sidewalk. Talk about how water evaporates more quickly in some areas than others and explore why. Don’t worry if your child gets wet––the water will dry!
  • Have a conversation with your child about conserving water. Ask him to think of how your family uses water and how they can conserve water. Make a list with your child. Practice some of the ideas during your daily routines.
  • Have a puddle dance. The next time it rains encourage your child to dance and stomp in the puddles. Notice how the water dries up more quickly when he stomps it out of the puddle. Once inside, read a story, such as Red Rubber Boot Day by Mary Lyn Ray and Lauren Stringer or Rain! by Manya Stojic, and connect it to his puddle dancing.
  • Create mini-rivers in your back yard or a nearby park or playground. Use a stick to carve out a thin waterway in the dirt on a slope or hill. Use a hose or water jugs to pour water down the river. Explore how the water moves down the hill and pushes objects along. [Watch the live-action video PEEP and the Big Wide World  “Making Rivers” and see what observations children make while exploring making rivers. Type in the Search window: Watch Together: Making Rivers.]
  • Explore materials that absorb water and materials that do not absorb water. With your child gather a number of objects, such as bread, rice, buttons, foil balls, etc. Place each object in a separate clear container. Pour water in each one to immerse the objects. Leave them overnight. The next morning, see which objects changed (absorbed water) and which objects stayed the same (did not absorb water).
  • Conduct “sink and float” experiments. Go on a hunt inside and outside to find “sink and float” objects, such as pebbles, pennies, leaves, nuts, or aluminum foil balls. Take turns guessing what will sink and what will float. Then together explore putting each item in a bucket of water and watch what sinks and what floats. [Watch the video PEEP and the Big Wide World “Fish Museum” and see what floats and sinks in Quack’s pond. Type in the Search window: Watch Together: Fish Museum.]
  • Use an eyedropper or the tips of your fingers to drip water onto different surfaces. Talk about what happens to the water when it lands on wax paper, a sponge, a penny, tin foil, a plate, a piece of bread, a towel, etc. Later, encourage your child to tell a friend or family member all about this experiment.
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