11 Water Play Ideas for Toddlers

Activities with Water

With warmer weather among us, toddler-approved water play activities are ideal for safe and engaging fun in the sun. Ideally, water tables and most water activities are for outdoor play.

Still, with a few adjustments and a well-prepared area inside, some of a toddler’s favorite activities can be brought indoors for pre- or post-summer fun.

Five Little Ducks, Sponge Water Bombs, Animal Bath, Alphabet Soup, Ocean Sensory Bin, and Sink or Float activities are only a few ways to have fun playing in the water with your toddler!

Continue reading to learn more about water play activities your toddler will love.

Sponge Water Bombs


Sponge Water Bombs are an excellent choice for those extra hot days. Have buckets or kiddie pools filled with water, put the sponge bombs in to soak up water, and have fun trying to avoid getting hit!

All you need to make the sponge bombs are rectangle sponges cut into lengthwise strips then connect bunches of sponge pieces together with elastic bands.

Animal Bath


Have your toddler collect all their waterproof toy animals for a bath day-zoo animals, circus animals, farm animals, or anything that needs a good cleaning.

Fill a large tub with soapy water for the bath bin. Have hand towels and sponges ready for washing and drying in two smaller containers.

Alphabet Soup Game

Alphabet Soup
After filling a large container with water, have your toddler add large waterproof letters to the soup mixture. Your toddler can have fun mixing the letters and creating alphabet soup with a stick or large spoon.

When the soup is ready to serve, encourage your child to name each letter or number that gets spooned out.

Ocean Themed Sensory Bin

Ocean Sensory Bin
Placing sand or gravel pieces at the bottom of a water-safe container is the first step in creating ocean scenery.

Using plastic toys that are safe to be submerged, help your toddler explore a small part of the ocean as various sea creatures float with the child-made current.

A blue background or blue-dyed sand will add an extra layer of an ocean-like sensory bin.

Float and Sink Activity

Sink or Float
Sink or Float is a fun water game toddlers will want to play over and over. Fill a clear storage tub half full of water. Have your toddler find objects around the house or yard that they want to see sink or float.

Themes can be used, or if preferred, use all random items. Before your toddler places an item in the water, have them guess if it will sink or float. They will be surprised whether they are right or wrong.

Water Painting for Toddlers

Paint with Water
Let your toddler explore their artistic side on the driveway, patio, or sidewalk using paintbrushes, and paint rollers dipped in water instead of paint.

Watch how much fun it can be to paint with water and have no mess to clean up afterward!

Bottle Water Squirter

Recycled Glue Bottles
Save old glue bottles for homemade water-squirting toys. Clean out glue bottles with soap and water, ensuring the glue tip is debris free. Make a refill station with a bucket full of water and have fun beating the heat with a glue bottle water fight.

Pouring and Filling Activities for Toddlers

Water Transfer Stations
Fill different-sized containers with water. Have your toddler use spoons, small cups, plastic toy hand shovels, bottle caps, sponges, pom poms, and anything else you can think of as methods to transfer water from one container to the next. Add food or soap coloring to containers for a color-mixing effect.

Freezing Toys in Ice

Frozen Cubes – Toy Hunt
Choose a theme to use for a day and find as many toys related to that idea. Dinosaurs, sharks, LEGO, flowers, bugs, or anything else that can be frozen will work.

Smaller toys are better since they fit in ice cube trays easier. A day or two before the activity, place a single toy in each ice cube section of a tray.

Fill the tray with water and freeze. When ready for the activity, empty the ice cubes into a sensory bin, and let your toddler have fun unfreezing the toys with water in squirt bottles.

Let us know in the comments what water activities your toddler enjoys!

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