Today’s activity is my go to activity for a rough day. It’s simple to pull together, great for all ages, and tends to keep my little one entertained for quite a while. It’s also an activity that turns out different every time I set it up since I grab whatever is nearby. This activity is a part of the Activity of the Day series and can be used in those tough moments when you (or your little one) need a reset.

Simple Water Play

This is one of the simplest activities that can be set up in a variety of settings and ways. I’ve included a few ideas to extend the play but you really can just let them lead on this one!


  • water
  • bin
  • cups
  • bowls
  • funnels
  • miscellaneous toys

Set Up

  1. Fill a bin, tub, or small pool with water.
  2. Throw miscellaneous toys, cups, funnels, and more into a basket.
  3. Set the basket beside the bin and let your little one have fun with the water!

Babies (under 1)

Prop your little one up on a pillow or boppy for tummy time. Place a shallow dish of water in front of them with a couple of floating toys to watch. Allow them to splash if they’re interested. If your little one is sitting independently, this can be a sitting activity as well.

Toddlers (1-3)

This activity is a great one for toddlers. They’re able to practice pouring and scooping skills. You can also include colors and number activities to extend the learning.

Preschoolers (3-5)

Preschoolers can be involved in the set up of this activity in addition to the play process. Have them help you fill the bin, pick out the toys, and then let them enjoy the water.

Big Kids (6+)

This is a great time to talk about measurement and capacity with your kiddo. Include measuring cups with the toys and talk to your kid about how to use them. Include them in the set up process in the ways mentioned for a preschooler.


I’ve included this activity as a way to entertain your child and maybe even cool them down on a hot day. This activity can be done indoors or outdoors. For more fun, set up several different bins and let your kids hop back and forth between them. You can also add a little food coloring to the water to make it even more fun!

This activity is a part of our Activity of the Day series. This series was created to help parents with activities to do during school closures due to the coronavirus. Check back every weekday for new activity that you can do with kids of all ages!

Keep your kids entertained with this simple water activity.