water-based-crafts-and-activitiesWhen you think of summer and water, you probably think of swimming, running through sprinklers and more. But have you enjoyed water crafts and activities with your young child?

Kids love making floating art, and you don’t need much to make it happen. Simply fill a plastic dishpan with water and then help your children grate colored chalk into powder; use multiple colors for best effect. Then sprinkle the chalk on top of the water and then allow each child to float a piece of paper on the water’s surface. Then, either hang the art up to dry or lay flat.

Or, you can fill that same dishpan about halfway with water, then collect items from around the house. Ask your children to guess which ones will float and which will sink—then test it out! For a fun surprise, include a watermelon in the list because most kids (and adults) will probably guess it will sink. But because much of the inside of the watermelon is air, it floats. After the game is finished, you can cut up the watermelon for snacks.

If you have a medicine dropper and a penny, you’ve got another game to play. Have each child guess how many drops of water fit on a penny and then test their guesses. It will hold more than you might expect.

Ice Age Bin

Although this activity will take some preparation, it’s still simple and fun. Take your plastic dishpan and put some small household objects in it. These could include a small ball, shoe laces, buttons and so forth. Fill with water and freeze. Then, provide your child with some excavating tools, which could include driveway salt colored with food coloring and spoons, some colored water and plastic syringes. Then encourage your youngster to explore and see what can be discovered as the ice melts or is chiseled away.

Laundry Day

If your child enjoys playing with dolls, then you can set up laundry day for washing doll clothing. You can also add washcloths and socks to the mix. Simply string rope between two trees or posts of some sort to create your clothesline. Then, fill up your plastic dishpan or other container with water and add mild dish soap or laundry soap. Let your child wash away, then squeeze out the water before hanging the items on the clothesline. This is a great way to practice fine motor skills and, if you have clothespins in different colors, you can encourage your child to match colors—a pink doll dress with pink pins—or make them clash.


You’ll need two identical clear plastic glasses for this activity. Put one cup of water in each one and then use a permanent marker to mark the level of water. Choose two different places to keep the cups, one in a sunny window and the other in a cooler place. Let your child check the cups regularly over the next couple of days to see which cup evaporates more quickly. Ask your child to guess what is happening and then explain that evaporation happens when water particles become so warm that it turns into vapor and floats invisibly into the air. Why, then, did the cup by the sun have water evaporate more quickly?

With all water-based crafts and activities, it’s important for every young child to have supervision throughout. Then, have fun!

Looking for more ways to enrich your child’s life? Horizon Education Center provides affordable quality care, including educational and enrichment opportunities for children in the following Northeast Ohio locations.