This is such a simple activity to pull together, and FUN? Ok, the Hooligans were at it for about an hour straight, until a couple of them ventured off to play in the yard. I left the activity set up for another hour though, and there was always someone (or more than one) at the table.
Here’s what we did:
I gathered up a variety of empty containers (body wash & shampoo bottles, a dish detergent bottle, an energy drink bottle etc.), and we filled them with warm water (they feel soooo nice when they’re filled with warm water). We added food colouring to each bottle, and also added glitter to some, and a drop or two of dish soap to some.
Then we headed outside with some glass (Pyrex) baking dishes, a few glass jars and some wooden spoons. I chose the glassware for a couple of reasons: A) I wanted to use containers that were clear so the Hooligans could really see the colours they were working with, and B) I thought plastic containers would be too light and might be easily tipped over if knocked into or leaned on.
This proved to be much more than just water play, or a lesson in colour mixing. Because all of the bottles were different, the lids all opened in different ways: some were pop tops, some were flip tops, some were easy to open, and others were challenging for little fingers.
Some bottles poured quickly, and some required squeezing. One bottle was particularly hard to squeeze (a Heinz ketchup bottle). The older children really had to work to get the water out of it, and the younger ones required my help.
It took a bit of time for them to drain all the bottles, but when they did, I had a couple of pitchers of warm water standing by, for re-fills. It was just a matter of adding a couple more drops of food colouring. Also, if someone’s glass dish was full, and the colour wasn’t too muddied, I just poured that into a bottle that had been emptied.