Experimenting with coloured water is a fun activity to help toddlers and preschoolers develop fine and gross motor skills, as well as a lesson in mixing.
I love setting up fun and educational water play activities when the warm spring weather arrives!
This colour mixing activity with water and food colouring is one of the hooligans favourite ways to play and experiment with water.
We do some version of this activity several times a year here in my home daycare, and it always keeps the kids entertained for ages.
I love this activity because it’s so simple to set up and virtually cost-free, and yet it’s educational, entertaining and provides lots of opportunities for learning and fine and gross motor development.
For our coloured water activity, you’ll need:
- empty squeeze bottles
- food colouring
- large clear or white bowls or baking dishes
Use what you have to make an outside work surface:
Let’s get to it:
Now fill your bottles almost to the top with water. We used the garden hose for this, which was an activity in itself, and then we added several drops of liquid food colouring to each container. We popped the lids on and…
…sang the shaky song: “Shaky, shaky, shaky, shake it all you can. La la la la la la. La la la la la la la, HEY!” Lots of la la’s there because we’ve never bothered to come up with a second line to the song.
Now they can pop open the bottle tops and and squeeze, squirt, dribble and mix their little socks off.
We have lots of great stuff going on here! Water play for one; I’ve never met a kid who doesn’t love some good, old-fashioned water play.
Fine motor skills are put to the test, opening lids and twisting the tops on and off the bottles.
Lifting those heavy bottles, holding them high and squeezing the water in to the bowls give those little arms and hands a work out.
And of course, there’s the colour-mixing. Kids are always fascinated by this process, and I have to say, as much as I’ve seen it a thousand times, it always looks a little magical to me too.
What a fun way to get some learning in while having fun and keeping cool on a warm Spring morning!
Get the 3-5 Playful Preschool e-Book!
25+preschool activities by 25 bloggers, 10 printables, 50 links to activities not featured in the book all for $8.99!
Follow the Hooligans on Facebook
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
Erin- The Usual Mayhem
I love the “concentration tongue” in the littlest one as she hoists the bottle!
rebecca from thisfineday
Fun idea. As I was reading this post, my daughter was looking over my shoulder, “I want to do that!” It’s added to my list of things to experiment with 🙂 Thanks for the post.
This sounds really neat! Will have to remember this when the nephew comes over to play. 🙂
You’re right — kids love water play, and this one has tons of benefits along the way!
What a really fun idea! Plus it has great potential for a water fight 😛
Dani @ lifeovereasy
Those kids in the photos look like they are concentrating so hard! What a great idea – I can’t think of any child who wouldn’t love to spend time mixing things up!
We often do this in the snow too, Paula, and then this past winter we actually PAINTED the snow a couple of times. Your kids might really like that too: https://happyhooligans.ca/2013/01/12/painting-the-snow/. Thanks so much for popping by!