Experimenting with coloured water for fine and gross motor development and a lesson in colour mixing:
I love setting up fun and educational water play activities when the warm spring weather arrives! Colour mixing in the backyard 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 like it because it’s so simple and virtually cost-free, and yet it’s educational, entertaining and provides lots of opportunity 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.
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!
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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.