4 Fun Water Play Ideas

Beat the Heat With These Fun Water Play Ideas at Home

Young toddler boy playing with water outside

It’s been hot lately, so let your child play and explore with water! Littles love the chance to splash, pour, and
explore how water works, especially if it gives them a chance to cool off when it’s warm outside.

Playing with water also helps toddlers learn about cause and effect, how items float or sink, and it can even be used to help a child calm themselves down after being overstimulated. We’ve included a few ideas for you, since the weather’s been so warm, so pick one or two and let your little splash and play!

1. Paint with Water

This is probably our simplest activity, in terms of supplies and set-up; yet it can provide your child with hours of creativity and fun! (Bonus: there’s no paint to clean up!)


  • Container of water
  • Different size paint brushes and/or sponges
  • Some sidewalk or driveway

Give your child the water and paintbrush and let them “paint” the sidewalk to their heart’s content. The water will dry, leaving behind no mess. For a fun change up, see what leaves or flowers could be used as “nature’s paintbrushes.”

2. Garden Soup

Creativity and imagination? Cold water on a hot day? Playing in nature? This activity checks all the boxes!


  • Big bowls or tubs
  • Kitchen utensils, such as (but not limited to; add whatever you’ve got!):
    • Spoons
    • Funnels
    • Measuring cups
    • Tongs
  • Water
  • Access to a garden
  • Possible need: scissors or clippers – would need adult help for this

Fill the big bowls or tubs with water. That’s the base of the “soup.” All the other ingredients for the soup can be found in the garden, such as: grass, flowers, leaves, twigs, rocks, even mud! Whatever your child finds can be added, and let them use the kitchen utensils to “cook” their soup. You might find that they’ll spend hours mixing, pouring, cutting, chopping, scooping, and transferring their soup from one bowl to another.

3. Wash the Toys

Water sensory bins are always a fun time for children, and this activity never fails to entertain! The bonus is, that all your child’s toys are clean at the end of the fun!

  • Big, plastic tub/container/sensory bin
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Scrubbies (scrub brushes, sponges, bath loofahs, whatever you can think of)
  • Plastic toys

Depending on your location and potential boisterousness of your little, it might be best to do this activity outside. Fill the plastic tub/container/sensory bin with water and some dish soap Add the toys and scrubbies Let your little one go to town!

Learn more about this activity here!

4. Kiddie Pool and Toys

This is a classic, and it’s a classic for a reason! It’s simple and easy, and it’ll keep your little cool and entertained for hours!


  • Kiddie pool
  • Any selection of toys, such as:
  • Transparent plastic cups
  • Bath toys:
    • Funnels and ladles
    • Empty yogurt cups
    • Plastic balls

**If you don’t have a kiddie pool, you can also try a large, plastic storage bin; or you can do this in your bathtub – we recommend putting down a bunch of towels on your bathroom floor, first, though; this can get a bit messy! Fill your pool or tub with water, throw in the toys, and let your child play and have fun!


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