Water Wonders: Montessori-Inspired Water Activities for Preschoolers

water activities for preschoolers

The Montessori philosophy emphasizes child-led and hands-on learning, nurturing children’s innate curiosity and desire to learn. Allowing children to take the initiative fosters their independence and confidence while they engage with tactile experiences that promote cognitive growth and fine motor skills.

Water, an essential element of nature, plays a crucial role in early childhood education by connecting children with their environment and instilling respect for the natural world. This guide is designed to provide Montessori-inspired water activities for preschoolers. It aims to enrich preschoolers’ learning journeys with water activities for preschoolers, fostering a sense of discovery and developing practical life skills through the enchanting world of water play.

Understanding Water Through Montessori Principles

water activities for preschoolers

Water play embodies Montessori’s sensory exploration ethos, promoting autonomy and concentration through tasks like pouring. It enhances motor skills, cognitive growth via concepts like volume and buoyancy, and sensory development. Safety requires constant supervision and safe materials.

The Benefits of Water Play for Toddlers

water activities for preschoolers

Water play is not just fun for toddlers; it’s a vital activity that supports their early development in engaging and multisensory ways.

  • Sensory Exploration: Boosts tactile awareness with water’s varied textures and temperatures.
  • Cognitive Development: Teaches basic concepts and encourages problem-solving.
  • Physical Skills: Development of motor skills and coordination through pouring and splashing.
  • Emotional/Social Growth: Offers stress relief and improves social interactions.
  • Language Skills: Enriches vocabulary and listening abilities.

Montessori Water Activities for Preschoolers

Discover fun, hands-on Montessori water activities that stimulate preschoolers’ learning, curiosity, and connection with nature in creative ways.

1. Water Pouring Station

water for kids

 A simple activity where children practice pouring water from one container to another.

Materials: Small pitchers, various-sized cups, and a large basin to catch spills.


  • Prepare pitchers of water and empty cups.
  • Demonstrate careful pouring.
  • Let children practice pouring and refilling.

Benefits: Improves motor skills, coordination, and volume awareness.

2. Sponge Transfer

An activity where children use a sponge to transfer water from one bowl to another.

Materials: Two bowls, water, and a giant sponge.


  • Fill a bowl with water.
  • Demonstrate soaking and squeezing a sponge into another bowl.
  • Practice the process.

Benefits: Enhances motor skills and sensory perception.

3. Dropper Picking

Use droppers to move small amounts of water from one container to another.

Materials: Small droppers and several small containers with water.


  • Fill containers with colored water to make the activity engaging.
  • Demonstrate how to use a dropper to transfer water between containers.
  • Encourage children to practice transferring water using different containers to enhance their skills.

Benefits: This activity helps improve children’s control, coordination, and understanding of volume while they enjoy the sensory experience of water play.

4. Watering Plants

 An activity where children use watering cans to hydrate indoor or garden plants.

Materials: Small watering cans, water, and plants.


  • Fill watering cans with water.
  • Demonstrate gentle watering techniques, emphasizing the need to avoid over-watering or under-watering the plants.
  • Supervise children as they take turns watering the plants, ensuring they use the appropriate amount of water.

Benefits: Fosters responsibility and plant care knowledge.

5. Ice Excavation

ice excavation

 An activity where children melt ice blocks to retrieve small toys.

Materials: Ice trays, small plastic toys, warm water.


  • Freeze toys in ice trays.
  • Provide warm water or tools for kids to melt ice.
  • Children experiment with toy retrieval.

Benefits: Educates on solid/liquid states and cause/effect.

6. Floating and Sinking

 Exploratory activity to learn which objects float and which sink.

Materials: A clear tub of water and various small objects (plastic, metal, wood).


  • Prompt children to predict which objects will float and which will sink.
  • Test predictions by placing objects in water to observe their behavior.
  • Discuss reasons behind the floating or sinking of objects using simple scientific concepts about buoyancy and density.

Benefits: Teaches buoyancy and density.

7. Fish Washing

 Children use brushes to clean plastic fish in a water basin.

Materials: Plastic fish, small brushes, water, and a basin.


  • Lightly soil plastic fish.
  • Provide brushes and a water basin for cleaning.
  • Children practice scrubbing fish.

Benefits: Boosts fine motor skills and imaginative play.

8. Sensory Bins

The bin is filled with water and various items for sensory exploration.

Materials: Large bin, water, natural or artificial items.


  • Fill the bin with water, creating a miniature aquatic world.
  • Mix in various items like leaves, flowers, stones, and toys to provide a multisensory experience.
  • Encourage children to play and explore the objects’ textures, shapes, and movement using their hands, fostering their sensory development.

Benefits: Promotes sensory growth and creativity.

9. Rainbow Bubbles

 We are creating colorful bubbles with soap and food coloring.

Materials: Water, dish soap, food coloring, bubble wands, or straws.


  • Mix water and dish soap to create a bubble solution and divide it into containers.
  • Add different colors of food coloring to each container, creating a rainbow of hues.
  • Encourage children to blow bubbles using bubble wands or straws, observing the vibrant colors as they swirl and mix in the floating bubbles.

Benefits: Teaches color mixing and liquid/gas properties.

10. Water Painting

kids water painting

Children will use water to paint on a hard surface, which evaporates and leaves no mark.

Materials: Brushes, water, and a sidewalk or pavement.


  • Give kids cups of water and brushes.
  • They water-paint on the pavement.
  • Observe disappearing art; discuss evaporation.

Benefits: Fuels creativity and teaches about evaporation.

11. Crafting Boats

 An activity involving building boats from recyclable materials and testing their buoyancy.

Materials: Natural materials or recyclables (corks, popsicle sticks), glue or tape, and a tub of water.


  • Let children unleash their creativity by assembling boats using the provided materials and securing them with glue or tape.
  • Test the buoyancy of the boats by placing them in the tub of water and observing their ability to float.
  • Encourage children to modify their boats, experimenting with different designs or adding additional materials to improve their floatation capabilities.

Benefits: Fosters engineering skills, creativity, and problem-solving.

12. Water Music

Making music by tapping on glasses filled with various water levels.

Materials: Several glasses, water, and a spoon.


  • Fill glasses with varying water amounts.
  • Tap each glass with a spoon for tones.
  • Adjust water to change notes.

Benefits: Explores music and sound science.

13. DIY Water Filtration

 Creating simple water filters using household materials.

Materials: Plastic bottles, sand, pebbles, cotton, dirty water.


  • Remove a plastic bottle’s bottom; layer with cotton, sand, and pebbles.
  • Pour dirty water through the filter.
  • Talk about clean water’s importance.

Benefits: Highlights water purification and ecology.

14. Water Relay Races

 It is a competitive game where children carry water over a distance without spilling.

Materials: Spoons or cups, water, buckets.


  • Form teams; give each cup or spoon of water.
  • Race to pour water into the bucket without spilling.
  • The most water in the bucket wins.

Benefits: Enhances teamwork, coordination, and balance.

15. Washing Station

 washing station

A station where children can practice washing dishes and toys.

Materials: Basin, water, soap, plastic dishes, and toys.


  • Set up a soapy washing station by filling a basin with water and adding soap for a bubbly experience.
  • Demonstrate the proper technique of washing and rinsing dishes and toys, using gentle scrubbing and thorough rinsing.
  • Encourage children to engage in the washing process, allowing them to wash and rinse their own items. This will promote a sense of responsibility and independence.

Benefits: Fosters independence and life skills.

16. Beach Play

Creating a mini-beach environment using sand and water.

Materials: Sandbox, water, beach toys.


  • Make a mini-beach with sand and water.
  • Supply shovels, buckets, and molds.
  • Kids play and create.

Benefits: Stimulates imagination and sensory play.

17. Color Mixing

Exploring color theory by mixing primary colored water.

Materials: Clear cups, water, primary color food coloring.


  • Prepare food-coloured water in primary colors.
  • Let kids mix colors in new cups.
  • Talk about the outcomes.

Benefits: Introduces color theory and mixing.

18. Ice Painting

Using frozen colored water cubes as paint on paper.

Materials: Ice cube trays, water, food coloring, paper.


  • Freeze colored water in ice trays.
  • Kids paint with melting ice cubes.
  • Experiment with patterns and blending.

Benefits: Boosts creativity and color exploration.

19. Weather Watch

Collecting rainwater and observing weather patterns.

Materials: Jars or containers, DIY rain gauges, and observation notepads.


  • Put on the rain boots and go outside to collect rainwater! Use the jars or containers to catch as much rain as possible.
  • Talk about different weather types, such as sunny, rainy, cloudy, and windy days.
  • Measure how much rain fell using our DIY rain gauges. Please write down the numbers in the observation notepads to keep track of them like real weather experts!

Benefits: Educates on weather and observational science.

20. Create a Water Maze

water activities for preschoolers

Constructing a maze for water to flow through using materials on hand.

Materials: Plastic tubing or cut pool noodles, water.


  • Create a maze with tubing or pool noodles.
  • Pour water to navigate through.
  • Adjust for various effects.

Benefits: Enhances problem-solving and teaches water dynamics.

21. Water Balloon Toss

A game where children gently toss water balloons to each other.

Materials: Water balloons.


  • Fill balloons with water and tie.
  • Kids toss the balloon, stepping back after each catch.
  • Play until the balloon breaks.

Benefits: Boosts coordination and teamwork.

22. Bubble Snakes

Creating long streams of bubbles using a water bottle.

Materials: Water bottles, dish soap, cloth, rubber bands, water.


  • Convert the water bottle into a bubble blower with cloth and a rubber band.
  • Dip in soapy water and blow to create bubbles.
  • Try for long, continuous bubbles.

Benefits: Teaches bubble science and improves lung capacity.

23. Raindrop Races

water activities for preschoolers

Racing drops of water down an inclined plane.

Materials: Water droppers or pipettes, slide or titled tray, water.


  • Find a smooth surface and create an incline by propping up one end of the slide or tray. This will be our race track!
  • Use the water droppers or pipettes to pick up small drops of water. Ready your racers!
  • Release the drops of water at the top of the incline and let them race down. Which drop will reach the finish line first?

Benefits: Demonstrates gravity and surface tension; improves fine motor skills.

Final Thoughts

Montessori-inspired water activities offer many benefits, from enhancing sensory development and cognitive skills to fostering physical coordination and encouraging a deep connection with nature. By integrating these activities into the preschool curriculum, Montessori Academy educators can nurture a child’s love for learning and inspire an ongoing appreciation for the wonders of water. Take the plunge into a world of interactive and educational play. Contact Montessori Academy today to learn how water play can enrich your child’s early learning experience. Together, we can create a nurturing and joyful environment where young minds flourish through the natural explorations of water wonders.