Easy Indoor Water Play

Who doesn’t love playing in the water?

Water play is a great sensory actviity for toddlers while being something for siblings to do together. It's also a lot of fun and a great learning opportunity. Use indoor water play to help prepare your toddler for kindergarten with learning through play and child-centered activities! You can even set this invitation to play up to be a Montessori style activity. Find out more from Lessons and Learning for Littles!

There’s a reason they make those water fountains and often have them in waiting rooms- the sound of water is relaxing.

Kids are no different, so when Buddy Boy wandered over to the dogs’ water bowl and started splashing around, I decided it would be a good time for some water play. But, it’s January and cold, so using our water table outside is out of the question. It was too early for a bath, so I grabbed an ultra absorbent bath mat (thank you, Norwex!) and extra towels and set up a space in the kitchen on the floor to play.

Water play set up- an invitation to play!


The bath mat not only absorbs some of the water that’s bound to spill, but it also defines the space to play. I taught Sweet Pea that she has to stay in the area I set up for her (shower curtain for painting or playing with indoor “sand,” water play, etc). Buddy Boy seems to follow her lead without any instruction from me.

Even the dogs came to check out the water play.

I provided some supplies for each of them to use individually, but also some for them to take turns using so they can practice sharing. Sweet Pea did ask if she could have her own container  of water, but I told her they were sharing one and she was fine with it. I didn’t give them any instructions, and instead just asked them if they’d like to do some water play, which, of course they did.

We added more water, and a second bowl, which extended the fun and refreshed the bubbles.

Both kids enjoyed scooping and pouring, sticking their hands in the soapy water, and splashing around a bit. By the end, even though they needed to do “small splashes only,” there was still quite a bit of water on the floor and they both needed dry clothes.

But, for just under 30 minutes of play (27 minutes and 35 seconds to be exact), I’ll take it!

They practiced:

  • sharing,
  • scooping and pouring,
  • got some sensory play in (water temperature, bubbles),
  • problem solved, and
  • estimating (how much water fits? Which holds more? How many scoops to fill this up?).

Not too bad for a free activity that takes less than 5 minutes to set up and clean up!


Ready to get started?


  • Bath mat or a few towels to absorb splashes
  • Measuring cups or other things from the kitchen that kids can scoop water with
  • Utensils (just because)
  • Different sized bowls
  • Water
  • Soap if desired
  • Probably a change of clothes too for when your little one is done playing

Easy and fun indoor water play for toddlers and preschoolers. Water play is a great sensory activity for toddlers and makes for fun scooping and pouring for preschoolers as well. It's quick to set up and a lot of fun when you're stuck indoors. Read more about it at Lessons and Learning for Littles!

What kind of water play or activities do your little ones like to do?

Join the discussion!

You might also enjoy Frozen Fun.

Ice play for toddlers is a great sensory activity. Ice play is an easy preschool sensory activity as well. Taste safe sensory activity for babies too!

If you’d like more easy activity ideas, check out my FREE Digital Resources.

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