13 - 15 Months

Art, science, and fine motor: water play checks all the boxes

Baby sitting up and playing with water and a sponge

We have yet to meet a toddler who doesn’t love water. It feels good, it’s fascinating to watch, and it changes shape according to the container it’s in. Here are some ways to further explore the intriguing properties of water.

Never leave your toddler alone near water. Toddlers can drown in as little as two inches of water, so constant supervision is critical. 

Investigating water inside:

Play with sponges

Show your toddler how to squeeze out the water, then have them try. Natural sponges are especially interesting because of their varied textures, shapes, and sizes.

Water painting

Woman sitting with a toddler on her lap while they are painting with water

Water painting is simple: all you need are paint brushes, some water, and a dry surface like construction paper or a chalkboard.


Toddler in a bathtub holding the Opposite Balls by Lovevery
In photo: Nesting Stacking Dripdrop Cups from The Inspector Play Kit

Show your toddler how water drips at different rates in the bath. Funnels, squeeze bottles, basters, Lovevery Dripdrop cups, and eye droppers all show how water can flow in different ways. 

Freeze little figures or small toys inside ice cubes

Tray with blocks of ice with animal figurines frozen in them

Then you can melt them in warm water to free the toy inside. You can also make ice cubes with food coloring.

Ice cube play

Fill a big bowl of water with some ice cubes to melt. Let your toddler explore the fascinating properties of ice, like texture, temperature, and shape. Use words like cold, melt, and slippery to help them build vocabulary.

Floating and sinking

Toddler in a tub playing with the Opposite Balls by Lovevery
In photo: Opposites Balls from The Thinker Play Kit

Experiment with objects that float and sink, like rocks, a feather, the Lovevery Opposite Balls, pom poms, and cups (both empty and full).

Investigating water outside:

Paint with water outside

Young child on a sidewalk outside painting with water

Get a tub of water and some bigger brushes and paint on the pavement or a fence.

Water play with tools

Take a large shallow storage bin outside and fill with a little bit of water; toss in scoops, droppers, cups, and other toys.

Splash, sink, float

Man sitting outside with a young child putting a stick in a pond

Have your toddler throw sticks and rocks in a lake or pond and talk about how they splash, then sink or float.

Use the sprinkler

Turn on the sprinkler and have your toddler stand under it, holding an umbrella. Then take away the umbrella to show your toddler how the barrier prevents the water from dropping to the ground. Set the umbrella upside down on the ground and your toddler can watch the water collect inside of it.


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Posted in: 13 - 15 Months, Science, Real World Play, Water Play, Playtime and Activities, Child Development

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