Water Play

There’s lots of ideas for water play when it is warm and sunny in Scotland and we have a few suggestions below.  Should you have any ideas you would like to share please email these to info@playscotland.org.

Please ensure care is taken with babies, children and young people near water.  Drowning can occur in very shallow water.


Chuckies n Puddles

Download our free leaflet with lots of ideas for rainy day play.

Chuckies n Puddles





Garden Soup
Fill a pot with water and add in different items from around the garden, beach shells, grass, sea weed, petals etc.  Good for sensory play and also active play as children run around to find more items.

Note: not for consumption.


Sink or Float
Fill a basin with water and collect various items from garden, park, beach even household items and see if they sink or float.

Examples: shells, wood, stones, leaves, sponge, paper, seeds, pasta etc.

Pond Dipping
You will need:

  • Tray with water for emptying items from net
  • Fishing net

Using a fishing net explore a pond by dipping the net in and carefully emptying finds into the water tray.

Please ensure your water tray with any fish, frogs etc are emptied carefully back into the pond.


Ice painting
Fill a ice tray cube tray with water and food colouring.

Once frozen use the ice cubes to paint on the pavement.


Water Pour fun
There are many items you can pour water into and see how it falls.


  • Pipes
  • Funnels
  • Hose
  • Colander
  • Cut the bottom off plastic bottles
  • Straws


Pooh Sticks
Find a small bridge over a stream.  Stand at one side and drop a stick into the water and see who’s stick comes out first on the other side.




Washable Finger Paints
You will need:

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 4 cups cold water
  • Food colouring

In a large saucepan mix flour and 1 cup of cold water.  Stir until smooth.  Add 3 cups of water and cook over a medium heat until it thickens and bubbles.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add food colouring, cover and cool.



Make your own bubbles. 

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup of washing up liquid (water down brands do not work as well)
  • 3/4 cups of cold water
  • 5 drops of glycerine (available at chemists)

What to do:  mix together to make bubbles.


Bubble Art
What you need:

  • Bubble mixture (see above)
  • Paint or powder paint
  • Straw
  • Thin paper

What to do: Add paint to the bubble mixture, blow through a straw and once you have a bubble, gently cover with thin paper and you will have you own bubble art.

Note: Please sure children blow through the straw and don’t sook.


Experiment with coloured water
You will need:

  • Empty plastic bottles
  • Water
  • Food colouring

Fill a bottle with water and add a few drops of one food colouring into it.  Put its lid on and shake.

Take the lid off and add a few drops off another food colouring and watch patterns emerge.  Put the lid back on and repeat.


Bath time
Fill a basin with water and children can wash their dolls and action figures. 

Add bubbles for more fun.






Sensory Ocean
Fill a basin or baby bath with water.  Add in rocks, stones, rice.  
At the side have containers with corks, leaves, bath toys.  Hours of fun.

Idea: add blue food colouring to water.


Make your own boat









Make your own watering can










Water Wall

Cut the bottom of plastic bottles and attach to wall.  An easy to way to make a water wall.












Make your own car wash










Water flight
Fill up lots of buckets and bottles with water and have fun with your friends.










Fishing Fun

Using a stick have fun pretending to fish.  Great for imaginary play.










Make your own water slide

You will need tarpaulin and water.









Smooth Pebbles

In a stream feel how smooth pebbles and stones are when they have been in the water.









Outdoor Bath Toys Fun

Fill up a basin with water and play with your bath toys outside.










DIY paddle pool for babies









Should you any ideas you would like to share please email info@playscotland.org.