Water play nature hunt with a three year old

Water play is always a hit with my nephew Wy. I bought these little squirt bottles at the dollar store and pulled them out for Wy to play with…

Wy and I played a game with the water bottles as we took a little nature walk around the yard. Each time Wy would find something laying on the ground and squirt it, I would call out the name of the object…

The goal for me was to help Wy continue to build his vocabulary and reinforce the pronunciation of those words in a simple, fun way. The goal for Wy was to spray water on as many things as he could find…

After awhile, I modified the game and began to call out the name of an object for Wy to find, kind of like an “I  Spy” scavenger hunt. I would ask Wy, “Can you squirt the tree?”and Wy would run over and spray water on the tree…

Wy sprayed bushes, rocks, leaves, flowers, grass, my car, and eventually sprayed me too…

Wy’s favorite thing to squirt were the leaves on the driveway which also helps to build eye-hand coordination skills as well as strengthen his fine motor skills…

This was a great outdoor activity that invites play and at the same time, naturally promotes all kinds of development and learning…

Here are some other fun ideas for going on a nature walk…

A Nature Walk from Creative Connections for Kids

Nature Scavenger Hunt from Sun Scholars

Six Ideas for Exploring Nature with Kids from Not Just Cute

I have linked up with basilmomma!

By |2011-06-12T20:17:30+00:00June 12th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. My Oatmeal Kisses June 12, 2011 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    I love how you made water a part of vocabulary! So fun and cute!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 13, 2011 at 10:40 am - Reply

      Wy is really starting to talk up a storm but I can’t always understand him so this was one way to help work on his speech just a bit – or my listening skills:)

  2. Joan June 13, 2011 at 10:11 am - Reply

    Love this, Deborah ! The simplest things make the best activities for young children! I live very close to a School Supply Store and really love all the educational gadgets that they sell there. Unfortunately, those products are very expensive. I love to window shop there and get ideas. Then I take those ideas and adapt them to a “dollar store” budget. Love your water bottles which can provide many hours of fun in so many ways!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 13, 2011 at 10:39 am - Reply

      I love all the gadgets at the school supply store too! They need to have a school supply dollar store:)

  3. Amanda Morgan June 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    Fun idea, Deborah! Thanks for the link as well!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 13, 2011 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      You are welcome Amanda:)

  4. Debi June 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    What an easy – and fun – way for even the littlest of explorers to get outside and connect with nature. Thanks for sharing!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 13, 2011 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      Super easy and super fun:)

  5. [email protected] June 13, 2011 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    Hello! I found you through Basilmomma’s Blog Hop. What a neat kid’s activity! Have a great day! Sherri

    Facebook- https://tinyurl.com/3nd53r4

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 13, 2011 at 11:48 pm - Reply

      HI Sherri,
      Thanks so much for dropping by!

  6. angelique felix June 15, 2011 at 2:19 am - Reply

    same thoughts we have Deborah! We had the same kind of afternoon yesterday here at my place 😉 Lovely pics and activity, Chanel is 5 but got carried away immensely.

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