Pouring in preschool and why we do it!

As I plan for a new school year, I am thinking through some of the life skills that I want my students to work on through out the school year. There are many life skills that we can promote though out the school year but today, I want to talk about pouring and why we do it…

Pouring in Preschool by Teach Preschool.jpg

I’ll bet you have heard parents or teachers say, “If I let the children pour it, they will spill it!”  Yep! Nine times out of ten this will be true. Young children are developing the skill of pouring and in the process of developing and mastering their pouring skills, they will most likely have a few spill-overs along the way.  However, in order for young children to master their ability to pour they first need to be given ample opportunities to practice their pouring skills…

Pouring in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Why is Pouring Important?

As children develop their skills to pour, they are also developing other types of skills. Let’s take a look at a few of those skills along with the photos I am sharing to see the different ways children can explore the pouring process…

Pouring in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Critical Thinking Skills

As children pour they have to think about how fast to pour, how long to pour, how far to turn the spout, when it is time to stop pouring which helps with mathematical and scientific thinking too…

Pouring in Preschool by Teach Preschool


As children pour they are becoming aware that they can make decisions such as whether to stop pouring or to just keep on pouring and that their decisions will result in natural consequences…

Pouring in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Spacial Awareness

As children pour they begin to gain a better understanding of the amount of space they have to work with and how much water or sand or other is needed to fill up a cup or container and how much is too much…

Pouring in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Eye-Hand Coordination

As children pour they are strengthening their ability to control the flow of what they pour and they are developing their ability to be more concise in their pouring so they can master pouring into smaller spaces, opening, and containers…

Pouring in Preschool by Teach Preschool


As children pour they are developing their ability to take care of tasks on their own like serving their own snack and pouring their own cup of juice…

Pouring in Preschool by Teach Preschool


Providing Opportunities to Pour

Eye-Hand Coordination, Critical Thinking Skills, Self-Regulation, Spacial Awareness, Independence: These are all pretty important skills to nurture throughout the school year and the best way to promote these skills is by giving young children opportunities to explore the pouring process.  Pouring can be explored through simple opportunities such as playing in the water table or sand table and even through dramatic play.

Pouring in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Pouring can also be explored through more structures opportunities such as pouring a cup of juice or water for snack, inviting the children to participate in cooking activities, and allowing children to pour their own paint or glue in preparation for an art activity…

Pouring in Preschool by Teach Preschool

And of course, opportunities to develop strong skills in pouring can be promoted both through indoor and outdoor play and exploration as well as age appropriate tasks and responsibilities…

Pouring in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Providing Tools to Pour

Of course, if you are going to promote pouring, you will need to provide plenty of containers for pouring. Containers can be found around the house like an empty salt box or empty water bottles…

Pouring in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Or you can purchase a variety of child-sized containers such as pitchers and cups for pouring…

Pouring in Preschool by Teach Preschool

As I make my plans for next school year, I want to make sure I have included in those plans lots of opportunities for pouring along with a variety of tools for pouring play! Perhaps you have other ideas to promote pouring skills. I’d love to hear what your students enjoy in the classroom or your child enjoys at home. Just leave a comment below….

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By |2017-04-12T13:05:21+00:00August 2nd, 2014|

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. Kristin August 2, 2014 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    I love it! I was floored last year when my principal made the comment that building with blocks was not on the test. What? Kids don’t know how to think because they are given no opportunities to do so.

    • Jen August 3, 2014 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      I agree. Kids come to us helpless because they have not had opportunities to think and do for themselves.

  2. […] such a great activity to teach especially to young kids. If you want to learn more why, head over here. There are so many different ways that you can set it up depending on the age and skills of your […]

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