Water play their way

When I first began planning the opening of my own preschool, I knew that it was essential that I have a water table and as it turns out, I was right!

Water play is such an important part of our classroom experience almost every single day.

I had my husband build me a water table with three individual water tubs. I am not sure why I chose to design the water table like I did but it has worked out wonderfully.

Changing up the Water Table

I change up the water table with different tools for play and color of water and other ideas all the time to keep it interesting but to be honest with you, I could probably just fill it with plain old water and a few cups for pouring and the children would still find it relaxing, engaging, and fun.

We keep the large three tub water table in our outdoor classroom but sometimes, we need to bring water into our indoor classroom too.  Rather than lugging the entire table indoors, I just set out a tub of water on one of our tables for water play and that works just as well too.

The water tub and the water table are really what I would describe as “water play my way” in that I chose the container and planned ahead of time what tools for play would be available in the water table or water tub.

Letting the Children Explore on their own

My younger students love water play so much that even when there isn’t a water tub in the classroom or we aren’t headed outside to the outdoor classroom, they come up with other ways to explore water. I have just had to follow their lead and let them enjoy water play their way. The first time the children asked me for some water, all I had on hand were my trays so I offered them a cup of water in a tray to play in and they brought the animals over from the block area and begin to play.

The next time they asked for a tray of water, the children added blocks and animals.

And then there was the day that one child asked for water but my trays were not available so I asked if a dish would do and he was thrilled.

Soon a few more children wanted a dish of water so I set them up.

And before long, everyone wanted to play in a dish of water so I set out an entire table of petri dishes, animals, and sponges for water play their way.

And the children sat and explored the water play along with the tools for play their way too.


Here are a few more ways to get the most out of water play with your students!


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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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