Water Play


Purpose: Let your child explore his world and he’ll begin to learn about shapes and sizes!

For this Activity you will need:

  • Plastic measuring cups
  • Plastic tub
  1. Fill the plastic tub with water
  2. Begin by sitting with your infant on your lap. Put your hand in the tub and splash the water. Ask him if he would like to try. You may want to hold his hand and splash with him until he is comfortable with the water.
  3. Once he is comfortable with the water, take a measuring cup, dip it in the water, and pour the water out. Say, "Now it’s your turn." Hand him the measuring cup and let him play.
  4. Allow him to play in the water, splashing and pouring.


Next Steps/Follow-Up:
  • During bath time, give your infant cups and bottles to play with.
  • Try using different materials in the tub, such as sand, rice or cereal.
  • Let your baby finger paint with pudding on his high chair tray.
  • Sprinkle a bit of Jell-O powder on a tray and give your baby an ice cube to draw in the Jell-O with. Talk with him about what happens to the ice cube and Jell-O.

Background Information:

Mathematical thinking involves:

  • Sorting objects by different traits (color, shape, or texture).
  • Using words to describe things and what they are used for.
  • Identifying and copying simple patterns.
  • Using words to talk about position (over, under, in, top, bottom, etc.) and order (first, next, last etc.).
  • Counting objects.
  • Using words to communicate an understanding of numbers and relationships (more, less, equal, etc.)

When your child starts school, she will be more likely to do well if she is able to do these things.


You can help build your child’s mathematical thinking skills by doing this activity.

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Ready At Five improves the practice and quality of early childhood education in Maryland.


We believe that every child in Maryland should have the foundational skills needed for success in school, career and life.

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