My kids absolutely love playing with water. Indoor water play has saved me on many a bad-weather day or when the kids were especially cranky and I needed a quick activity to keep them busy. It’s such a simple concept and it cleans up so easily. (Just make sure you have a towel — or 4 — handy to wipe up spills.)
Because our bathroom is so small, my kids play with water in the living room and I’m here to say I lived to tell the tale. Give these indoor water play ideas a chance. (Note: this post contains affiliate links.)
TIP: Clicking on the orange links below will give you more information about each idea.
MORE: For non-water play ideas, visit my Ginormous List of Indoor Activities for Kids
Easy Indoor Water Activities for Kids
Simple water play with cups and spoons. When my 2 year old got cranky, this was my favorite go-to idea to stop whining instantly. And isn’t that what we all want?
Homemade sailboats. The boys love blowing them around with straws.
Bubble bath toy car wash. For nearly 2 years this was my most viewed indoor activity. It is incredibly simple and my boys NEVER got tired of it. You can set it up as we did in the original post or keep it super simple for a toddler at the table. We’ve also taken the water play activity to the next level with an exploding car wash. You can use any toys your kids love.
Frozen water surprises. I started freezing items in ice blocks as a way to get my bath-resistant 3 year old into the tub, but over the years we have kept it up. Even my now-9 year old still loves it. We primarily use small toys, but I sometimes give it a literacy twist as I did with this frozen word scramble.
Thin ice exploration. This indoor water play idea was inspired by a trip to the park where my boys became enamored with the thin ice-y coating on the lake.
Bath bubble science experiment. Turn a plastic container into a fun lesson about air pressure!
Funnel and hose free play. Give your kids a funnel and a length of vinyl tubing. I absolutely recommend doing this one in the bathtub, which means parental supervision is required. (You might still be able to keep one eye on a good book, though!)
Plastic lids in the bath. I don’t know why, but when my son was younger he thought they were best bath toys ever. Wash the lids from milk cartons and yogurt containers and toss them in the bath for some freebie toys!
Explore density. Have you ever tried the classic float and sink science experiment?
Painting on a chalkboard. Painting with water is super fun.
Water transfer activity. This easy idea uses kids’ fine motor muscles and hones their concentration skills.
Ocean in a bottle. Water doesn’t need to splash on the floor in order to be entertaining. An ocean in a bottle is very calming.
Leak proof bag science experiment. We actually did this outside. The potential for a lot of water all over the place is higher than most, so perhaps the bathroom, kitchen or laundry room (dare to dream!) might be best.
Fog in a bottle. Learn about the weather!
Magic jumping coin. Learn about how water temperature affects pressure.
Water drop races. With straws and wax paper, your kids can learn about surface tension and water molecules(or, you know, just have fun).
What about you? Do your kids get a kick out of playing with water? What is their favorite indoor play idea?