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Water Table

Use different objects and tools to explore a large pool of water. 


  • water table, large tub, or plastic wading pool
  • plastic cups, containers, and bottles of different sizes (you may wish to store the water tools in a nearby bin)
  • squirt bottles
  • turkey basters
  • plastic eyedroppers or pipettes (6” jumbo pipettes can be ordered in sets of 100 from Carolina Biological Supply catalog #73-6988 www.carolina.com or call 1-800-334-5551)
  • paper towels, plastic sheets, newspapers, or towels for keeping floor dry

After each day’s hands-on activity, leave the new tools and containers, which you introduced that day, so children can continue to play with them. 

  • Day 2 (following Pour and Squirt activity): sponges, funnels, and clear tubes
  • Day 3 (following Can It Hold Water? activity): plastic baggies, rubber gloves, colanders and/or strainers (containers that water easily flows through)
  • Day 5 (following Leaky Cups activity): paper cups, each with a different set of small and large holes punctured on the side or the bottom of the cup  

Directions for Setting up the Water Table

Cover the floor with plastic. Put newspapers or towels on top. Provide water smocks. Leave the water table set up with the water tools throughout the three weeks of the curriculum. If weather permits, you may want to move your water table outside or use a plastic wading pool instead. Allow plenty of time for children to explore the water table freely, without specific instructions.