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 Water is never boring for kids! Whether you have a toddler, preschooler, or older child, water is a great sensory activity for kids at home. Even my oldest finds creative ways to play with water. You do not need to have an outdoor space to play with water. It’s a great simple activity to try indoors on days when the weather makes it inconvenient to play outside. With simple tips, water play can be done safely indoors!

I know on the days when we are stuck inside due to weather that everyone is going to get grumpy at some point. It’s a fact that when my kids do not get enough time to run and play outdoors their moods suffer…which means my mood can suffer too. I try my best to keep them active indoors for a time when we are stuck inside. Of course a good old movie day is great, but in the hot California Summer months, or if you get a lot of rain where you live, a great go-to activity to break up the day is water play.


Tips and ideas for setting up water play indoors for all ages.

How to Set Up Water Play Indoors for Toddlers:

(All linked supplies are affiliate links.)


1) Lay a beach towel or several small kitchen towels on a water-safe floor like linoleum or tile.

(This activity is not recommended to be done on floors like wood or carpet!)

2) Fill up a pitcher with water.

3) Place a non-breakable mixing bowl or a plastic dishpan on the towel.

4) Pour the water from the pitcher into the bowl or container.

5) Provide some spoons or measuring cups and your child can play!

I do this often with my toddlers and even have done it with my infants. For infants that are not sitting up on their own yet, see the tips below.

Tips for infant water play indoors. Great sensory activity that can be done without too much mess indoors.

Water Play for Infants:

1) Lay a towel on the floor and set a baking sheet on top.

2) Fill a pitcher with water.

3) Pour some water into the baking sheet.

4) Place child on their tummy near the baking sheet so they can reach the water with their hands.

**Supervise closely so baby does not get their face in the water!

It is so important to supervise children around water due to the hazards that can take place when we are not watching.

I looked through the clearance area in the fish tank aisle of the pet store, and then found a little package of plastic water creatures at the Dollar Store. I was able to create a simple sensory bin for only $5! It is great for multiple ages.

You can find similar items on Amazon through these links:

fish tank decorations

plastic animals

If these ideas are a little too messy for your house, you can always play with water in the bathtub! In swimsuits or just during regular bath time, the bathtub is a great way to let children play with water indoors.

How do you manage messy play indoors? Any tips you can share with us?



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