Sand and Water

Toddler playing in the sand at day care with his toy truck

This simple sand and water activity keeps toddlers engaged and happy, promoting development and learning by encouraging children to demonstrate an understanding of cause and effect.

Materials Needed:

  • Large cookie sheet or bin and bowl
  • Kitchen implements, such as a funnel, cups, muffin tins, bowls, and spoons
  • Water
  • Sand or dirt

Participants: This activity is intended for independent play or adult/child interaction.


  • Step 1: In an outside area, give your child a small amount of water and sand or dirt, as well as the kitchen implements.
  • Step 2: Ask him to try mixing a little water with sand or dirt. What happens? What happens if he adds a little water? What happens if he adds more?
  • Step 3: Encourage him to experiment with the kitchen implements. Can he make mud pies, towers, or hills? What else can he do?

Offer a small amount of the material at first and set limits before you start, such as keeping the mud on the cookie sheet or in a designated area. Have a hose ready for easy cleanup.

Toddler playing in the sand at day care with his toy truck
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