Water Writing

A colorful display of the alphabet used at Bright Horizons

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to use writing for a variety of purposes.

Materials Needed:

  • Magnetic letters or alphabet board
  • Small unbreakable containers, e.g., plastic cups
  • Paintbrushes
  • Flat stones or paper

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


  1. Set up a table or space indoors or outdoors. Display the magnetic letters or alphabet board. Fill the containers with water. Offer the paintbrushes and stones or paper.
  2. Encourage your child to write secret notes with water on the stones or paper. See how long it takes for the writing to disappear (dry). Younger preschoolers can draw pictures instead.

Learn More: Challenge your child’s thinking with the following questions: What happens if you add food coloring to the water? Does it disappear when it dries? Does it take the writing longer to disappear if you place it in a sunny or shady location?

Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
A colorful display of the alphabet used at Bright Horizons