Water Scooping for Babies

Water Scooping for Babies

While my older daughter tore up the grass with the Slip ‘n Slide, I set my 10 month old up with a bucket of water and some measuring cups. And she got right to work, filling and emptying the cups. It was interesting to watch her attempt to fill the cups when they were upside down, and then exciting when she figured the “problem” out and corrected for it.

water scooping for babies

And then, presumably, she was proud of one of her many accomplishments.

The provocation is simple — Set your project up outside (since most babies thrive when there are airplanes to track and birds to listen for) and provide your baby with a low bucket of water. Tools are optional. And then see what discoveries come about.

Sensory Play: Water Scooping for Babies

Any other ideas for playing in water with babies?



  1. Oh my goodness those legs! Love those chubby baby legs!!

    As for water, that seems just about right for that age. At a little older a sponge or washcloth and some things to wash–toys, plastic plates, apples–is a fun activity. In the summertime, I like my water to be ocean-provided and bordered by sand, which makes a perfect play place for babies. We’d dig a shallow hole near the tide line and sit the baby in it, put some water in the hole and every now and then a little wave water would trickle in. And then the baby learns to crawl and heads straight for the Atlantic. 😉

    • Amy — the sand border idea is wonderful and made me go, “oh, now why didn’t I think of that?!” I’ll give it a try this weekend!

  2. How do you keep her from just dumping the water, or climbing in and sitting in it? That is all my little one ever does with water! The other day I filled a bunch of buckets with water and in 30 seconds they were all dumped.

    • Thanks for asking, Lucy. I should have addressed this in the post — she often dumps all the water out, but on this particular day the bowl sat like that in front of her for 20 minutes before it was dumped out. The way your child emptied all your buckets reminds me of how fast my 3 year old zips through water balloons. They take forever to fill, and then they’re gone in a heartbeat.

  3. What fun! She seems to really be enjoying her time outside in the water. I love the thought that you see in her face in the first picture. She seems focused on making those cups work for her 🙂 Too cute!!

    • Thanks for the comment, Natalie. I saw the focus too!

  4. how adorable! my little one loved her water table (and bowls of water and spoons/scoops, etc) at this age, too. such important work for these growing minds!

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