Fill several cups with water and add food coloring. Give each child an eyedropper and a piece of fabric or absorbent paper such as a coffee filter or a paper towel. Then let the children use their eyedroppers to drop colored water on their fabric or papers. Have them observe as the water evaporates, leaving only the color on the absorbent material.
Have the children paint designs on construction paper with different colors of tempera paint. While the paintings are still wet, take them outside. Let the children splatter water on their paintings with small watering cans (or use spray bottles). Have the children watch as the colors on their paintings run and mix together.
Have the children use crayons to draw pictures on construction paper. Make a paint wash by diluting tempera paint with water. Then let the children brush the paint wash over their papers to make the crayon drawings stand out.
Let the children observe the process of evaporation by hanging wet clothes on a line to dry, leaving a bowl of water on a windowsill for several days or by drying fruits. Evaporation occurs when particles of water become warm enough to escape into the air. Discuss with the children where the water goes. Can they think of ways to make water evaporate faster?
Fill four glasses with different levels of water. Carefully strike each glass with a spoon. Each glass will make a different sound. Challenge the children to listen for the differences. Which sound is the highest? Which sound is the lowest? When water is added or removed from a glass, how does the sound change?
Give each child an eyedropper, a small cup of water and a variety of absorbent and non-absorbent materials such as newspaper, waxed paper, paper towels, paper napkins, rubber, wool, cotton and plastic. Have each child select one material at a time, drop water on it and observe whether or not the water is absorbed. Then ask the children to sort the materials into two groups, one containing materials that absorb water, the other containing materials that don't.
Plants and Water
Plants need water to grow. To demonstrate, purchase two identical plants. Water one plant but not the other. Let the children observe what happens.
Split a stalk of celery up the middle, almost to the leaves. Fill two glasses with water and add red food coloring to one glass and blue food coloring to the other. Set up the celery stalk with one half in the red water and one half in the blue. Let the children observe over a period of several hours as the colored water rises up the celery stalk and turns the leaves red and blue.
I Live in the Water
Discuss with the children animals that live in the water and animals that don't. Then say the name of an animal. If the animal lives in the water, have the children clap their hands. If the animal doesn't live in water, have them keep their hands in their laps.
Variation: Instead of clapping, have the children make swimming motions whenever they hear the name of an animal that lives in water.
Make cards that have pictures of different activities you can do in or with water, such as swimming, brushing teeth and watering plants. Sitting in a group, ask one child to draw a card and without showing it to anyone, act out the movement pictured on the card. Once the other children have guessed the activity, let another child draw a card. Continue until each child has had a turn.
We're So Lucky to Have Water
Sung to : "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
We're so lucky to have water,
To have water, to have water.
We're so lucky to have water,
We can wash our faces with it.
Repeat, letting the children take turns naming other things they can do with water.
Take advantage of snacktime to demonstrate and discuss what happens when water is boiled, frozen, evaporated, and used to dilute. For example: boil water to make hard-boiled eggs or noodles; freeze water to make popsicles or ice cubes with fruit pieces inside; dry fruits to demonstrate evaporation; dilute juice concentrate with water to make fruit juice.