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5 Things Kids Learn from Pouring Water


What can a child learn from pouring water?

A lot actually. A whole stink lot from just pouring some water.

Source: busytoddler.com

Our kids need chances to learn, to make mistakes, to hone their skills, to grow through experience and if we pour every cup for them – how are they supposed to learn these kinds of skills?

First, the set up:

Here’s how I set up this activity (it’s crazy easy).


  • grab a 31 quart storage container to be my base – this helps keep the water spills contained.
  • fill up a second storage container with water. Then  add in “the tools”: funnels, jars, ice cube trays, measuring cups.
  • bust out a giant beach towel and set it all on that – maximum drip protection.
  1. Life Skills: Pouring Water

This is a big one. We can’t expect our toddlers to learn to pour their cups if we never give them the chance to learn. Yes, water spills. But I’d rather him spill water here than orange juice all over my floor….

  1. Displacement

“When I put my hand in, the water goes up!!!”

  1. Whirlpools / Vortex

When my son poured the water into the funnel, he immediately noticed the vortex it made. HE SAW A WHIRLPOOL. This is incredible for a toddler to notice and recognize and start learning about.

  1. Capacity

They learn about capacity, about volume. They begin to understand how “big” containers are and how much you can put in one. They won’t learn until age 7-11 Conservation (that a liquid remains in the same amount regardless the shape of the container).

  1. Grip Strength

Let’s be honest: kids don’t use their hands nearly has much as they did in previous generations and activities like this give kids a chance to exercise those muscles. Lifting a heavy container of water and having the strength to move, shift, and rotate that pitcher is HUGE.


There really is so much to learn from pouring water. It’s not the fanciest activity by any means, but it is definitely one of the most important. Yes, they’re pouring water but we know…they’re doing so much more.