Water pouring is a great practical life skill that toddlers and preschoolers enjoy practicing!

Can your preschoolers pour without spilling?

The other day we had a preschool co-op meeting centered around kitchen skills. The particular skill we were working on that day was pouring. I feel like my kids are ALWAYS spilling, so pouring practice felt like it was just a fancy way to say “spilling practice,” but it wasn’t! We sat with the kids and taught them how to pour from different containers (and also how to clean up when they did spill some). The kids were all so interested in mastering the skill! It kept their attention quite nicely, too. I could see this being an easy activity to put together when I need to cook.

Supplies

Water pouring is a great practical life skill that toddlers and preschoolers enjoy practicing!

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  • Small containers with a handle and spout (we found ours at a thrift store, but small cream pitchers or bell pitchers would work well)
  • Clear cups
  • Plastic Tray
  • Dishcloth

I added food coloring to the water to make it easier for my kids to see. The clear cups are also really useful because they allow the kids to see how full their containers are without having to tip the cup.

How to offer a Pouring Tray to Preschoolers

First of all, I would like to mention that you don’t have to wait until preschool to offer something like this! Study at Home Mama has great tips for how to progress this activity for young kids to older ones, and Busy Toddler shared a great pouring station that works well for all kids!

For my three and four year old I supplied a plastic tray (helps contain spills), small pitchers, and small glass votives (to act as cups), and a dishcloth to sop up spills.

Water pouring is a great practical life skill that toddlers and preschoolers enjoy practicing!

My three year old kept trying to lift the cup and pour at the same time. This greatly increases the chance of spilling, though. I showed my boys it is much easier to have one hand under the spout while the other holds the handle. Also, holding the pitcher above the cup (and not letting it touch the glass) is a great tip- this keeps the glass from tipping from the weight of the pitcher being rested on it.

However three year olds can be pretty stubborn and insist on learning the hard way…that’s what the dishcloth will be having around for 😉

Water pouring is a great practical life skill that toddlers and preschoolers enjoy practicing!

This activity kept my kids challenged and interested for well over 30 minutes! It is a great practical life activity, and so easy to put together when you need it.

One way to keep your kids engaged would be including different types of pitchers to practice with. We like finding them at thrift stores for the best deals!

Water pouring is a great practical life skill that toddlers and preschoolers enjoy practicing!

Water pouring is a great practical life skill that toddlers and preschoolers enjoy practicing!

How would your kids enjoy this activity? Share a picture with us on Instagram!

Water pouring is a great practical life skill that toddlers and preschoolers enjoy practicing!

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