Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
In the summer, we play in water daily so I’m always looking for new ways to play with water. We’ve made a recycled water wall, played with Sponges in the Water Table, and worked on fine motor skills with Moving Water Sensory Play. Water is the full sensory experience – we can feel it, hear it sprinkling, see it moving and even taste it. Choose a hot summer day to create an infused water bar for kids to experiment with various flavors in infused water. Also, try my Cutting Herbs Sensory Activity.
Create an Infused Water Bar for Kids
The Experience Early Learning preschool theme for July is EcoVenture and we’ve been learning about trees, air, water, and dirt. The “Water Stand” dramatic play STEAM Station was right up our alley so here goes!
First, I gathered some ingredients that would add flavor to their infused water. Kids desire to make choices especially when it comes to food. I like to include ingredients they are familiar with as well as some that may be new to them.
Infused Water Bar Ingredient Suggestions
- raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries
- lemons, limes and oranges
- canteloupe or honeydew
- lemon thyme
- fresh mint
I already had all these ingredients in the refrigerator or garden. I endeavor to use fresh herbs in the summer but I can’t say I’m the best at it. This is a new, fun way to use them – in drinks!
Kids already know they like the melon, berries, and citrus fruits so they were anxious to put some in their cups.
I set up the table with the ingredients and crushed ice in small cups. Using clear cups allows the children to see how the color of the infused water changes and what’s sinking or floating. I don’t know how many times I’ve chosen clear plastic cups for child activities – they are great to have on hand!
My big 18-year-old saw this going on and he wanted in! He made up a big glass of his own flavored water. The little kids are excited when he’s around so he encouraged them to try different combinations.
Adding spoons and tongs to the bowls adds a fine motor element and teaches healthy manners.
After the kids filled their cups with whatever fruit and herbs they wanted, I helped them pour water into their cups.
We want children to know water is healthy and delicious. It can be lightly flavored without adding sugar. My group lingered at the table talking and experimenting with stirring, adding mint, and playing with their umbrellas.
My group was clearly engaged with the infused water bar and truly experienced something new. They all went back to the table to add more fruits to their cups.
Be sure to have lots of lemons! The kids will continue to eat them even though they’re sour. They say lemons are “spicy” so we also learned some new vocabulary when we tried different infused water flavors.
Some flavors will be stronger than others and some of the flavors of the herbs may take longer to come through than a crushed berry but it’s still fun. I explained they can also smell the piece of herb or taste it. They didn’t like the smell of basil – it is strong!
Ask the children “What is your favorite flavor?” “Do you like plain water or flavored water?” “What does infused mean?”
Making fruit and herb-infused water was another excellent idea for preschoolers from Experience Preschool. We are thrilled with what they plan for us!
More Nutrition Activities For Preschoolers
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