*This post contains affiliate/referral links. See my disclosure for details.*
Turkey basters are one of my FAVORITE household items to use in sensory play with toddlers and preschoolers. These huge pipettes are perfect for transferring liquid, shooting great amounts of air, painting, and all sorts of kid’s activities! This is a fun activity for kids, and a cheap, no-prep activity for parents and teachers!
Materials you need:
- Turkey baster
- 2 medium sized buckets
- Electrical tape
- (Liquid watercolor washable paint: for extension activity)
The buckets need to have a short thin piece of electrical tape in the same spot inside both buckets. Fill one bucket with water up to the tape. Even though the child won’t have enough water to go past the tape line on the empty bucket while filling it up, it will help them be observant as they squirt water (hopefully…) into the bucket.
Demonstrate how to use the turkey baster
Learning how to use a turkey baster takes mind power and hand-eye coordination. It will take lots of practice for your toddler or preschooler to perfect it. Demonstrate and with very few words explain what you are doing as you do it.
- “In water”
- “Pull out of water”
- “Point in new bucket”
Sometimes too many words can be confusing for tricky skills like this. The more you can show them and give your child a chance to try, the more they will get the hang of it!
Once they have filled the new bucket with water up to the tape line, encourage them to now fill the other empty bucket again. This is a very independent activity once the child understands the concept and workings of the turkey baster.
Liquid watercolor washable paint for an extension activity. Adding color to any water activity makes it so engaging! Even if the kids seemed bored with the activity beforehand! My FAVORITE liquid watercolor paints that I have used for years are Colorations Liquid Watercolors! Unlike food coloring, these paints leave very few stains on hands or clothes, so you can confidently mix them with anything; water, rice, sand, shaving cream…etc. For water, all you need is a few drops depending on how deep or light you want the coloring to be. Colorations has TONS of colors to choose from, but you can just get the primary colors initially to mix and match for colors you don’t have.
- Fine motor dexterity
- Hand and finger strength
- Hand-eye coordination
- Observation skills
This activity is best enjoyed outdoors, but can be done indoors ensuring that you are not concerned about a water mess in the house! Check out some of our other water play activities here! What are some of your kid’s favorite ways to enjoy water play on hot summer days?!