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Make Puddles

Experiment with puddles outside on different surfaces.


  • water containers (plastic buckets, bottles, squirt bottles, and cups)
  • digging tools and sticks
  • garden hose
  • camera
  • two-column chart on chart paper labeled “Puddles.” Label the left-hand column “Places to Pour Water” and the right-hand side “What happens?”

Key Science Concepts

  • Water behaves differently on different surfaces.
  • Some surfaces absorb water; some don’t.
  • Water flows downhill.


Introduce the words absorb and soak up. Model these words while children do the activity: Wow! The sand soaked up the water right away! I wonder if you try making a puddle on the grass. Do you think it will absorb all the water or will the water stay on the surface and make a puddle?


Tell children they are going outside to pour and squirt water on different surfaces to make puddles.      

  1. Have children think of different outdoor surfaces (e.g., dirt, grass, sidewalk, sand). Ask them to predict what will happen when they pour water on these surfaces. 
  2. Add this information to your chart, “Puddles.” Draw and label the places children mention in the left column of the chart, “Places to Pour Water.” Take the chart outside to record “What Happens” in the right hand column.
  3. Invite children to pour water on different surfaces. As they explore, take photos and/or videos (which you can show later during Closing Circle). Ask:
    • What does the water do when you pour it on the grass? The dirt? The concrete?
    • I notice the water made a hole in the sand when you squirted it with a strong squirt. What do you think will happen if you squirt the water with a gentle squirt?
    • I see you dug a hole in the dirt. How did that change the puddle?

Reflect and Share

Display the chart and have children describe what happened when they poured water on each surface. Record their responses in the right hand column of the chart. Ask,

  • What surface made the biggest or the deepest puddle? Why do you think that is?
  • What happened to the water when you poured it on the dirt compared to when you poured it on the concrete? 
  • What did you notice when you poured the water compared to when you squirted it on the different surfaces?


While children are making puddles in dirt, suggest that they use a stick to dig a few paths so that the water can flow out of the puddle. How far can they make the water flow? Do some paths let the water flow out more easily than others?