Skip to main content

Early maths: water experiment

What you need

Either 2 buckets, one big and one small (maybe a sand bucket and a bigger bucket if you have them) OR a large and small bowl; various sized and shaped containers such as spoons, jugs and cups.


This activity gets children thinking about measures such as weight and using mathematical language e.g. big/small, heavy/light; develops critical thinking and communication skills, and understanding of the world! Supports trajectory and transporting schemas.

The experience

Fill a big bucket/bowl full of water and place a smaller bucket a couple of feet away. Lay out different containers and ask your child how many scoops of water they think it will take to fill up the smaller bucket/bowl; once the smaller bowl is full and the water has been transferred, you could encourage your child to try and lift the buckets and talk about the weight and sizes, are they the same? Is one heavier or lighter and why?