Language Works

Water Writing

Ideal for Toddler, Preschool/Pre-K

Different colored letters of the alphabet on a wooden backdrop.

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to use writing for a variety of purposes.

Materials Needed:

  • Magnetic letters or alphabet board
  • Small unbreakable containers, e.g., plastic cups
  • Paintbrushes
  • Flat stones or paper

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction.


  1. Set up a table or space indoors or outdoors. Display the magnetic letters or alphabet board. Fill the containers with water. Offer the paintbrushes and stones or paper.
  2. Encourage your child to write secret notes with water on the stones or paper. See how long it takes for the writing to disappear (dry). Younger preschoolers can draw pictures instead.

Learn More: Challenge your child’s thinking with the following questions: What happens if you add food coloring to the water? Does it disappear when it dries? Does it take the writing longer to disappear if you place it in a sunny or shady location?

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