Summer | Water: Infants & Toddlers

Capture the Water: Create Beauty!

Summary: There are many different ways of watering a garden, from a watering can to a large irrigation system. One fun and functional way to capture water and beautify the garden is to create a water wall. You can use the water that you collect for plants or to attract birds and pollinators. 

Pre-Visit Planning: 

  • Gather: a large bucket, scissors, recycled water bottles, clear cups, old hose parts, a hollow fun noodle, or whatever you have on hand! Also grab an old board (if your garden does not have a chain link fence), screws or wire, and a hammer 
  • Explore: “Summertime Number 9A” by Jackson Pollack: Do you see some water in there? 
  • Read: Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre

In the Garden: 

Our bodies and our gardens need water to grow. Because we all share our water, it is important that we use our water carefully. 

Questions to Explore:

  • Where do we find water in our neighborhood? (Rain, lakes, streams, faucet, etc.)
  • Can you think of one way we could catch water?
  • Do you think we could use our materials—water bottles, buckets—to catch water?
  • Who drinks water in our garden? (Plants, birds, bees)


We’re going to create a water wall! 

  1. Find a spot in the garden to set up your board or select a portion of chain-link fence, if your garden has one.
  2. Cut the ends off of your water bottles and poke holes in the bottoms of any cups you brought.
  3. Let your gardener decide what order to place your different materials on the wall or fence. They might choose several different routes. Then, affix the materials by nailing them to the board or running a wire through the fence. 
  4. Put your bucket at the bottom of the wall/fence. Pour water into the topmost container and watch the path your water takes!
  5. When your bucket is full, find a dry spot in the garden and use the water you’ve collected to sprinkle the plants in that area. 

Beyond the Garden | Find a Fountain!

Take a tour of your neighborhood and look for fountains. There might be one in front of a government building or at the local park. On a hot day, you might find a friend at a fountain—some are built for running in! Can you find a fountain with a statue in it? Try going at night and seeing if you can find a fountain lit up with different colors. Start noticing all the places you find water around town. 

Continue Exploring | Supporting Materials

Water saving tips from the dry state of Arizona:

Note for Parents:
Each lesson suggests you explore a piece of artwork and read a specific book with your child. The artwork and books are easily available for view with an online search. However, these suggestions are not necessary to complete the lessons.

Guiding Principles


Learning, though not always visible, is always happening. The lessons are designed using inquiry as a base. Rather than “right answers” be more concerned with asking good questions.


Things may not go as planned. The lessons are designed to be used in whatever way works best for you. You can use all of the lesson or just pull a piece out of it.


Planting and cultivating a garden is believing in possibility. The lessons are designed to generate excitement about the future.


Each lesson includes a way to take the learning out into the community for more learning and more connection.


When a young child’s innate curiosity is unleashed in a garden the possibilities are endless. Any topic is open for exploration.


You will get dirty. There will be bugs.