Water for Thirst – 3 to 5 Years
Supplies and Preparation
- Picture of elephant
- 2 small cups
- 2 or more gallons of water
- Big container to dump water into
- “Potter the Otter” book
- Paper or coffee filters
- Colored water (food coloring, water) in a spray bottle
- Drink Like an Elephant!
- Water Drinking chart
Starting the Conversation
- What drinks do you serve at meal time? Between meals?
- What types of drinks does your child request?
- How does your child react when he is offered water?
- Juice, soda pop, and other drinks can cause cavities. Water is the best drink for our bodies— it’s sugar and calorie free, and tap water may contain fluoride, a natural mineral that helps prevent cavities.
Parent and Child Activity
1. Drink like an elephant!
Use the following script to show the parent and child that drinking water can be fun!
- What is the biggest animal that lives on the land? The elephant!
- (show picture) Look how big his teeth are! Elephants have the largest teeth of any animal. They are called tusks. They also have more teeth inside their mouths that they use for chewing food.
- I wonder how this elephant takes care of his teeth. What do you think? (wait for response) If he lives in a zoo, the zookeeper brushes the elephant’s teeth with a super big toothbrush.
- And, what do you think he drinks to stay healthy? (wait for response) He drinks water to keep his teeth and body strong and healthy. And just like an elephant, people need water, too. Drinking water helps our teeth stay strong and healthy.
- Do you know how this elephant drinks water? (wait for response) He has a trunk that is kind of like a straw. He uses his trunk to suck in the water and then he squirts the water into his mouth.
- What does an elephant do when he is playing with his elephant friends and he gets thirsty? (wait for response)
- Does he drink juice? NO.
- Does he drink soda pop? NO. He doesn’t like juice or soda pop—he doesn’t want cavities. He drinks water with his trunk.
- Let’s see how much an elephant drinks compared to how much you drink. (pour water into a small or medium-sized cup) You use these cups and drink this much during snack. If you are very thirsty, you might drink two cups of water. We want to drink water when we are thirsty. Water keeps our bodies strong like elephants!
- Start pouring water into the big container. Ask the child to tell you to stop pouring water when she thinks you’ve poured the amount that an elephant can drink. (pour about two gallons of water)—if the child says stop, say no, not yet, until you have poured two gallons of water.
- Tell the parent and child that two gallons (or point to the water and say “this much”) is how much an elephant can get into his trunk at one time.
- Move the small cup next to the 2 gallon container so children can compare the amounts of water.
- Look at all of this elephant water. Who would like to try some? (pour a cup of the “elephant’s water” for the parent, child, and yourself. Give each person a straw so they can “drink like the elephant)