River Habitat Water Play in a Rain Gutter

We have been learning about different habitats, so I came up with this super fun river habitat water play activity. It was an awesome preschool science lesson!

Learn about the river habitat with this hands-on preschool science activity!

Summer is a great time to get outside and play in the water, but you can even add some learning into the mix as well. This river habitat water play activity is a fun way to learn about river wildlife and play in the water.

Evan was super excited to find a rain gutter river outside in our yard the other day! He ran right out and started exploring all of the river animals. It was the perfect hands-on exploration of a freshwater river and the animals that live in and around it.

Use a rain gutter to make a river habitat and have fun playing in the water!

This activity is super simple to set up and surprisingly, it only costs about $5-$7 for a 10 foot rain gutter! You can also get the river animals from a craft store with the 40% off coupons they have frequently. Overall, it wasn’t very expensive and we can use the supplies over and over again.

Materials Needed:

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  • Rain gutter (I got a vinyl one)
  • River Animals Toob
  • Stones (you can get a bag at the dollar store)
  • Small sticks from around your yard

Making a River Habitat in a Rain Gutter

Put the stones and river animals down the length of the rain gutter. Have you child help you collect small twigs from a nearby tree or bush and put them in the river as well.

Turn you hose on so that a small stream of water is coming out. Place the hose at one end of the rain gutter so that the water flows down it. I found that it helped to prop the end of the rain gutter up with something so that you could use less water. Otherwise, you need to have decent flow of water coming out of the hose to get the water flowing through the stones and toys.

Rain gutter water play while learning about the animals that live in a freshwater river.

Exploring the River Habitat

I invited Evan to play with the river habitat and explore all of the animals. He got right to work playing and pretending with the animals, the stones and the sticks.

His favorite part was making a beaver dam with twigs and rocks and then playing with the toy beaver that was included in the river toob. He also liked to make the eagle toy swoop down and “catch” fish.

Learn about the animals and elements of a freshwater river when you do this sensory science activity for preschoolers.

Alyssa also enjoyed playing in the river! She loved the water and playing with all the elements of the river habitat.

I love that we can continue to use the rain gutter for lots of other water play this summer too!

Here are some related posts I think you will enjoy!

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Ocean Life Play Dough Invitation

Pond Life Play Dough Invitation

Rainbow Fish Sensory Bin

Finding Dory Sensory Activity