How to encourage kids to actually drink water?
Me: Drink water
Me: Here is your water in your favorite pink cup
5-year-old: I don't want it!
Me: If you don't drink water, you will dry and shrink and become an elf!
5-year-old: That sounds great!
Me: If you want to be Emma Wiggle (her favorite ballerina and singer) when you grow up, you must drink water!
5-year-old: Actually, I thought of a backup job to do when I grow up!
Getting your kid to drink water can seem like getting your broom to fly!
Research shows that 50% of the kids are not hydrated enough and 20% do not drink water most days! It's not surprising because children don’t always recognize that they’re thirsty.
When I was a little girl I was just the same. I never drank water. I hated it because it was boring and tasteless! My mom ran behind me with a glass of water every day! And guess what happened? When my little one turned 3, I had to run behind her the exact same way! (My husband says: Karma follows! 😝).
Fortunately, I found some helpful tips that actually worked to make my little dragon drink cool water 💦! I thought it is a good idea to share these tips to save you from running behind kids as I did 😅. Enjoy reading and trying these!
Tip #1: Tasty water
Water is the elixir of life! But it doesn't have to be a tasteless elixir, isn't it?
Add a flavor by dropping in small bites of fruits or spices to your water jar. There are innumerable options available - strawberries, blueberries, cucumber, lemon, mint and lime, pineapple, peaches, apples, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin, (yada, yada and yada)! My daughter's favorite is orange-flavored water 🍊 (and some yada yada yada. She is a chatterbox, you see!)
Anyways, get creative with these options and plenty more. No kid should feel bored of drinking tasteless water, ever again 😋.
Tip #2: Rocky water
Floating ice cubes and chillness are super interesting for little kids.
To make it even more fun, add a colorful berry into the ice tray along with water, to make a berry-iceberg for your rocky water! Or, add some frozen fruit for some extra flavor and chills!
If you have some time and want to have more fun, make a fruit juice, put it in the ice tray to make 🌈 colorful-ice-juice-cubes for your water! What a cool idea! 💦
And guess what? Coldwater does a great job of hydrating the body and giving the energy required for the day! 💪
Some cultures believe that it is not good to drink cold water. But there is not enough evidence proving this claim. Of course, drinking warm water has plenty of added benefits like better digestion and getting rid of toxins faster. Use the other tips if you prefer not to drink cold water or if your child is unwell.
Tip #3: Gamify Water
Make drinking water a habit by including it in the fun parts of the day!
My family plays family-games every evening. These days we mark the start of the game with water-cheers (and putting the mobiles away👌🏽). So I hear my cutie-pie-daughter announce, “Its time for the water-cheers, mamma”! A lovely sight isn’t it! 🙌🏼 😉
Look for what activities you do together daily and shower some water into it! Drinking water together removes the boredom and motivates everyone to keep hydrated and energized.
Add some rewards to make it even more motivating. Whoever finishes their waterbottle first during the day gets a sticker in the chart. Collect enough stickers to win the ice cream 🍦 on Sunday 😎.
Drinking water together is a very effective strategy in classroom settings. Keep a water break schedule before and after group times or outdoor times.
Tip #4: Water Genie: everywhere, all the time
When the little one is a bit thirsty, keep water instantly accessible!
Do not forget to carry your little one’s water bottle when you go out to play or dance or run or cycle or scooter or do anything. Outdoors make kids thirsty. Handing over the water bottle at the right time can do the trick to keep their water levels intact 💧(and save you from buying the bad drinks and spending that extra dollar 💰).
Tip #5: Alternate Water Source
Get some additional hydration by including plenty of fruits and veggies in your child’s diet.
Mandarines, watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes and strawberries have high water content and can be fun to eat.🍉🍇🍓
Make juices with various combinations of fruits and veggies for instant hydration. I love mixing beetroot in juices as it makes the color is so attractive for my little color lover while adding in some nutrition.
Bonus Tip: Water props
What can be more fun than water? Straws, Cups and Bottles!
Kids love fancy stuff. Find a new fancy-stuff as a refresher. Straws with mustache or animals or anything colorful will do to get the little one jump for more water. If you are buying a water bottle, look for a small and handy one that your child has not used before.
Of course, even though kids fall in love with new things quickly they also get bored with it very soon, isn’t it! Use this tip in combination with other ones for maximum benefit.
Keep it going!
As I write, I have some favorite strategies that work with my daughter - adding flavor to water and water-cheers before our family-game. But, I do keep a watch for signs of disengagement so that I can try new strategies when needed.
We are tackling a very complex problem here 😅. Every child is different and every day is different. Try and test different options because we all know that what works best today, may not tomorrow.
I wish you all the best to say goodbye to the sleepy, fussy and moody 🙇♀️🙇 behavior caused by dehydration. Help your little ones get energized by drinking water! 🙌🏼