Staying Hydrated: Fun Ways to Encourage Kids to Drink More Water

Importance of staying hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential, especially during the hot summer months when children are more active and prone to sweating.

Proper hydration helps keep our kids energetic, healthy, and ready for all the fun activities summer has to offer, from playing in the park to swimming at the pool.

Water is vital for every bodily function. It aids digestion, regulates body temperature, maintains energy levels, and supports cognitive function. When kids are well-hydrated, they are better able to concentrate, play, and enjoy their day without the risk of dehydration.

Encouraging kids to drink more water can sometimes be a challenge, as they may prefer sugary drinks or simply forget to drink enough. However, with a little creativity and some fun strategies, making hydration a regular and enjoyable part of their routine can be easy and rewarding. 

From fruity infusions to playful water bottles, there are plenty of ways to make drinking water exciting for kids.

Understanding Hydration

Why is it important to stay hydrated?

Staying hydrated is crucial because water plays a vital role in nearly every function of the body. It helps regulate body temperature, keeps joints lubricated, prevents infections, delivers nutrients to cells, and keeps organs functioning properly. 

For kids, who are always on the move and growing rapidly, maintaining proper hydration is especially important to support their active lifestyles and developmental needs.

Benefits of staying hydrated: Physical and mental health benefits

The benefits of staying hydrated extend beyond just quenching thirst. 

Physically, it helps maintain healthy skin, supports digestion, and ensures the efficient functioning of the cardiovascular system. Hydrated muscles work better, reducing the risk of cramps and injuries during play. Mentally, adequate hydration can improve concentration and mood, helping kids stay alert and focused both at school and during play.

How much water do kids need?

The amount of water a child needs can vary based on their age, activity level, and the climate they live in. Generally, children aged 4-8 years should drink about 5 cups (1.2 liters) of water per day, while those aged 9-13 need around 7-8 cups (1.6-1.9 liters). 

For teenagers, the daily intake should be about 8-11 cups (1.9-2.6 liters). However, on hot days or during intense physical activity, they may need even more to stay properly hydrated.

Understanding these hydration basics can help parents ensure their children get the water they need to stay healthy and happy.

kid drinking water from water bottle

Making Water Fun

Infused Water: Adding Fruits and Herbs to Make Water More Appealing

Transforming plain water into a colorful, flavorful drink can make hydration more enticing for kids. Infused water is a simple and healthy way to do this. 

Add slices of fruits like strawberries, oranges, or lemons, and a handful of fresh herbs such as mint or basil. Not only does this add a burst of flavor, but it also makes the water look vibrant and fun, encouraging kids to drink more.

Fun Water Bottles: Using Colorful and Character-Themed Bottles

A fun, personalized water bottle can be a great motivator for kids to stay hydrated. 

Choose bottles that feature their favorite colors, characters, or themes. Many bottles come with built-in straws or easy-to-use spouts, which can also make drinking water more convenient and enjoyable. Letting kids pick out their own water bottle can give them a sense of ownership and excitement about drinking water.

Water Drinking Games: Creating Fun Challenges and Games Around Drinking Water

Turning hydration into a game can be a clever way to increase water intake. 

Create simple challenges, like who can finish their water first, or set up a timer and have kids take a sip every time it goes off. You can also use charts and stickers to track their progress, rewarding them for meeting their daily water goals. These fun activities not only make drinking water more exciting but also help develop healthy hydration habits.

Hydrating Foods

Fruits and Vegetables with High Water Content

In addition to drinking water, kids can stay hydrated by eating fruits and vegetables with high water content. 

Watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries, and oranges are not only delicious but also packed with hydration. These foods are perfect for snacks or as part of meals, providing essential vitamins and minerals while keeping kids refreshed.

Hydration through Other Beverages: Milk, Smoothies, and Diluted Fruit Juices

Sometimes, kids might prefer other beverages over plain water. 

Milk is a great alternative, offering hydration along with calcium and protein. Smoothies, made with fresh fruits and a splash of water or milk, are another tasty option. For a refreshing treat, try diluting fruit juices with water to reduce sugar content while still providing a flavorful drink. These alternatives can help maintain hydration without relying solely on water.

Benefits of Soups and Broths for Hydration

Soups and broths are excellent sources of hydration, especially during mealtime.  They not only provide fluids but also essential nutrients and warmth. 

Chicken noodle soup, vegetable broth, or miso soup can be included in meals to boost hydration. These liquid-based foods are comforting and hydrating, making them perfect for keeping kids hydrated and satisfied.

lemon slices in a cup of water


Daily Hydration Routine

Setting a Schedule: Encouraging Regular Water Breaks

A consistent hydration routine can help kids develop healthy drinking habits. Encourage regular water breaks throughout the day, especially during and after physical activities. 

Setting specific times for water breaks, such as after playtime, before meals, and during snack time, ensures kids stay hydrated without needing constant reminders.

Visual Reminders: Using Charts and Apps to Track Water Intake

Visual aids can be incredibly effective in helping kids remember to drink water. Create a fun hydration chart where they can mark off each glass of water they drink.

Alternatively, use kid-friendly hydration tracking apps that send reminders and reward them for meeting their daily water goals. These tools make tracking water intake interactive and engaging.

Involving Kids in Preparation: Letting Kids Choose and Prepare Their Own Infused Water

Getting kids involved in the preparation process can make hydration more enjoyable. Let them choose their favorite fruits and herbs to add to their water, such as strawberries, lemons, mint, or cucumbers. 

Preparing their own infused water can give them a sense of ownership and excitement about drinking water. Plus, it's a fun and educational activity that teaches them about the benefits of healthy choices.

Encouraging Hydration During Activities

Hydration During Playtime: Ensuring Water Breaks During Outdoor Play

Outdoor play is a staple of summer fun, but it also increases the need for hydration. Encourage kids to take regular water breaks during their playtime. 

Set up a hydration station with cool, refreshing water easily accessible. Make it part of the routine to pause for a sip every 20-30 minutes to ensure they stay hydrated and energized.

Sports and Hydration: Importance of Drinking Water Before, During, and After Physical Activities

Physical activities and sports can deplete kids’ water levels quickly. It's crucial to make hydration a priority before, during, and after sports. Remind your kids to drink water before they start playing, take sips during breaks, and rehydrate after they finish. 

This habit not only enhances their performance but also prevents dehydration and fatigue.

Hydrating at School: Tips for Keeping Kids Hydrated During School Hours

Staying hydrated at school is just as important as it is at home. Pack a reusable water bottle for your child to take to school, ensuring it's filled with fresh water every morning. 

Teach them the importance of sipping water throughout the day, especially after physical activities like recess or gym class. Some schools allow water bottles on desks, making it easier for kids to drink water regularly. Encouraging them to refill their bottle at lunch can also help maintain hydration levels throughout the day.

Creative Hydration Tips

girl drinking from a water bottle


Fun Straws and Ice Cubes: Making Drinking Water More Exciting

Adding a splash of fun can make drinking water irresistible for kids. Invest in colorful, whimsical straws and ice cube trays in fun shapes like stars, animals, or their favorite characters. 

These simple additions can turn a regular glass of water into an exciting experience. Encourage kids to choose their favorite straw or ice cube shape each time they have a drink, making hydration a delightful part of their day.

Reward Systems: Using Stickers and Small Rewards for Meeting Hydration Goals

Kids love rewards, and a simple incentive system can motivate them to drink more water. Create a hydration chart where they can add a sticker each time they finish a glass of water. 

Set small, achievable goals and offer rewards like extra playtime, a small toy, or a fun outing for meeting their hydration targets. This not only encourages them to stay hydrated but also teaches goal-setting and achievement in a fun way.

Storytelling: Creating Stories and Characters That Encourage Drinking Water

Turn hydration into an adventure with the power of storytelling. Invent stories featuring brave characters who stay strong and healthy by drinking plenty of water. These characters can face challenges and exciting quests, with hydration being their secret weapon. 

Share these stories during mealtime or bedtime, making water an essential part of your child's hero's journey. By associating water with fun and adventure, kids will be more enthusiastic about staying hydrated.

Monitoring Hydration

Signs of Dehydration: What to Look for in Children

Staying alert to signs of dehydration is crucial, especially during hot summer days or active play. Look out for symptoms like dry lips and mouth, dark yellow urine, infrequent urination, and fatigue. Other signs can include dizziness, irritability, and a lack of energy. Early detection helps prevent more serious health issues and ensures your child stays healthy and active.

Tips for Parents: Ensuring Kids Stay Hydrated Without Nagging

Encouraging hydration doesn't have to feel like a chore for you or your kids. Make water easily accessible by keeping water bottles within reach and setting up hydration stations around the house. Lead by example—drink water regularly and let your kids see you enjoying it. 

Use positive reinforcement and gentle reminders instead of constant nagging. Integrating water breaks into daily routines, like before and after outdoor play or meals, can also help form lasting habits.

girl with a glass of water, giving a thumbs up


Consulting a Pediatrician: When to Seek Medical Advice

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your child might still struggle with hydration. 

If you notice persistent signs of dehydration or if your child refuses to drink water, it’s wise to consult a pediatrician. They can offer personalized advice, suggest alternative hydration strategies, and check for underlying health issues. Regular check-ups can also ensure that your child’s hydration needs are being met effectively.


Keeping our kids hydrated is essential for their overall health, especially during the hot summer months. Adequate hydration supports their energy levels, cognitive function, and physical well-being. We've explored various fun and creative ways to make drinking water more appealing, such as infused water, colorful water bottles, and hydration games. 

Incorporating hydrating foods and other beverages can also help maintain their fluid intake.

Implement These Strategies for a Healthier Summer

By integrating these strategies into your daily routine, you can ensure that your kids stay hydrated and healthy throughout the summer. Whether it's through playful water breaks, engaging in water-themed activities, or setting up a hydration routine, these small changes can make a big difference. Let's make this summer a time of fun, health, and well-hydrated adventures for our children.

Share Your Tips and Experiences

We'd love to hear from you! Share your favorite tips and experiences for keeping your kids hydrated in the comments below. Your insights could inspire other parents and make hydration a fun and communal effort.

Leave your comments below; we love to hear from you! And don't forget to follow Easy Peasie for more info and convo on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram! ~ThePeas

The Peas

EasyPeasie was created and is owned by two sisters — two Peas in a pod! Between us are two doctors (a pediatrician and an engineer), a mommy, and an auntie. We care about kids’ nutrition, and are in the business of providing families simple, natural, convenient, and fun ways to improve every meal with added vegetable nutrition. Send us your thoughts and questions on babies, toddlers, veggies, veggie palate primers, being parents, being patients, doctoring, being doctored, or anything else! Comment on our blog, drop us a note on Facebook or Instagram.

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