Toddler Won’t Drink? Here’s 6 Creative Ways to Get Your Kid to Drink More Water

Ensuring your child drinks enough water during the day is essential for their health. Water helps regulate their body temperature, prevent infections, and flush out toxins from their kidneys. So, setting up good water-drinking habits as early as you can is a must.

Of course, it may not always be as easy as putting their cup of water in front of them and waiting for them to finish drinking. Let’s face it, kids can be stubborn, and if they don’t want the water right then and there, they won’t drink it. They’re also very busy little people and would much rather play with their toys or run around than stop and take a much-needed water break. 

So how can you get your child to drink more water? Don’t make it a chore! Have a read through these six creative ways to help your toddler stay hydrated. 

Parent and child sitting at a table with water bottle

1. Make Drinking Water Fun

By the time your little one is old enough to drink water, they’ll start forming their own thoughts and opinions, meaning they’ll be less inclined to do anything they don’t want to. It’s no secret that kids love bright and colorful things. So, letting them pick their own special sippy cup or water bottle in their favorite color with characters they like or patterns they are drawn to will make drinking water a fun experience. Plus, it’ll give them that little bit of independence that they might be craving as a toddler. 

You can also make drinking water fun by using bright, twisty straws where they can see the water going up, or try adding ice in fun shapes.

2. Add some Flavoring

If you have a fussy eater or drinker who doesn’t want to drink something plain-tasting, you can add some flavoring to help encourage them to drink more. Popping sliced fruit in the water, such as lemon, lime, orange, mango, or strawberry, will add color and flavor.

If you leave the fruit water in the fridge for a few hours before serving, too, they’ll have a deliciously refreshing drink to enjoy. Hydrating AND a great way to add more fruit to your child’s diet = a win-win!

Again, as young children like to have some independence, let them choose the flavor they want for the day, as this will make them more excited to drink.

3. Try Homemade Popsicles

If your child refuses to drink, even out of their favorite cup, try making your own popsicles. This can be a fun activity for both you and your little one and an easy way to make sure they’re getting enough water. For a quick and simple recipe, fill up an ice pop tray with water and fresh frozen fruit, such as blueberries and raspberries, for a colorful, refreshing, and tasty popsicle. You can also use a blender to mix up some fruit and puree for a more flavorful snack. Take a look at more of our homemade popsicle recipes to try!

Kids clinking two plastic sippy cups together

4. Turn it into a Game

Although drinking water is something we all have to do for our health, there’s nothing stopping us from turning it into a fun game for children. This is a time to really get creative and make drinking part of playtime. For younger children, you can pull a funny face after having a drink and make a big ‘mmm’ or ‘ahh’ sound to make them giggle and want to copy you.

For older children, you can make a reward chart for how many cups of water they’ve had in a day and include a prize, such as a homemade crown or badge, declaring them the water king or queen. 

5. Create a Reminder System

Creating a reminder system to put on your fridge or the wall where the child can easily see and reach can help them to develop healthy water-drinking habits throughout the day. Make a chart that your child can mark with stickers or a colorful pen each time they’ve finished a cup of water. Just like turning water drinking into a game, you can even reward them with a small prize at the end of the day or week if they’ve reached their water goals to help incentivize them.

Mother and child sitting at a table with their cups

6. Talk to your Child about the Importance of Drinking Water

Lastly, be open and honest with your child. Part of the reason why children refuse to do something is simply because they don’t understand why. Explain to them how important it is to drink water; how it can make them happy, help their brain work properly so they can grow up super smart, and ensure they stay strong, fast, and energized enough to race their siblings or friends. 

When they understand that water is basically a superpower that’ll help them be the best kid ever, they’ll guzzle their next cup in no time!

Wondering how much your toddler should be drinking? Read our blog to find out how much water your child needs every day.