Water Ways Exhibit - Providence Children's Museum

Build fountains, float boats and explore the swirling, whirling ways of water! Splash and play to explore the fun of fluid dynamics.

Puddles, oceans, streams, rain and the kitchen sink... water is intrinsically fascinating. In Water Ways, children and their adult friends explore the ways water moves (fluid dynamics) by watching it, touching it and redirecting it. Children tumble boats and balls down the waterfall or float them safely through the lock system. Kids and grown-ups work together to build mazes to redirect the flow of water, use their problem solving skills to construct elaborate fountain systems, and watch the water rise in the clear cylinders as they use their muscles to pump it up. A book nook contains carefully chosen books exploring water science and filled with water-inspired poetry and stories.

Water Ways is recommended for children age 3 and up - and their adult friends. Smocks help keep kids dry, benches provide a place for grown-ups to take a break, and play guides are on hand to encourage fun and learning.

Some things to do in Water Ways


  • Roll balls down the zig zag water ramps at the toddler tank. Have a race between balls of different colors.
  • Float boats through a maze and down the stream.
  • Watch the beautiful fish in the fish tanks.

Ages 5 to 7:

  • Build a tall fountain and a short one to discover which squirts water farther.
  • Pump water up to a high basins and watch it fall down. Put a waterwheel underneath a stream of water and see how fast it turns.
  • Help a boat get safely past the waterfall without capsizing (Hint: use the locks)

Ages 8 and up:

  • Build a fountain and observe where the water goes. Then figure out how to change the water flow direction.
  • Construct a channel for boats to float through. Can you float it to the end? Release water from the lock to make them float through the channel faster.
  • Pump water up to a high basin and watch it fall down. Put a ball underneath a stream of water so that it stays there. Why does it do this?

Other Exhibits:

Play Power | The Children's Garden | The Climber | Underland
Littlewoods | ThinkSpace | Coming to Rhode Island | Iway | Strings Attached