For Parents

For Parents

Toy Sink

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** Our research group has not accepted any monetary incentives for our recommendations

Toys that incorporate real water can be extra exciting for little ones, and this pretend sink can be fun for children at all different levels of play. Don’t forget to think about the language you’re modeling for them. We give you some suggestions in italics.

Simple Play:

  • Have your child help you pour water into the bottom before you play. (Water. We poured it in. The sink is full.)
  • Push the pump and watch the water come out the faucet. (We pushed it. The water came out.)
  • Turn the knobs on the stove for a fun clicking noise. (You’re turning the knob.)
  • Drop the dishes in the sink and splash around. (The dishes are in. We’re splashing. I got wet!)
  • Fill a cup with water and then dump it out. Or practice pouring between two cups. (The cup is full. Now it’s empty. We’re pouring.)

Combination Play:

  • Try grabbing items out of the sink with the tongs. This can be harder than it looks! (You picked it up! Oh no, it came out.)
  • Fill the sink with small blocks and scoop them out with the cup or pan. (The blocks are in. The sink it full. It’s in the pan.)


  • Pretend to drink out of the cup even if there isn’t water in there! (We’re drinking.)
  • Pretend to eat using the plates and the silverware. (You’re eating. I’m hungry too.)
  • Pretend to stir with a spoon in the cup or the spatula in the pan. (A spatula. I’m stirring the eggs.)


  • Pretend to make food using the pan and the stove. It’s time for breakfast! Are you going to scramble eggs or flip pancakes? (The egg is in the pan. It’s cooking. Ooh it’s hot! You flipped the pancake. It’s ready to eat.)
  • Your child has watched you wash the dishes, and now it’s their turn! Pretend to squeeze some soap in, give them a sponge and a dish towel, and they are ready to wash. (The soap is in the water. The plates are dirty. We’re washing them. The plates are wet.)
  • The sink doesn’t have to be reserved for dishes. Turn it into a bathtub for their dolls, little animals, or cars. (The car drove through mud. It’s dirty. You’re washing the car. The car is clean.)