SDG Target 6.4

By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.

Encouraging sustainable thinking regarding water use efficiency in early years settings involves fostering an understanding of the importance of water conservation and providing opportunities for hands-on learning experiences.

Hands-on Activities: Engage children in hands-on activities that demonstrate the importance of water conservation. For example, set up sensory bins with water-saving tools like cups with spouts or funnels to teach children how to use water efficiently while playing.

Storytelling and Discussions: Use age-appropriate books and storytelling to introduce concepts of water conservation and sustainability. Encourage discussions about why water is important, where it comes from, and how we can use it wisely.


Role-Playing and Dramatic Play: Set up dramatic play areas such as kitchens or bathrooms where children can pretend to use water responsibly. Provide props like buckets, watering cans, and pretend sinks to reinforce the idea of conserving water.

Outdoor Exploration: Take children on nature walks to observe water sources such as rivers, lakes, or ponds. Discuss the importance of preserving these habitats and the wildlife that depend on them, Beach or river clean.

Gardening Projects: Incorporate gardening projects into the curriculum to teach children about the water cycle and the importance of watering plants efficiently. Use methods such as drip irrigation or watering cans to demonstrate water-saving techniques.


Water butts & Water butt gauges – allows the children to see the level, measure the fill, see how much they use when playing or using it on their planting.


Watering plants – growing fruits and vegetables to eat within the setting or distribute to wider community


Water-conscious planting – plants that require less watering


Art and Crafts: Encourage children to create art projects using recycled materials or materials that promote water conservation. For example, they can make collages using pictures of water-saving devices or create sculptures of animals that rely on clean water sources.

Community Engagement: Involve families and the local community in water conservation efforts. Organise trips to water treatment plants or invite guest speakers to discuss local water issues and conservation strategies.

Routine Practices: Integrate water-saving practices into daily routines, such as turning off taps while brushing teeth, using a bucket to collect rainwater for watering plants, or reusing water from sensory bins for outdoor play.

Documentation and Reflection: Encourage children to document their learning experiences through drawings, journaling, or photos. Reflect on these experiences as a group to reinforce key concepts and celebrate achievements in water conservation.

Lead by Example: Model sustainable behaviours for children by demonstrating water-saving practices yourself. Show enthusiasm for conservation efforts and praise children for their contributions to a more sustainable future, arrange challenges and competitions, pledges

By incorporating these strategies into teaching and learning in early years settings, educators can help instil a lifelong appreciation for water conservation and sustainability in young learners.

Ways in which we can be water sustainable

  • Water butts
  • Water butt gauges – allows the children to see the level, measure the fill, see how much they use when playing or using it on their planting.
  • Self-timed taps in bathrooms
  • Water saver flushes on toilets
  • Refillable bottles
  • Showers rather than baths
  • Water meters
  • Grey water tanks