1. Its fun to play in water.
2. Hand-eye coordination
3. Pre-writing. Scooping from left to right is good practice for reading and writing.
So I just took my Dutch oven and filled it with water and plastic ice cubes from the Dollar Tree:
Then The Princess practiced scooping...and chewing the spoon and the cubes. This kept her attention a little less than I hoped, but maybe she will go back to it later.