Madiba Diaby died after being found in the Wyrley and Essington Canal off Razorbill Way in the Harden area of Walsall on Friday afternoon.
His devastated parents Maryam Dbassi and Sankoumba Diaby have now led tributes to the youngster who had been visiting a family friend in the area, formerly known as Shakespeare Crescent, shortly before tragedy struck.
Miss Dbassi, 29, of Wenlock Gardens, Coalpool, said: "Madiba was a good, happy boy. We are all feeling very sad about what happened.
"It's all come as a big shock.
"He loved going to nursery and he loved to play in water. If there was any splashing activity going on he would be straight in. He also liked to play with toy cars and buses.
"I never thought anything like this would happen to us.
"My family and the community have been wonderful. Everyone's been supporting me and coming round to pay their respects."
The mother of three, a former refugee from Guinea, in West Africa, said friends, family and staff from Valley Nursery School where Madiba had been a pupil had been visiting since the incident.
She explained that she fled her homeland to the UK about a decade ago and moved to Walsall four years ago. Madiba's brother and sister are aged eight and six respectively.
Madiba was brought out of the water by the emergency services shortly after midday on Friday.
But despite their efforts to save him, he died shortly after arriving in hospital.
The stretch of the canal where Madiba fell in has no fencing preventing people from entering the water and is directly next to a children's playground. Access to the water is only around 15 metres from the front doors of nearby homes.
Several incidents have been reported at the canal, with one of those being the death of six-year-old Gavin Lee Davis in 1983.