Water Play

Water Play

Let them play in water - Why ?

Can you remember jumping in puddles, running through a sprinkler, crossing stepping stones and using empty container to squirt and pour water? Whilst our lives have moved on incredibly with technology , a fact that still remains is water play is FUN!

This is why most children become automatically drawn to water and can find themselves absorbed (despite getting wet through!!.) I know, we used to find our eldest daughter either in the bathroom sink full of water when she was just a tot or stripping off and running into the north sea despite it being November!

Let’s face it, a young child has a natural instinct to explore with water, to look at what happens when and feel and see the cause and effect of this. Jumping in puddles is something we see with young children. ‘If I jump in this puddle, this will happen’.

Soooo much can happened when a child plays with water that it leads to further play and exploration.

Water play can develop your child in many ways:

Motor skills - As children learn to lift, pour and control water flow they use their muscles while they play tactically and discover how water (and sand) behave.

Problem Solving - When a child plays with water they experience how it behaves. Water encourages open ended play as children can control what the water does.

Language Development - Language is learnt naturally through play. Words such as pour, sieve, funnel, flow, surface, strain can enrich the child’s vocabulary whilst allowing them to record a meaningful experience as children can make predictions and record and then check.

Mathematical Development - Various materials can be added to water play. Variations in water play will encourage the understanding of mathematical concepts such as more/less/, empty/full, greater than/ less than.

Scientific development - They are so many opportunities to understand ‘what happens when’ and through investigation children can explore floating and sinking, how water flows, how to stop the flow or water or how to make it quicker or slower.

Social and emotional development - Children learn to play cooperatively, sharing equipment and space. It is also a great way for children to relax and find comfort and it can also be a tension reliever.

This is not an endless list but you can see how much can be drawn from water play. The best thing is that resources for water play are all around us. Plastic containers, bottles, jugs , sponges, food colouring, bubbles etc. All easily accessible and provide great opportunities for learning in fun and stimulating way.

So what are you waiting for - get creative, involve your child and see what water features you can make!

I’d love to see your homemade water projects - I’m sure others would too!

Please post in the comments box below.

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