Provide opportunities to sieve, slop, spray, shake, transport and splash! With the warmer weather, water play offers a fun way to cool off outdoors. But there is so much more to water play- it is both enjoyable and educational. Water Play provides hours of rich and valuable early childhood experiences to develop children’s creativity and imagination.
Here are 5 benefits of water play, along with some products and ideas to help you make the most of water playtime!
Splishing and splashing provides wonderful opportunities for fine and gross motor skill development for children of all ages.
When they are pouring, squirting and scrubbing, children are developing fine motor and hand eye coordination skills.
Performing actions, like pumping, or even just navigating around a water play space helps with gross motor development.
Problem Solving Skills
With water play, children can explore this substance and make discoveries. Be sure to add new textures (like Slime) for added sensory discovery.
Use outdoor ramps with balls and cars, and be sure to bring out paper and rocks to conduct floating and sinking experiments. Simple play like this are great practical ways of teaching how and why.
Using the ramps with cars, for example, can call on imagination and creative thinking, both playing important roles in problem solving.
Water play is such a great provocation. Ask intentional questions to extend children's thinking, memory and use of evidence.
Water is such a diverse form of play. It can be both invigorating and calming. In both instances, water play helps release energy.
Calm and repetitive water play can help a child focus on a single activity. Be sure to have toys and tools that encourage children to scoop, pour and run their hands through the water.
Water play can also facilitate social skill development and children must learn to cooperate, share and take turns.
Science and Math
Water play can help lay the foundation for understanding a number of scientific and mathematical concepts.
Children can explore measurement- full, empty, half, less- and compare volumes. They can observe motion as the water runs down a ramp, or through a pump. If you are lucky, they may even be able to observe plant and animal life.