When it comes to play materials, children don't mind getting messy or wet.
That's why water play is both enjoyable and educational and perfect for hot days
that call for cooling off. Indoor water play can go on all year long, and like
outdoor play, helps children develop eye-hand coordination and math and science
concepts. It may also enhance social skills and encourage cooperation. There is
no right or wrong way to play with this familiar, inexpensive "toy"
that comes not from a package, but from our very own environment.they're in a warm winter bath or a cool summer pool, most babies love
water play. It's a sensory extravaganza as children feel the wetness,
hear the splashes and sprinkles, see the bubbles and waves, and maybe
even taste a few droplets. It's also a sensational learning experience
for your child: As your budding scientist pours, splashes, and giggles,
she is observing cause and effect, experimenting with water's
fascinatingly fluid properties, and being introduced to basic physics
(what floats and what sinks).
For maximum fun and learning, stock your tub with these goodies:
cups and scoop.
boats and fish.
sponges and cloths.
bath crayons and paints.
soaps and bubbles.
Children will love to "paint" water on outdoor pavement with
buckets and paint brushes. Older children may paint the letters of their names.
Younger children will be content making back-and-forth strokes. Either way, a
few minutes in sunlight, and watch it evaporate.Squeeze bottles of water offer a variety of play opportunities, and help
children develop eye-hand coordination. Children may look for the best way to
squirt long or short distances. Or, they may create designs on the water's
surface.Individual water tubs at a table make great activity centers. Begin with
water only, then add playthings as children's interest wanes. Begin with spoons
and shovels, then move on to sponges and measuring tools. Sand and shells are
great for children to touch and explore Whether it be toddlers or school-ages, there are safety factors to consider
when playing outdoors. Adults should monitor children carefully to prevent
slipping or overexposure to the sun. As with all outdoor activities, be prepared
for bee stings and knee scrapes. Indoors or outdoors, any container of water is
a possible hazard and must be supervised at all times.If a child makes a boat out of a squeeze bottle, we may be prompted to join
in their pretend-play. But, use judgement in choosing when to step in and ask
questions and when to stand back, listen, and enjoy. Fantasy play is an
important and sometimes private part of children's development. Don't be
discouraged if caregivers aren't invited to participate every time.Water play helps children understand and enjoy their living-learning