Water play is the ideal summer activity, not only are your children cooling off and enjoying the sunshine. They’re also learning while they play.
Water play helps to develop motor skills
Actions like pouring water, using squirty toys and water guns, stirring and splashing helps to develop hand-eye coordination. Use the water as a sensory experience, and ask your child a range of questions.
What does the water feel like?
What about the toy- how does that feel once it’s wet?
How hard is that toy to grab now that it’s wet?
Trying to grip slippery toys under water helps to develop the pincer movement which will help with pencil holding at school-age.
Water play helps children to learn about problem solving
Watching whether objects float or sink, then trying to work out why is an excellent problem solving activity. Arrange some shallow cups or toy boats on the surface of the water. Show your child how it sinks when you fill it with water. Ask why they think this happens.
Water play can introduce new words to your child’s vocabulary
Playing with water is a great opportunity to introduce new words to your children. How do you describe the texture of something after it’s wet? Soggy? Damp? Slippery? Moist?
If your child is keen on the idea, introduce a thesaurus for new adjectives.
Water play is essential for social-emotional growth
Water play has so many different elements to it. It can be fun, but also relaxing for young children.
While they are relaxed, they’ll find it a lot easier to concentrate on one activity. Scooping, pouring and running their hands through water allows children to unwind and relax.
It’s also a great opportunity to teach children about taking turns and sharing.
Your children are learning both maths and science
Scientific concepts like measuring, comparing volumes and observing motion can be introduced through water play. Teaching fractions like half full, quarter full and counting is also a good way to incorporate the curriculum into fun activities.
A final say
Most importantly of all, always make sure children are supervised around water. Put on plenty of sunscreen and a hat and have fun!
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