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  • Writer's pictureCassandra Hyland

There are many benefits of water play

Updated: Apr 28

Water play is a fun, soothing activity for your child.

  • Children develop problem-solving skills, as they experiment with math and science concepts using water in containers of different sizes

  • Playing with objects floating and sinking fosters problem solving skills.

  • Fine motor skills such as eye-hand coordination and hand and finger strength are developed as children hold, grasp and pour from one container to the next.

Enjoying Water Play at Home

Setting up water play at home can be an incredibly easy and rewarding experience. There are no rules; all you need is water and some form of container, and some tools and utensils.

Some examples of materials you can incorporate in water play are:

  • Cups and containers of different sizes

  • Spades and buckets

  • Toys and objects that will sink or float

  • Funnels, bottles or eye droppers that can be used to transfer water between containers

  • Natural materials such as sand, flowers, leaves and pebbles

  • Squeeze bottles

  • Paint brushes

  • Sieves or containers with holes

Water play can be a wonderfully calming, therapeutic activity. Many children enjoy the soothing touch of water and the sensory stimulation that it offers. Focusing on one gentle and repetitive activity such as scooping, sieving, or running their hands through the water can really help a child to relax and unwind. This is a useful technique for improving concentration. Some lively splashing is also a great outlet for pent-up energy, allowing kids to let off steam, have fun, laugh, play, and be happy.

The marvellous thing about water is its versatility. It can really stretch children’s imaginations and allow them to be creative in their play. Give them a tub of water and they could turn it into a make-believe world, where storms rage, sea-creatures dwell, and all sorts of vessels sink or sail. Water can be presented in many different ways to spark interest. Whether poured, channelled, sprinkled or sprayed, mixed with bubbles or coloured dye, or played with alongside other materials that float, sink, repel or absorb the water—anything goes!

It’s important to remember that water play does come with a level of risk. Young children can drown in just 5cm of water, so adult supervision is vital at all times. It’s also important that your child is protected from the elements while outdoors, so remember to slip, slop, slap, seek, and slide.

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