As a practitioner I loved those warm sunny days when we were able to be outside for most of the session, and what could be better than engaging in some water play to cool us down?
There are many benefits of playing with water with young children and so much for them to learn!
- Investigate colour mixing by adding a little food colouring in the water tray, or use some natural dyes to tint the water (e.g. blueberry juice, strawberry juice)
- Find out about capacity and volume using different containers and jugs for pouring
- Improve hand-eye coordination by spraying water pistols at targets on the wall
- Engage in all kinds of bubble play; blowing bubbles helps to strengthen the muscles in our mouths which are essential for articulation and speech
- Decorate the large canvas that is your playground or patio area and paint it using large brushes and water
- Investigate water wheels and create water runs using pieces of drain-pipe and guttering
- Make folded paper boats and float them
- Be a scientist and find out about floating and sinking
- Use water to make footprints and investigate what happens if you add other ingredients like mud and grass
- If you have an incline you can use plastic sheeting to create a water slide by pouring water down it and sliding down
- Add more water to your sand area or mud kitchen
- Go pond dipping and find out about the wildlife that lives in and around water
- Go to your local pond, river or canal and feed the ducks (with duck food, not bread)
- Visit a beach or create your own beach area using sand, pebbles and water
- Freeze some water-based paint in ice-lolly containers to make your own ice-paints
- Use spray containers or washing up liquid bottles to squeeze and spray water
- Visit a pet shop, garden centre or aquarium to look at the fish
- Fill bottles and jars with different amounts of water and tap them with a spoon to make music
- Share watery stories with the children e.g. At the Waterhole, The Snail and the Whale, The Rainbow Fish
- Use language associated with water play: splish, splash, splosh, wet, dry, soaking, float, sink etc.
- Have a water fight!
Remember to remain vigilant and supervise the children at all times when they are engaging in water play. So, cool off and make a splash this summer with some fun water play!
About the author
Tamsin Grimmer is an experienced early years consultant and trainer and parent who is passionate about young children’s learning and development. She believes that all children deserve practitioners who are inspiring, dynamic, reflective and committed to improving on their current best. Tamsin particularly enjoys planning and delivering training and supporting early years practitioners and teachers to improve outcomes for young children.