Water play is brilliant. My little man has always loved the water. He has loved his daily baths since day one and we still give them to him. He’s yet to take swimming lessons but I know he’s going to love that too.
Some people find their children are a bit the opposite. They dislike the water, or they go through phases were they aren’t quite happy being in water. My 15-month old was very, very hesitant to go into a wading pool with his cousins over Christmas. He had never been in anything but his bath. But a little bit of encouragement and he was in with a splash!
So, as summer draws to a close, why not make the most of it and whip out the classic clamshell or something similar? The benefits of water play are more than the fact that you can enjoy some peace for a while…
- Water play allows a child to have a COMPLETE body sensory experience. It’s more than just using their hands or their mouth. They get to use their whole body. It’s the ultimate in sensory play.
- Hand and eye coordination is needed and developed as children play with buckets and containers to tip, pour, sprinkle and splash.
- You can use water play as a time to explore some scientific or mathematical elements like floating and sinking, light and heavy, full and empty.
- If they’ve got someone to play with or talk to during the whole experience then the child will be developing their language skills as they share, babble or take turns.
- It can be therapeutic and relaxing!
We introduced a clamshell to our little man this summer and it’s been one of the best purchases I’ve made. For now we use water only, but we will be trying sand soon!
I think water play is fine without trying to ‘overload’ the experience too much … but you can have a little fun with some simple ideas:
– Add food dye and water into an old sauce bottle and let them change the water’s colour. They will be amazed when they can see the change and see it on their skin!
– Use various sized containers etc so that your child can experience the differences.
– You can also try putting some glitter in there, but watch out for glitter all over the house once play time is over!
Most of all, have fun! Enjoy the fact that such an easy, fun and enjoyable activity is so beneficial.