What is Water Play?
2.Water Play builds the foundation for understanding various scientific concepts. Did you know you can use water play to teach basic mathematics? It will introduce children to terms such as Full, Empty, Half, Less. The children will measure, compare volumes, and observe motion, maybe a plant and animal life if you are lucky… they will count the rocks in the basin and notice the flow change as they move them. At home, don’t hesitate to take buckets, cups, sifters, empty bottles … in a shaded area out in the garden or on the balcony and participate with your children to their pretend play, they are learning as well as enjoying your participation! Water play can also be used to develop children’s literacy and numeracy, such as counting how many buckets of water it takes to fill a tub, or using water and a brush to write and draw.
3.Water play enhances concentration and focus. Have you ever found your child completely immersed in an experience? When children are engaged in water play, they tend to lose themselves in the activity and can spend long periods of time exploring and playing. This can encourage children to focus, and any activity that holds a child’s attention for a long length of time will contribute to increasing their attention span and ability to concentrate later in life. This is a particular benefit for formal learning. As your child prepares to begin school, being able to concentrate in a classroom will become a vital skill.
4.Water Play develops social and language skills. Imagine the discussions you can have asking what they are doing. Imagine then, the number of new words they will learn while having fun with water and having conversations about it! Basin, Damp, Depth, Drain, Flow, Drenched, Drizzle, Sieve…
5. Water play participates to social-emotional growth. Water play releases energy, it can be both invigorating or relaxing and calming for young children. It increases their ability to concentrate on one activity when presented as a tranquil and repetitive activity (scooping, pouring and running their hands through the water). Gentle water play allows them to unwind, order their thoughts and relax. It also encourages role play and crucial social skills like cooperation and sharing. They learn to work with one or several children, to take turns and share the space and accessories with their friends.