Friday, July 10, 2009

Water Play

What toddler doesn't love water? Jumping in puddles, splashing in the pool, washing their own hands, pouring from one cup to another, feeling raindrops on their fingertips. Water, like sand, has therapeutic properties which may explain why they enjoy both elements so much.

A simple, frugal but very significant activity to set up for your child is water play. The warm weather is ideal for this activity so it can be taken outdoors. However, if you are attempting this in the cooler weather, take it straight to the tub:)

All equipment (depending on age) should be unbreakable (i.e. plastic, metal, etc). Fill up a very large bowl full of water and present an array of variable sized and useful objects (spoons, ladles, cups, measuring cups, bowls, pitcher, watering can etc). Previously used yogurt, ricotta, and sour cream containers are a good size. Encourage child to practice pouring from one cup to another or to ladle water from the large bowl to smaller one. If child is engaged with you, you can pretend that child is serving you soup or tea. This is great fun. Otherwise, if child becomes engrossed in his/her own play, just sit back and observe and enjoy your little one's discovery since water outside of your house is a mess that you don't have to clean up! My daughter enjoyed everything from playing soup to transfering water to pouring small amounts on herself (which was ok because it was hot).

Note: A child size ladle is probably best for this activity as mommy sized ones are usually too large and awkward for them. Since I did not have a child size ladle, my toddler attempted for a while with my regular ladle and utilized my measuring cups with a pouring spout. I think whatever you have on hand is really fine :)

This activity helps to develop coordination, fine motor skills, concentration, sensory exploration, and practical skills.

Water play lasted approximately 20 minutes with my 22 month old.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Ryan LOVES to do this. We have a sand and water table outside that he plays with all the time too.

Click here to join