Water Play offers endless possibilities for engaging imaginative play and exploration, all while teaching essential skills such as fine-motor, eye-hand coordination, problem solving and sensory processing through tactile experiences.
Encouraging hands-on, sensory learning provides children with opportunities to foster creativity and form a foundation for a love of learning.
Here are few ways to create an open-ended water play invitation for kids:
- Create a small “river bed” by filling a shallow container (such as a large plastic dishpan) with sand and adding piping from one side of the pan so water continually flows downstream. Add twigs, leaves, rocks and sticks for creatures to traverse over or under as they journey down the river. Pair this activity with books depicting different kinds of rivers around the world and animals that live there; encourage discussion comparing and contrasting them.
- Construct a beach scene using blocks or Legos. Fill another shallow tray with blue water and add white shaving foam to create waves. Use clear containers filled with seashells and other aquatic creatures to explore while building sandcastles and digging moats. Read stories about fish, boats and life at sea during playtime.
- Use one of our favourite sensory play materials, Potion Play, and create a magic potion, a volcano or even a beautiful blue ocean (hello Bravery Potion!).
These are just a few ideas, but the beauty of water play is that it can easily adapt to a variety of age groups and skill levels, making it a great option for mixed-age classrooms and siblings playing together at home.