Date : January 28, 2022
Outdoor Water Play Doesn’t Just Cool the Kids Down
As the hot summer weather continues, there’s really no better time to introduce your little ones to outdoor water play! In Australia, everyone learns how to swim, but even just playing in water can be hugely beneficial. Water play not only keeps your child cool, it can also be a fun way to help your child with their cognitive development, with their social and communication skills, and with their imagination and mental well-being. Read on to find out how water play can benefit your child this summer!
What is water play?
Water play is pretty much exactly how it sounds – playing in water. Typically, water play involves using tools such as buckets, containers of different sizes, funnels, eye droppers, spades, sieves, and toys that allow children to engage with water and explore how they can interact with it. You can use a special table or a large tub that children can stand around while they play, or else a pool or even a river can work with adult supervision. Water play works best if there is more than one child – the social aspect is so important!
What are the benefits?
Helps with their cognitive development.
Water play is very beneficial when it comes to cognitive development. When children engage in their environment through play and use natural resources such as water, they develop an understanding of the world and their place in it. Water play also involves scientific learning at its most basic – essentially problem-solving skills. Children use the tools you provide them to explore and experiment, discovering the properties of water, its temperature, what floats and what sinks, measuring volume, the sky is the limit really. It’s the ultimate hands-on learning task!
Develops their motor skills.
Water play is very hands on – your little one will be learning to pour, to squeeze, to stir, to splash, and maybe even paint! All of these skills they’ll use later in life to hold a pen, use cutlery, even type. Their little hands will be busy pouring water from one container to another, or swirling to make a whirlpool, or trying to splash their friends – all the while developing their fine motor skills and showing them how different hand movements affect the water.
Develops their social and communication skills.
When children play together, they naturally share ideas, learn to cooperate, to listen, to take turns, all of the basics that lead to developing social skills they’ll need throughout their lives. They also increase their vocabulary when describing what they’re doing or when planning what they’re going to do next. A fun activity like water play gives them the confidence to interact with other children and to build friendships. It’s the ultimate way to spend a summer – making new friends and keeping cool!
For more fun, exciting ways to develop your child’s skills this summer, visit May Gibbs!
Right now, Librarian Bec’s hard at work at your local library, sharing a passion for reading with little people and big. Bec writes about inspiring little readers and embracing lovely literature.