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15. Water Play

Alexis Ralphs May 01 • 7 min read
15. Water Play

It might look like they are just splashing around having fun, but water play fosters learning in almost all developmental areas for young children.

It might look like they are just splashing around having fun, but water play fosters learning in almost all developmental areas for young children. 

Visit any nursery and you'll see pre-schoolers happily engaged in pouring water from one container to another - an back again. The notion that a tall, thin beaker might hold less than a short, wide one is very difficult to grasp when you are three. At this age, taller means bigger, and with greater capacity. The only way children come to understand that this is not always the case is through experimentation. Pouring and emptying, for hours at a time.

This kind of play is so fundamental to children of this age that it's hard to imagine learning maths without it.

But you don't need a water table or any fancy equipment. You don't even need a garden. A bath with a few empty shampoo bottles will do just fine. If you can find a plastic jug, a funnel and a couple of feet of hosepipe, so much the better, but it's not essential.

It's hard to overstate how much water play your child needs. On a summer's day they will be outside for hours, with nothing more than a bucket and a couple of old yoghurt pots.

Pouring and emptying.

Pouring and emptying.

It's a kind of meditation.

 

For some water play inspiration, take a look at our Free Activities section, where you will find water play with pipes and guttering.

 

 

 

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