Water is the answer!
On a hot sticky day, when energy levels seem to be flagging, how do you encourage your little ones to exercise and let off steam? The answer lies in water – a refreshingly cool and versatile kind of fun, with the added bonus of being a source of sensory and scientific learning.
Water play activates all your child’s senses. Watch them playing in the rain…attentive to splashing sounds, trickles on their skin and the taste of drops. This is sensory play at its best – the kind of play that builds synapses in the brain and increases cognitive function. But that’s not all…water play can provide the foundation to scientific knowledge as flow, motion and measurement are investigated.
So, how can you encourage your child to play with water? Here are a few ideas to inspire your little ones to have fun and learn…
Enter the splash zone
Use squirt guns or simply fill household spray bottles with water for the ultimate backyard fight. If you have an outdoor water tap, connect a hose and let the kids go wild. And when they’ve finished soaking one another – and hopefully watering your plants in the process – set up targets for them to squirt at and knock over. This is a useful activity for developing hand-eye coordination.
Go wild for nature
Consider investing in a permanent water feature, such as a pond or, if space is restricted, an attractive garden wall fountain. This will not only supply an instant source of water to your backyard, but will also attract wildlife. Bathing birds in your fountain and dragonflies and toads in your pond will keep your little nature watchers busy. Ensure they have magnifying glasses, identification books and journals to hand so that they can record their investigations.
Forever blowing bubbles
Nothing captivates a child quite like bubbles: ethereal, translucent spheres that float dreamily through the air. Let your child mix up bubble liquid, then help them to blow their own bubbles. Complex mouth movements, such as bubble blowing, will help your child develop language skills.
Potions master at work
Let your child create their own magical potions, garden soups or aromatic fragrances by mixing garden leaves and petals in water. Equip them with different sized containers, spoons and ladles, and encourage your child to explore the diverse textures, colors and perfumes of plants in your yard.
These simple ideas will guarantee fun whilst also expanding your little one’s mind. And there are many more possibilities for water play just waiting to be explored by you and your child, so…go make a splash!