water play

Washing Fairy Rocks Play – Fairy and Elf Activities #16 for Boys and Girls

Today’s post, washing fairy rocks play, is a perfect reminder to parents, caregivers, teachers, and all adults of how play is in the in child not the toy.

play is in the child

We’d done a couple of play activities with fairy rocks, like digging them up after burying them in the dirt, and rolling them in play dough. The rocks were sitting on the counter out of the way of Baby Brother who still puts everything in his mouth. When helping to wash up after snack, Big Brother came up with his own play activity—washing the fairy rocks. He put some of the sink water into the container of rocks and gave them a bath. Not only did he scrub each rock squeaky clean, he had them do games.washing fairy rocks play

The rocks jumped up in the air, turned somersaults, did flips, and rolled over. Every rock did some sort of trick and he gave the play-by-play. At one point, a rock missed landing in the container. He announced, “It escaped.” The rocks now took turns crawling out of the dish. Sometimes, they stepped around the counter a bit before getting back in the dish. Big Brother’s hands, voice, and imagination were all busy in his washing fairy rocks play. This was an inexpensive, simple item rich in play value. Kids do not have to have toys to play and explore. They just need the time and space in a day to engage with what is available and around them.washing fairy rocks play

All too often, we forget who the real experts on play are. Kids themselves! Even worse, we forget how critical play is for children’s learning and development. The brain is hard-wired for play.

children and play

The magic of childhood isn’t fairy dust, but PLAY. It transforms rocks, sticks, dirt, water, blankets, containers, paper, cardboard boxes, and other items into toys. As they play, children explore, wonder, create, and understand the world around them and within themselves. As the adults who care for them, we have a responsibility to nurture and encourage children’s play. How do you support your child’s play?

Each day, come check out the play-of-the-day inspiration!



kids water play

World Oceans Day Inspires Kids’ Water Play – Ways to Play

Not all young, preschool children will have had to play at the ocean, but they love water, so how about kids’ water play to celebrate World Oceans Day?play with sticks

The aim and intention of World Oceans Day is to raise awareness of the role of oceans on the health of the entire planet. Oceans impact our own health and well-being and we need care for them and the life they contain. One way we can do this, is to help children develop a relationship with nature and water.kids water play

Most of the areas on Earth where we live will have ‘wild’ water in some form, such as a creek, stream, river, pond, or lake. With some extra attention for their safety around water, we can likely think of a place where we can take kids to play. A favorite activity is to simply throw rocks in the water. The ripples and kerplunk are fun to see and hear. Splashing in the water stimulates the sense of touch and we can feel drops of water spray with fingers and skin.kids water play world oceans day

Take a few minutes to look down into the water. What do you see? Are there any plants or animals? What color does the water appear? Looking into the shallow areas kids can sometimes spot plants on the ground under the water and, perhaps, a few minnows or other creatures. If possible, scoop some water into a clear container for a closer look.take dad outside for fathers day

Check out how the water feels. The temperature will vary depending on the depth of the water and the weather. Water feels colder on toes than it does on fingers. If you are visiting a place with waves, toes love to see how close they can get to the incoming water without getting wet. Some waves are much bigger than expected, so it’s important to be careful.kids water play ocean waves

What will your family do for World Oceans Day? Will it inspire some kids’ water play?

Q. What did the ocean say to the shore?
A. Nothing, it just waved!


Dragon Water Play – A Sinkful of Sensory and Imaginative Fun

While water puts out a dragon’s fire, dragons sometimes live in castles which have moats and drawbridges so dragon water play is a possibility. Besides, even dragons must have sometimes needed a bath.

dragon water play

Dragon water play can happen in the bath or with clothes on at the sink. We found some colorful, plastic dragons at the store. These needed a wash before playing with them and the washing turned into a play activity. With some water and the dragons in the sink, Little Sister washed them off. The dragons splashed and swam. A small container became a boat. They couldn’t all fit so another one was needed. The dragons needed some friends, so out came a few dinosaurs. As she played, Little Sister talked to herself and created stories about what was happening. Sometimes, she paid little attention to them and seemed to be more interested in watching the swirls in the water. She was directing her dragon water play at various levels.

dragon water play

Water play is a simple activity for kids but tremendously appealing. The water both stimulates and calms the senses. Certainly water appeals to the sense of touch, but the small sounds and moving shapes involve hearing and seeing too. Because the water is so fluid, children’s play can be fluid too. The possible ways to play with water are unlimited so kids can play with it to suit their own ideas and needs. This could be on a sensory level or an imaginative one or a combination, depending on what kids want at any particular time. Water play is a sort of spa for kids. Tension and stress seem to flow out of the body and mind, leaving behind relaxation and a renewal of energy.

dragon water play

Inevitably, water play means some water on the floor too. However, it’s small price to pay for such deep and enjoyable play, isn’t it?

Halloween Water Sensory Play and Magic Potion

Halloween water sensory play and magic potions isn’t just child’s play, it’s a child’s suggestion for a play-of-the-day. It’s simple and proven to be fun. After scooping out a pumpkin, we had to clean up the kitchen. There were a few seeds on the counter and even the floor. There were spoons and other tools … Continue reading Halloween Water Sensory Play and Magic Potion

Olympic Games #8: Splash up Some Water Play Activities for Kids

All the Olympic Games excitement in and on the water with medals and new records is splashing up some water play activities for kids. For kids, water play might take the gold medal. In Rio, there are events for diving, swimming, rowing, sailing, and water polo. Just like the Games, there are many different ways … Continue reading Olympic Games #8: Splash up Some Water Play Activities for Kids

Summer Fun and Learning Outside for Kids: Water Play

Summer days are perfect for water play outside and any water spilled on clothes will quickly dry. Water play is not just fun, but also pours out lots of kindergarten readiness fun and learning. While there are tables specially made for water play, any big container will work such as a bin or big bowl. … Continue reading Summer Fun and Learning Outside for Kids: Water Play