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 for kids to play in and with water. In the summer, a favorite way is to splash and cool off in a pool, small kiddie pools or community ones. Sometimes, grownups can’t resist and will sit close with their feet in. Doesn’t the water feel refreshing?
Kids also enjoy scooping, pouring, measuring, and more as they play in a water table. You can make your own water center using a big container of water on the deck. Add in some small bottles, spoons, pails, cups, and small toys.
If there’s too much water happening weather-wise to spend some time outside, run some water in the sink. Kids will probably have to stand on a chair, and there’s an almost certain chance that water will drip on the floor, but it’s not hard to clean up.
Besides all the ways to play, water play activities engage the senses. Certainly, the feel of water on skin stimulates the sense of touch. Water comes with all kinds of sound effects for the sense of hearing. Although water is usually clear, except in Rio when it turned bright green for some of the diving events, there’s still lots to see. The waves and the interaction with light makes patterns, shadows, and movement.
As kids explore and play in water, their brains and bodies are busy, but water is also relaxing. Water is especially beneficial to calm anxieties. Adults get spas, kids get water play.
Water rockets, slides, sprinklers, squirters, and water pistols are the opposite of calming. These crank up the excitement and are so much fun. For hot days, spray parks go to the top of the list. Does your child know how to make water balloons?
For a play-of-the-day, inside or out, calm or exciting, can your child enjoy some water play activities? Who knows, maybe there are some new Michael Phelps playing in the water?