Getting all wet in the summer is a favorite activity and water play encourages development of many brain connections and kindergarten readiness skills. Plus in the summer, there are so many ways to get wet, from backyard pools, water pistols, sprinklers, water parks, slides, and water tables to lakes, rivers, oceans, and even the rain and puddles. Kids will enjoy playing in all of them.
Water play is very much a sensory activity, stimulating the senses of touch, hearing, seeing, and, with kids, some tasting. Some of the things that kids learn are:
- Water pours down, unless we squeeze or squirt it in other directions.
- Water doesn’t have its own shape, instead it takes the shape of containers.
- Water can freeze or pour.
- It takes several small containers of waters to fill a big one, and a big one fills a little container and then overflows.
- If a container has holes, the water comes out.
- Some things float in the water and some sink.
As children play with water they often do the same actions over and over such as pouring, scooping, filling, and dumping. Each time they are watching, listening, and checking that the action will have the same result as before. When it doesn’t they try and discover why. Kids use lots of language to talk about what they do and learn new vocabulary. Opposites can be tricky to learn and there are several such as float, sink, full, empty, hot, cold, and more.
On hot summer days, playing in water feels so good and is so very much fun. There are even some adults that put a chair close to the kids’ pool to soak their feet and they do not complain at all about the splashing. There’s lots of ways to learn while playing and having fun. What way might your child play with water today?