water play

Summer Fun, Kids of All Ages, and Float or Sink

summer-fun-science-activitiesKids and fun are a winning combination for summer, but kids can be any age, can’t they? On the weekend, there was a silly boat regatta which was tremendous fun for everybody. Even grownups need to play, which they did as they created boats out of some very silly materials, then raced them on the water, discovering what would float and what would sink. It’s an annual fund raiser for the Child Development Center and it included lots of fun activities for kids. Fun, play, and learning do not need a whole beach, though. Kids can try some float and sink in a pool or a tub of water.

summer-fun-science-activitiesPart of the appeal of play, is being able to explore and discover. With something that holds water, pool or tub, kids can try out a variety of items to see if they will float or sink. While adults know what will likely float or sink, kids do not so they will want to experiment for themselves. Some suggestions are: small plastic containers, toothbrush, plastic/wooden/metal spoons, facecloth, popsicle stick, dinosaurs, unbreakable cups and plates, wooden blocks, round-edge Duplos, smooth rocks, a flip-flop, egg turner, ice cube tray, ice cubes, plastic bottle, clean rubber boot, pail, and other bits and pieces that won’t poke a hole in the big container.

summer-fun-science-activitesWhile little ones will be happy just scooping, pouring, and dropping items in the water, you can ask older kids to find out to guess which ones will float or sink before trying. This is, as you probably remember from science, the step in an experiment called making a hypothesis. Although it’s an advanced word, it’s actually something that kids do often as in, they guess the water in a puddle won’t get their feet wet and have to check to find out. Or, they figure they can squeeze the toothpaste by themselves only to discover it was maybe too easy. After guessing, kids can explore which items float or sink, or even do both. This is thinking and learning skill that will help for kindergarten readiness and advanced science.

Once kids know what will float and sink, they can try making a boat! Float and sink can be a fun activity. Depending on how much water there is, kids may need extra supervision. Even the adults had extra supervision for their water play. Will this idea float for your child today?

Summer Fun, Kindergarten Readiness and Water Play

summer fun and learning water playGetting 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.

summer fun and learning water playAs 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?

Kindergarten Readiness: Sensory Water Play

Water play is such a common play activity that we forget it is a sensory one as well that combines fun, learning, kindergarten readiness, and play. It can be as elaborate as themed baths or as simple as a container and sink of water with a few tools and toys. Water sensory play will appeal to kids over and over and is just as much fun for older kids as younger ones, and even grownups.Just looking at Google and Pinterest for water sensory play ideas will be inspirational.

sensory water play activitiesFor a simple and quick activity, round up a few items that your child can use for scooping and pouring, such as empty plastic bottles or small containers. Measuring spoons that are plastic are also fun. While we know that a fork will not scoop up water, kids need to figure this out from experience, so toss in some picnic forks. A strainer with holes makes rain when it’s lifted up and the water drips out. If you have lots of containers that you will not need anymore, you can make some with one or more holes in the bottom, or around the sides. sensory water play activitiesKids have fun trying to hold a finger over the hole and letting bits of water come out before plugging in up again. Sponges are already holey and little hands can squeeze them as hard as they want. Some toys are water friendly too,

A water table is a standard piece of furniture in many play centers. Sometimes, they go on sale or can be picked up at a garage sale. Kids can play at the kitchen sink or in a big dish of water on the floor. Or, use a big container of water in the bathtub. The advantage with that is if any spills, none goes on the floor–that’s the theory anyway.

As your child plays, splashes, and explores, the brain is working to create pathways and connections that will be used for problem-solving, discovering, observing, predicting, comparing, and other thinking skills. Add a language and communication element by asking your child about what’s happening. Pretending and imagining can be part of the fun too. Is water play a possible sensory fun and learning activity for your child today?

Kindergarten Readiness And Water Play And Learning

This month kindergarten readiness plays-of-the-day are all about exploring and discovering, something that kids do from the time they are born. Scientists do the same thing, so in a way, children are natural scientists as they play and learn. Kids, from babies to kindergarteners, love to play with water. If the weather is warm enough, … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness And Water Play And Learning

Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Water Play

Hands playing and having fun in water develop brain connections and help kids with kindergarten readiness. And water play can happen at the kitchen sink, in the bathtub or outside with a tub of water. Containers, plastic bottles, spoons, straws and sieves will provide kids with tools so they can scoop, pour, fill, and measure. … Continue reading Some Handy Ideas for Kindergarten Readiness: Water Play

Play & Learn for Kindergarten Readiness: in the Bathroom

Even the bathroom can be a space for play that supports all kinds of fun, learning, kindergarten readiness, and brain development. With kids, there seems to be a fair amount of time spent in the bathroom anyway. Adults rarely get a minute in there by themselves. Standing at the light switch while a baby plays … Continue reading Play & Learn for Kindergarten Readiness: in the Bathroom

Kindergarten Readiness Takes A Bath – Learning Fun At Home

Any room in the house can double as a learning center for readiness for kindergarten activities. This time, science takes a bath (in either the tub or the sink). With a little water and several containers and bottles of different sizes, let your child experiment with how much water it takes to fill them up. Figuring out … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness Takes A Bath – Learning Fun At Home

Readiness for Kindergarten – Cooking With Kids

Ideas for play and learning with water took a recess for a couple of days but are back just in time for the weekend. Water play is a great way to build kindergarten readiness skills. Earlier blogs have touched on vocabulary, physical coordination and development, problem solving, observing, premath skills, and more. This is a science … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Cooking With Kids

Readiness for Kindergarten – Water Play & Learn

Thomas Berry, in his book The Dream of the Earth, said “Teaching children about the natural world should be seen as one of the most important events in their lives.” At the World Forum in Early Care and Education that I was able to attend at the beginning of the month, helping children feel connected to … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Water Play & Learn

Readiness for Kindergarten – Water Play & Learn

Helping children get ready for kindergarten is very much like kids themselves: it develops over time. Little bit by little bit, with lots of repetition is the key to kindergarten readiness. Adding something different to an activity creates a new learning opportunity. As a matter of fact, today’s blog makes something out of nothing–the ‘nothing’ being holes. Containers with … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Water Play & Learn