water play

Readiness for Kindergarten – Water Play & Learn

Water play helps develop some important readiness for kindergarten skills in terms of math. Math is based on the concepts of things being more than, less than or equal.  A sink or tub full of water and a few containers to fill and pour provide an opportunity for children to figure out these ideas of more, less and just the same amount.
Using two containers, fill one right up. Then, have your child pour that container into another one that’s bigger. Oh, oh, it’s not full. It needs more water. Try it again with a smaller one. This time it was too much. Give your child a few other items, such as cups, small bowls, big spoons, etc. to check if there is anything that holds just the same.
Wee ones as well as older kidlets can play and work at their own level. Talking about what is happening will extend the learning for your child. How’s this for a kindergarten readiness formula: 
water + a few containers = math?

Readiness for Kindergarten – Water Play & Learn

Turning on some learning fun for your child is as easy as turning on the tap. When kids play in the water, besides filling, pouring, and splashing, they are also measuring. A big bowl needs lots of little cups to fill it up. It holds more water than just a cupful. When a big cup is dumped out, it overflows a smaller one because not all the water fits into the little one. Big containers make big splashes and sometimes the water goes all over. Little containers are better for taking a drink.

This learning from experience starts early. Having lots of opportunities to play and discover makes a difference in terms of children’s development and promotes readiness for kindergarten. As your child enjoys some water play, talk about what’s happening so the learning doesn’t drain away.

Q. What runs and runs but never gets tired? A. Water, when you leave the tap on!

Readiness for Kindergarten – Water Play & Learn

Since repetition is one of the 3 R’s for kindergarten readiness, I will repeat some of the fun and learning from sand play that I wrote about in the first half of the month. Instead of sand, though, this time water is the material. One thing about water, it’s usually quite easy to clean up.

Filling  up a container with water and then pouring it out is a science activity.  Kids are learning to observe what happens and to make predictions about what will happen next. They enjoy seeing how full a container can be before the water spills over the edge. They notice that as the container is more and more filled, it is also more and more heavy.  Kids also see that water does not keep the shape of the container, but flows out. Observing, predicting and questioning are powerful strategies for all kinds of learning.

Water play can happen in the tub, at the kitchen sink, in a backyard toddler pool, or even with a big container of water set on a thick towel or a lawn. Water toys can include plastic spoons and forks, yogurt containers, old toothbrushes, empty shampoo bottles, vegetable strainers, and more.

There are many other kindergarten readiness skills that kids from wee ones to older ones ready to start school can learn. We’ll look at more of them over the next few days. In the meantime, do those plastics really need recycling or can they be used for some water play and learning for a few days?