Playing with water is a great way to cool down on a hot day, but did you know water play can be so important when it comes to early development?
Here at your local ELC, we incorporate water play into our learning through play philosophy for each of our age groups. There are several social, emotional and physical developmental benefits.
Here are our top five:
1. Water play develops hand-eye coordination
Water play is a fantastic activity for developing children’s hand-eye coordination as they learn to pour, squeeze, stir and even paint with water. By pouring water from one bucket to another, children are improving their sense of accuracy and control.
2. Water play introduces maths and scientific concepts
Water is a fun, simple way to demonstrate mathematical and scientific concepts, such as volume and weight. How much water do you think could fit in this bucket? Can we measure it? What do you think will happen if we drop this heavy object into the bucket?
3. Water play enhances concentration and focus
When children are engaged in water play, they tend to lose themselves in the activity and can spend long periods of time exploring and playing. This can encourage children to focus, and any activity that holds a child’s attention for a long length of time will contribute to increasing their attention span and ability to concentrate later in life.
4. Water play develops motor skills and sensory exploration
Water play activities help to develop and strengthen children’s gross and fine motor skills. Children enhance their gross motor skills, coordination and physical fitness through lifting, pouring, carrying, running and splashing, while actions such as squeezing help to develop the small muscles in a child’s hands.
5. Water play builds social and communication skills
Water play can be a solitary activity but can also be a group activity. When water play becomes a group activity, it encourages children to engage in social and cooperative play. It’s not uncommon to observe kindergarten children turn their water play into a shared experience with a common goal.
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