Why children need all year round WATER PLAY! You may ask, What are the benefits of water play?
By offering a variety of water based experiences, its a wonderful play resource that children can explore and experiment with in their own way.
1. Water play releases Energy- its both calming and invigorating depending on the activity. A great way to have fun and let off steam.
2. Emotionally Therapeutic - children benefit from the relaxing and repetitive nature of scooping, pouring and running their hands through the water. This allows them to unwind, order their thoughts and relax.
3. Develops Motor Skills - There are many opportunities to develop gross and fine motor skills across the age ranges.
Fine motor skills are being refined as children scoop and pour water and fill and empty containers in many different ways. Gross motor skills and large muscle strength is developed and stretched and children carry and pour larger and heavier pots and buckets of water. A wading pool or swimming pool is a fantastic way to develop core strength and co-ordination in all large motor groups as children kick, splash and use their arms and hands through the water.
4. Develops Social Skills - Water play gives many opportunities to develop crucial social skills when they are working with just one other child or a whole group. Its a great way to learn to share and take turns as they share the physical space and the play items in the water. This is a avenue for taking their first steps from "playing alongside someone" to actually "playing with someone". These are important skills needed for friendships in the future.
5. Builds Language and Communication - Water play is so versatile you can pretty much add any play item. This brings with it new vocabulary choices for all the play items, and opportunities for building new vocabulary. Children can practice communication and language skills as they play with water. Children practice turn taking and listening in their peer conversations.
6. Stimulates Creativity and Imagination- Offering children some unusual items to water can be a great way to stimulate their investigation and they will play in unusual and unexpected ways. There are so many ways to add interest!
7. Promotes Cognitive Development- Water play offers opportunities to problem solve, question, explore and experiment. Finding out what floats and sinks, or how water moves a wheel, discovering that water flows downhill, or estimating how many small pots of water it takes to fill a large bucket. Water based activity offers the potential to develop and consolidate learning in lots of exciting ways!
Purple Class~ Ms. Kathy