Water play is super fun and helps develop fine and gross motor skills. Pouring, scooping, squeezing are great to strengthen the small muscles in the hands and wrists while splashing, carrying and lifting buckets, transporting etc support the physical development of children.
Here are several ideas that you can easily set up for your children with water
Fill 2-3 plastic squeeze bottles with water and add a different color in each bottle. As your child squeezes the bottles, they not only develop their hold hand grip, but also observe the colored water mixing with other colors.
Give your child different types of paintbrush dipped in water. The wet paint brush is a great way to introduce your child to mark making. This is mess free and even if your child gets some on themselves, you just wipe it off to dry, unlike paint which is more messy.
In a tub add water, ice, lemon slices and mint leaves. Invite your child to explore the different items in the bin. The different temperatures of ice and water, the squishiness of the lemon along with the smell of mint and lemon. A fantastic sensory experience, not to mention - it is taste safe and the perfect play for a hot summer’s day!
Frozen baubles are super fun to use during hot summer days. These are taste safe and make a great sensory play for your child. It is also a way to introduce your child to different tastes as they might occasionally take a lick of the bauble.
- Boil and grate some beets
- Add the grated beets to some drinking water and let the water change color
- Add the colored water to your ice tray (if you have different shapes and sizes, even better)
- Add some twine and put it in the freezer
- Use different vegetables for different colors
Offer these baubles to your child while they sit in their high chair and watch them enjoy making a masterpiece!
Animal washing station
You can make a mixture of cocoa powder and water. Dip animal figurines or cars in this mixture to make them ‘dirty’. Encourage them to clean with soapy water and scrub them with a brush. You can also provide a towel to dry them.
Fill a bin with water and add some small toys to it. Place another empty basket and add a tea strainer. Your child will use the tea strainer to scoop out the rings. Once your child has mastered this skill, offer different bowls for your child to scoop and sort the rings by color.
Water balloon painting
Fill water balloons with water up to half capacity. Set a few in a tray along with bowls of paint. Your child can dip the water balloons in the paint and stamp or roll the balloons on the paper to make patterns. The occasional ‘pop’ teaches them cause and effect.
Body part spray
Using a spray bottle to spray water on different parts of your child's body gives them a sensory experience as you name each part. This is a simple way to help your child become aware of the parts of their body. You can repeat it multiple times and even sing a song!