Saturday, April 9, 2011

Water Play Fun for Children

Children love water, it is soothing, has fun properties and it is messy. All things kids like! Whether in the bath tub, a kitchen sink, or just a tub of water on the floor, kids love water and the mess it can make. So grab some towels in advance, and let them enjoy the mess.

  • Always supervise water play- children can drown in water only inch deep! Also watch with young children that they don't drink the dirty, soapy water, little ones put everything in their mouths!
  • Never give kids glass items to play with in water or any sharp objects.
  • Make sure you have plenty of towels to keep area kind of dry. Prevents slipping on wet floors too. When they play in the sink, put towels behind the faucet too.
  • If they play at the sink, have them stand on a kitchen chair or a step stool. Being able to reach to the bottom of the sink is important.
  • Soap bubbles always add a level of fun to water play, start out with plain water, later add bubbles to add more interest. If they are playing with water in a clear tub, add a few drops of food coloring to change it up too.
  • You don't need to buy expensive water toys, you can find or make your own.
  • Scoops from laundry detergent, drink mixes, etc are great toys. Also laundry soap bottle lids, empty dish soap bottles with the pull up pop tops, empty syrup bottles, ketchup bottles, any clear plastic empty clean bottle is great fun.
  • Kitchen utensils, like a whisk, colander, plastic measuring cups, plastic dishes, any kitchen utensil that won't get hurt in the water, and won't hurt your child is perfect. They love playing with "grown up utensils"
  • Dolls, any plastic kids toys that water cannot get inside of are all great. Children love to wash dishes, clean their toys, give their dolls a bath, etc. Give them a small washcloth and a clear space to put washed items.
  • Adult only part... Use use a drill with a small bit to make holes in the empty plastic bottles you have saved. When your child adds the water, it will come out of the holes too (try this too....put water in the bottle, put the cap back on and see what happens- then remove the top). Drill a hole in the lid of other bottles.
  • Cook up some noodles and add them to the water.
  • One toy that is fun and inexpensive to buy is a water wheel, children love watching the wheel spin as they pour water in the top. (Works well with sand, or rice later too.)
  • When it is warm outside, put a tub of water on the ground and continue the fun outdoors, they will add mud, leaves, grass and anything else they can find though, so don't let them bring your good kitchen utensils outside, this is the perfect place for recycled toys. I also like to give the kids old pie tins so they can make mud pies outside too.
  • If you are somewhere you can set the hose up on a light trickle, they will have fun rinsing things off, adding water, and seeing what happens then. A water can can be used instead of a hose.
  • Another fun thing with water outside is to let your child have an old rag and soapy water and they can wash off outside toys, trikes, climbers, etc.
Water can be fun, loud, or soothing. If your child has sensory issues, water can calm down a fussy or hyper child too. Try different temperatures of water, see what your child prefers, warm or cool. On a hot day, add some ice cubes and watch what happens. Freeze a big bowl of water into a block of ice and add it to the water- both in winter and in summer, see what happens. Hide a plastic toy in the water before you freeze it and it will appear as the ice melts.

I hope these ideas will get you started on the hours of fun water play can provide! You can also create some "teachable moments" about properties of water, all while having fun withe your child. Join in the water fun too.

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