Energy Release – Children can find water play both calming or invigorating depending on the activity being presented. Can assist children who are overstimulated to help release the build up of energy. This can particularly be a great tool to use for regulating behaviour at home.
Therapeutic Water Play – Water play doesn’t have to be loud and busy, it can be a tranquil activity where children are quietly absorbed. A bit like losing yourself in a colouring page, children benefit from the relaxing and repetitive nature of scooping, pouring and running their hands through the water. This is perfect for children with sensory processing needs as well as to help regulate their own behaviour.
Motor Skills – Water play gives many opportunities to develop gross and fine motor skillsacross the age ranges. Fine motor skills and hand and eye coordination are constantly refined as children scoop and pour water and fill and empty containers in a multitude of different ways. Gross motor skills and large muscle strength is developed and stretched as children are encouraged to carry and pour larger and heavier pots and buckets of water. Try adding every day household items to promote motor skill development.
Social Skills – It is a great way for children to learn to share and take turns as they share the physical space and the play items in the water.
Language and Communication – Water play is so versatile you can add pretty much any play items to it, be it dinosaurs and mud for a swamp or cars, sponges and bubbles for a car wash, the possibilities are endless! Of course each new way of playing with water brings with it new vocabulary choices for all the play items and play scenarios involved, as such, it is a fantastic resource for building new vocabulary and communicating with peers as they play.
Cognitive Development – children can develop early science and mathematical concepts using quantities simply by measuring, observing small amounts and large amounts of water which can also be extended to including other materials and objects, observing and hypothesising materials to sink, float, soak or not soak, etc.