Water play provides children opportunities to experiment and explore scientific and mathematical concepts, develop language, enhance fine and gross motor skills and hand eye communication. Children also have opportunity to continue to develop social and turn taking skills.
Children are exposed to water play materials and begin to understand why and how things happen, for example floating and sinking experiments and mathematical concepts of more/less, empty/full, greater than/less than and counting skills.
Sensory experiences are explored through the different textures that are found in the water area - smooth, rough, slimy, squishy and different temperatures with warm or cold water. Motor skills are developed through pouring and swooshing water in pipes or containers, and
hand eye coordination. Water play can be very calming to children and can be a very relaxing experience, swishing the water or listening to the sound of pouring water and can relieve tension in children.
Turn taking, problem solving and negotiating equipment are all important skills and experiences that happen around the water tray and these important skills can then be transferred into different areas of the setting. Children have to play cooperatively sharing space and equipment to reach a common goal.
New vocabulary is used in a purposeful environment in regards to the equipment used and adjectives to describe the water - bubbly, warm, cold, splash, splosh! Water Play can also be used to extend role play experiences such as washing babies or baby clothes or adding a tea set to enhance the water provision.
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