Water Play – Why Is Water Play Important For Children?

Allowing children the opportunity to explore their world and the different things within it is really important to their learning and development – and water play hits on a few of the key areas of your child’s development that can help them to interact with the world around them, even better.

But what is water play? And why is water play important for children?

Water play - Why is water play important for children

Children are easily bored, and finding an activity that can keep their attention for a long period of time is difficult.

Water play is a brilliant solution for this – you can provide them with enough objects and materials that they are able to make several activities out of just one.

And the best part is, you can change it so that it fits both you and your children’s needs – for example, if you’d like them to work on their motor skills more, you can provide them with several objects that will encourage them to work on those skills voluntarily.

Water play is important for children, as it gives them the ability to ask questions about the world around them and learn about it in a hands-on way that is sure to keep their attention. If you’d like to read more, carry on reading!

Why Is Water Play Important For Children

It Helps Them To Work On Their Hand-Eye Co-ordination

Encouraging children to play with water can be extremely useful in helping them to develop their hand-eye coordination.

Water play allows them to interact with the water in numerous ways – they can splash it, pour it and even squeeze it out of a sponge. You can even provide them with a paintbrush so that they can practice their painting skills – and work on their hand-eye coordination as they do!

Using different utensils to manipulate the water – for example, pouring it from one container into another, or creating waves in the water using a stick, can help them to get better at utilizing this skill.

This is just one example of why water play is important for children.

Provides Them With An Opportunity To Learn About Science

Another reason why water play is important for children is that water play gives your child the opportunity to learn more about water and the way that it reacts with different objects.

This gives them the opportunity to ask questions about the different properties of water, and you can teach them about things like hot and cold, and molecules, as well as help them to understand how to take measurements. 

Children are waiting to absorb all of the knowledge that is available to them, and ensuring that they have activities like water play to engage with in order to take in and learn information about the world is an important step in allowing them to do this. 

Water play allows them to test concepts in ways that they can’t with other objects – for example, challenging them to hold water in their hands for as long as possible gives them the opportunity to learn about how water flows, whilst also causing them to work on their motor skills through the effort of trying to retain the liquid. 

You can make sure to include different objects to learn about how they interact with liquids such as water. Objects such as sponges and small rocks can help them to understand porous materials, for example. 

Encourages Them To Use Their Senses

We get all of the information we have about the world through our senses, so making sure that these are in good condition is really important to ensure that your child is able to use theirs effectively. 

Playing with water encourages your children to use their senses – the feel of the water, alongside any other ingredients you might decide to add to the mix, help your child to explore different textures and materials.

You might choose to add some ice to the water or provide them with several different textured sponges to play with. 

Utilizing water play into a sensory activity is another example of why water play is important for children and their development.

They Can Learn To Concentrate Better From Water Play

Water is incredibly mesmerizing, and it doesn’t fail to mesmerize children, either. This makes it a brilliant tool for education, as your child can learn all sorts of things just by waving their hand around in a small pool. 

A child can be kept entertained with water and some toys for a very long time, meaning that they’ll keep their attention on one thing for a much longer time than can be demanded of them.

Water play is important for children to teach them about different concepts, such as problem-solving. Whilst they are playing with water they’ll spend ages trying to get to the root of the problem, whereas in normal play they might lose interest quite fast. 

It Gets Them Thinking

Water play encourages your child to think about their environment and how different substances interact with each other. When presented with some water and a few varied objects to use to play with the water, your child is faced with the problem of deciding what to do with all of it. 

Coming up with different ideas and ways to use the water to entertain themselves will also encourage them to learn whilst they are doing it – helping them to improve on their motor skills, concentration skills, and hand-eye coordination as a result. 

Include some more random things, such as a piece of paper maybe, or maybe some of their toys, such as a toy car, as these items can help them to learn about the way that water works in a different way. 

Simple, random items like paper can show how water affects them, for example, the paper will break up.

Playing with toys such as toy cars can allow the child to observe how water gets pushed through the toy car’s tires and allows them to get a better grasp on how water affects motion. Water play is an important tool for children to learn new concepts.

Helps Improve Their Motor Skills

By playing with any equipment provided alongside the water, your child is also working on all of their motor skills.

Learning how to support the weights of different objects, or doing something more delicate like pouring water from one container to another, can allow them to build on all of these skills during water play.

When interacting with water, your child is constantly lifting, pouring, scooping, or squeezing. Practicing all of these motor skills in a hands-on environment allows them to see what works and what doesn’t, in a way that shouldn’t have any negative consequences. 

Water Play Teaches Children How To Be Safe With Water

Water play also allows you to how to safely play with water and other liquids. 

This is because water play allows you to explain things like electrical safety to them, and not to touch electricals with wet hands. You can explain that this will break then, and it might cause an electric shock. 

Your child is given the opportunity to take this on board, and you have the opportunity to supervise them in case they don’t.

This makes water play a great way to get a sense of your child’s safety in different situations, helping to give you an idea as to what you need to keep an eye out for. 

Obviously, teaching them about large bodies of water is a different story altogether, but you can use this opportunity to educate them on electrical safety, at the very least.

Final Thoughts

Water play can be adapted to fit many different situations – there are options for both indoor and outdoor water play, and as parents, you have a wide variety of objects scattered around the house that you could choose to allow your child to play with.

For example, allowing them to play with pots and pans, sponges, food coloring, and various ingredients, such as rice, alongside their water, can open up many different avenues for your child to explore.  

Not unlike many other types of play, water play can really help with the development of your child, as it works on so many core areas – motor skills, science, hand-eye coordination, and creativity, for example. 

It can also help to encourage them to stay focused and do one thing for a longer period of time, which can prepare them for when they are older.

It’s important to ensure that your child has access to activities like this in order to help them to explore things and ask questions about the way in which things work.

It’s always really interesting to see what a child is naturally curious about, as well as hear the observations they make on the world around them – so it can be an educational process for the parents, too!

Water play has many benefits, and it’s not too difficult to set a little play area up – just grab a matt, a bowl of water, and a few objects, and you’re good to go! You will soon see the benefits of water plat and understand why water play is important for children.

Joyce Bailey
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