Are you dreading the post-holiday winter blues? Don’t worry! Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to be stuck indoors. Unleash your kiddo’s creativity through water activities that can be done indoors. Simple acts such as pouring or splashing water around can develop and strengthen their fine and gross motor skills, or even using Family Swim time to play games.
We’ve got you covered if you don’t know where to start. Read on to learn the benefits of water play for kids and examples of activities to supplement these benefits. You may be surprised to learn that water play has quite a number of advantages for early childhood development.
What is Water Play?
Any fun and educational activity involving buckets, containers, and toys to splash, pour, or submerge in a pool, lake or ocean are considered water play. Kids can enjoy kicking, pouring, and splashing water with their friends while stimulating their minds and senses. Parents can also spend time with their kids and have fun together through these recreational activities.
Best Water Play Benefits for Toddlers
Water play is essential for early childhood development. It encourages your kids to learn new things and improve their social skills. There are many benefits of water play for toddlers, such as the following:
Improves Sensory and Motor Skills
The act of pouring one bucket over another enhances their sense of accuracy and control. Kids who frequently engage in squeezing, stirring, and other similar actions involving the use of water have better hand-eye coordination than those who don’t.
When you expose them to slippery and slimy textures at an early age, they will also develop their pincer grip or the ability to hold a pencil at school. Pumping water helps build those arm muscles, too!
Suggested activity: Customize your own water sensory bins at home! You can integrate water play with your kid’s bath time through familiar activities such as making bubbles or putting toys in the tub. If you have sea creature bath toys, we recommend throwing them into a large container or tub filled with water and going over each one with your child.
Develops Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills
Fun and educational water play activities play an important role in honing children’s problem-solving skills. Observing a leaf float or a paper boat sink can trigger their imagination and creative thinking.
You may also use this opportunity to introduce mathematical or scientific concepts to your kids. Their natural curiosity will enable them to question why things happen, including how a heavier object sinks. Furthermore, you can teach them how to count by filling buckets of water and letting them gauge how high the water’s rising.
Suggested activity: “5 Little Ducks” is an open-ended activity perfect for babies and toddlers. You’ll need to prepare rubber ducks or similar toys and ask your children to sing along while counting the items in the tub or bath.
Builds Social and Communication Skills
One of the most essential benefits of water play is language development. While playing and bonding with your kid in the pool, you can initiate conversations with them and introduce new words such as splash, drop, bucket, or water to add to their vocabulary.
For toddlers, it’s best to turn their water play into a shared experience. They can take turns filling a large tub with water or building a moat in the sandpit in groups. Through these cooperative activities, every child can participate and coordinate with one another to reach their goal.
Suggested activity: “Alphabet Slap” is a fun and intellectually stimulating activity to get your kids to learn the letters of the alphabet. You’ll need foam or plastic letters and a toy shovel, spoon, or tool. Call out letters in the bath or your tub, and have your child identify them while smacking the letters floating in the water.
Enhances Concentration and Focus
Despite having a limited attention span, children can devote their time to an activity once they find it enjoyable. Kids will spend more time exploring and socializing when they are engaged in water play.
Any activity that enhances their concentration can help increase their patience later in life. The improved ability to focus while learning is a vital skill they’ll need before starting school. Water play provides a great opportunity to strengthen their social and cognitive abilities.
Suggested activity: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” is a fun and easy-to-learn activity for kids. You’ll need to make tiny paper boats, then fill a little pool or tub with water. Afterward, you and your child can spend time navigating the tiny boats as they float across the water.
Stimulates Creativity and Releases Tension
One of the many water play benefits for toddlers is developing your children’s imagination and creativity. While playing in the water, they can gain valuable insight through their experiences which often leads to a healthier curiosity about the world around them.
Suggested activity: You can try a color-mixing water activity with your child by preparing a stack of containers with colored water in them. Your kid will have fun using a pipette or plastic spoon to mix the colors and get a variety of new colors.
Relaxes Their Mind and Body
Water play serves as a therapeutic activity for kids of all ages. It can be a calming task that allows them to unwind and get lost in their thoughts. Getting immersed in the water reduces cortisol levels or the fight-and-flight hormonal response, thus making them feel more relaxed.
You can even integrate water play while children are starting to learn how to swim. As relaxing as yoga, swimming allows children to enter a meditative state. Like coloring pages of a book, scooping and running their little hands through the water can give them a new perspective.
Suggested activity: “The Water Pouring Activity Station” is a relaxing sensory play for toddlers. You’ll need to place differently shaped tubs and containers around the room, and let your child practice pouring from one container to another without spilling the water.
Spice Up Your Child’s Playtime in the Water
Playing in the water at an early age is essential in childhood development. If you’re worried your kid isn’t confident enough to enroll in swimming lessons, it might be helpful for them to get exposed to water first through these simple and fun activities you can do at home.
Enroll your kids in private swimming lessons today. Visit our website to learn more about our interactive private swim packages for infants and toddlers.