There are two fundamental reasons why water play is critical for young children in our early childhood programs and schools.
- First, many of the skills children need to learn are accessed naturally by playing with water.
- Second, it’s fun! Fun contributes to good mental health which allows children to develop socially and learn new skills.
Social and Language Skills
Water play invites children to repeat soothing activities over and over if desired. This supports their ability to self-regulate as well as building attention span. As children play, they communicate their ideas. Imagine reading an Aesop Fable “The Boy and Frogs” and then playing with toy frogs and little lily pads in a bin of water.
Science and Math Skills
- water plants in a garden
- pour a drink for a thirsty friend
- be careful to turn off the faucet after washing hands.
*Many thanks to the Experience Early Learning staff who contributed to this article.*
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