Playing with water
Kids love getting wet and playing with water. Summer often brings the heat and rain, so it’s the ideal time to jump in puddles and make a splash!
Even if you haven’t had rain, you and your child can still enjoy some fun water activities. You might like to try some of these:
- Enjoy some messy play with a water tray for sensory play. Try colour mixing with ice cubes; paper and Lego boats; build a bridge; absorb water with different materials like sponges; water xylophone.
- Have a water and spoon or cup race and see who can fill a bowl with water first!
- Float a range of objects and see how different items sink and float.
- Blow some bubbles.
Talk makes language happen
No matter which activities you choose, talk with your child as you play together. Name the actions, emotions and objects, and ask open ended questions. This will help build your child’s vocabulary and their early literacy skills. Point out the shapes of puddles, the rainbows in raindrops, the colour of the sky or sing some songs and rhymes, like It’s Raining, It’s Pouring, The Old Man is Snoring. There are lots of words in the outdoors!
Many benefits of outdoor play
Children love discovering the outdoors and all that nature has to offer, and it’s an ideal place for engaging all their senses. Being outdoors provides time for unstructured nature play and hours of exhilarating, imaginative fun. The physical and mental benefits for children include:
- Freedom to run and play without usual restraints
- Opportunity to learn about the natural world
- Development of fine and gross motor skills
- Improved ability to cope with risks and challenges
- New opportunities for language
Regardless of the amount of outdoor space you have, you can help your child connect with nature through grounding including activities like digging with hands in a bucket of sand or soil, planting and watering seedlings in egg containers or simply splashing in puddles or walking barefoot in the rain!
One of the easiest ways to help calm anxiety (in both kids and adults) is by spending time outside in nature.
Books featuring puddles
Here are some good reads about rain and puddle fun. You might find these or similar titles at your local public library.
- Home in the Rain by Bob Graham
- Puddle Hunters by Kirsty Murray
- Splash by Ann Jonas.
- Splish, Splash by Sarah Weeks,
- Summer Rain by Ros Moriarty
- Up and Down on a Rainy Day by Kathryn Apel