Water play with toddlers – Six Benefits
Most kids you come across will love or at least enjoy interacting with water. It is a great way for them to pass long summer days to keep cool and out of mischief. They can enjoy it also to clean up after supper and unwind before bedtime. It feels and looks amazing. Your child can float toys on the surface of the water or sink them. Add bubbles and they can hide underneath to feel invisible. It does amazing things for the growth of their little minds.
The possibilities are endless when your child plays with water or in it. Water play with toddlers benefits include nurturing their growth of hand eye coordination, curiosity, abilities to find solutions to challenges, expansion of vocabulary, social and emotional abilities and lessons for math and science. Be sure to include yourself in their water time by joining in the fun. Let go, relax, go ahead and get wet. They are only small for a short time and before you know it they will be grown up. Do not miss out on nurturing their hand eye coordination growth.
Growth of fine motor abilities
When your child plays with water and in it they will grow fine motor abilities such as hand eye coordination by actions and movements they make. This could be by;
- pouring water onto an object or body part,
- squirting water out of a squishy toy,
- slapping the water,
- kicking the water,
- jumping in the water slowly or fast (be certain to always be present, observe and if required assist your child),
- stirring the water
- and many other motions.
All of these activities help your child grow and gain command over these necessary skills. It will also build their self confidence. One other benefit is your child can be sitting and playing even if they still are not yet walking. Always keep vigilant when your child is playing with or in the water for their safety in the bath tub. Water also feels amazing which adds to your child’s enjoyment of it.
Enjoyment of feeling the water
First time a child experiences water their reactions can and will vary. After they have come to be comfortable in it they may grow to enjoy it. Children are much more in tune with feelings (emotional and physical) then as men. I believe it comes more naturally to them but you can get in touch with really feeling what they are feeling if you learn to slow down your mind, let go of your responsibilities and be there with your child.
This is still new to your child. They will love feeling
- the slipperiness of the sides of the bath tub.
- They will enjoy splashing and the feeling of it on the palms of their hands,
- the feeling of hitting the water with the soles of their feet.
- They will enjoy the feeling cold water gives them,
- feeling refreshed when they are hot.
- When they are cold they will enjoy how warm water feels.
Try to tap into their enjoyment and encourage them to learn more about water by asking questions. Does not matter how young they are, eventually it will pay off for your child in developing their ability to learn solutions to challenges they encounter.
Increases solution finding skills
When children play in water they will invariably encounter a problem of some kind.
- It might be that a toy won’t float or it won’t sink.
- It might be that they splash water in their eyes, nose, ears and mouth by accident.
- It might be that they slip when trying to reach for something and almost fall out of the tub.
- It can be anything really and your child naturally will be curious about the why of it and how to solve it. You can assist them in figuring out the problem by demonstrating, asking questions and warning them to be careful.
Your children will learn from these experiences the following;
- When your child plays with a toy boat he will see that it floats as long as it is not submerged. If he does he will learn that it will sink to the bottom.
- If your child splashes water in her eye by accident she will know not to splash towards herself again as the water will come back up into her eye.
- Leaning on an edge can lead them to slip and hurt themselves.
- It’s this natural observation that teaches your child to think creativity. By playing and learning at bath time your child will be laying a foundation for finding solutions to problems they encounter on their own. Be there for your child to teach her to be patient, ask him questions (you ask the questions until they are old enough to do so), find the answer together and solo. All this interaction will naturally lead to their vocabulary increasing.
Water time leads to greater vocabulary
When playing with your child they will learn new words. Words they have already heard of previously will be reinforced when hearing them again. So what are you doing as a parent while your child plays?
- Are you pointing to the different objects and naming them?
- Are you saying things like Johnny is a big boy sitting in his bath tub?
- Are you asking what is this object, what do you call it, what sound does it make and what color is this?
- Asking questions expositions your child to new words, enough exposure and time will lead them to learning the meaning and usage of the words.
Have fun with them, relax and let it flow naturally. These experiences will be strengthening your child’s memory abilities to learning new things, whether it be new words or solving problems as we discussed previously. In addition to these amazing achievements for your little one, you both will deepen your parental-child bond you feel for each other because of these experiences.
Social and Emotional abilities
The opportunities to learn social interaction with others and emotional growth in bath time are endless.
- By including other children in bath time the opportunity for the need to learn to work together and share toys is presented. Everyone needs a turn.
- These are important lessons to not only be taught in kindergarten but also in your home by you.
- You can teach respect when your child reacts poorly when he does not get his way.
- You can teach patience when she asks for a toy you are using and does not want to wait any longer.
- Your child can learn to role-play with others an important skill they will need to play and work
- with other children when they start school.
Bath time is opportunity to learn basic math and science
Your child can learn basics of math:
- When you teach and ask questions about math concepts such as empty, full, more, less and half.
- Which bucket is full?
- Which is less full?
Your child can basics of science:
- When you teach and ask questions about which item will float or sink (boat or rock).
- While water is running in the tub place a large object in the center of its flow and direct your child’s attention to the changes this creates.
- Hand toys to your child and have them place in the tub to see which will float and which will sink.
Bath time allows you the opportunity to teach both basic concepts of math and science.
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- Please click on the words “Bath tub” to check out and buy this product,
- Bath tub is stable, it allows your child to sit up, play and interact with the tub and toys.
- It is very durable and solid.
- I have a similar one which only difference I can tell is the feature of telling the tub telling you if the water is too hot. The one I am recommending to you has this feature which is would have been nice to have.
Both my children used the one we currently have so its been at least 3 to 4 years. I am pleased it has lasted this long and given my kids so much happiness and joy. You will have to hurry though as the manufacture I see has discontinued production of this product. So when they are gone, they are gone forever.
Bath time is another opportunity for your child to grow and learn new skills whether they be hand eye abilities, identifying and finding solutions to challenges, increasing their vocabulary, social and emotional growth and learning basics of math and science. Be sure to involve yourself in their activities, cool off and have fun. These days will be over sooner than you realize and you may end up wishing you took more advantage of the opportunities while they were present.