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Water Play


Equipment: Tepid water, aprons, sleeves, shower caps, water tray or sink or baby bath or big bath, towel, mop.


What to do – (links to development)


  • Physical development will occur as children lift and pour water.  It will develop arm muscles and hand-eye co-ordination.  As they pick up and put down equipment, children will exercise their manipulative skills.  Water play also promotes the correct use of tools.

  • Emotional development will happen because the children will find water play enjoyable, therapeutic, calming/relaxing.  Children do not have to achieve goals because there does not have to be an end product.

  • Children will develop spiritually and aesthetically as they watch the sun on the water.  They will look at the colours, reflections, bubbles and rainbows.  This will help children to appreciate the wonders of the world.

  • Sensory development will happen as children explore the materials offered.  Sensory experiences will be from feeling the water, the temperature and movement of it, seeing reflections, bubbles, colours and objects on or in it, also listening to the sounds of water.

  • Social and moral development will be from children learning to share and take turns with equipment.  This leads to cooperation in other development areas.  Children will learn to accept safety rules and may be playing with other children which makes it into a social activity.   If a child is shy, he/she can become involved at their own pace.

  • Intellectual development will happen as children use different equipment.  They will, through water play, use mathematical, technological and scientific concepts.  As they explore, their concentration will be promoted.  This may lead to imaginary play where children have to make decisions.

  • Language will occur as children communicate their needs, becoming familiar with correct terminology, such as volume and density.


Variations: (Additional equipment)


Colour: non-toxic powder paints and vegetable dyes.  Dolls and dolls clothes, graded vessels, home-made boats.

Detergent for bubbles: pipes and tubing.  Sieves, cartons with holes in.

Objects that float or sink: balls, stones, rubbers, papers, etc.

Decorators brushes and small buckets for water painting, water wheels and hoses.  Imaginative play props: dinosaurs, toy fish.

Leaves, bark, sponges, seaweed, shells.  

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