The benefits of water play
What you will learn:
- The benefits of water play for social, cognitive and language development for your child
- How the Waterwall encourages the development of these skills in a fun and interactive way
Who doesn’t have fond memories of playing in water as a child? There was nothing more exhilarating than jumping in and out of the paddling pool or being soaked with a water gun on a hot summer’s day.
Water play forms a big part of a child’s play session, particularly in the warmer months.
Schools often have water areas available for children as part of their ‘learning through play’ offering and this always proves popular with children.
However as fun as playing with water can be, the educational benefits that come with water play reach far beyond simply being ‘just fun’. There are in fact a range of developmental boosts that can be achieved when a child is allowed to play with water.
How can waterplay be educational for children?
Firstly, it is a great social experience that encourages children to work together in cooperative play. It is often seen that if a child is filling up a bucket with water, other children begin to join them to help them achieve their common goal more quickly.
Water play brings children together in a way that other types of play can’t.
Water play has the added benefit of improving a child’s cognitive skills such as hand-eye coordination. For example, in free play where a child is pouring water from one container to another, they are developing the skills of accuracy and through practice, the amount of water that is spilt reduces.
These developed skills can be taken away and applied to other areas of a child’s learning, such as improving handwriting and learning to hold a knife and fork correctly.
Water play is also an excellent way of introducing basic concepts of science and maths in a fun and exciting way. For example, exploring volume, mass and estimation can all be done through a range of different experiments with the water.
Ask your child how many jugs of water they think it will take to fill up a certain bucket and see what they say. They may be way off to begin with, but as they hone their skills, their accuracy will improve.
For all ages though, water play encourages children to be involved in more active outdoor play, it ignites a sense of exploration and it does this in a fun and engaging way.
Introducing the Waterwall
The Waterwall is a wall design for interactive water play. Created for children aged between 3 and 8 years, it has something for everybody. Coming with a range of modular accessories, children are able to design their very own water flow system with endless possibilities- The only limit is their imagination!
Pouring water in from the top, the aim is to successfully get the water to the bottom, through the designed water flow, without any spillages! It may sound easy, but with many combinations of water wheels and accessories to explore, this is more challenging than you think!
What are the benefits of the Waterwall for child development?
As well as the developmental benefits identified above, The Waterwall is a fantastic platform for the improvement of skills relating to problem-solving, such as visual thinking skills.
Through trial and error, children will need to establish whether their water flow system works and if not, where it is going wrong! They will need to consider how they can solve these issues and plan, action and evaluate the changes made.
Although the Waterwall can be used by a child on their own, some of the real benefits can be seen when there is more than one child involved.
For example, there are huge developmental benefits to both social and language skills, as the Waterwall is an ideal platform for encouraging collaborative work. When playing with others, your child will need to listen to the ideas of their peers as well as develop confidence and self-assurance in putting across their own thoughts too.
They will also develop key skills associated with teamwork, with each child having their own unique role to play. The water will need to be poured in, the leaks will need to be plugged or redirected and someone will need to observe where the issues are. This is collaborative play at its finest as the children have to work together to achieve the same goal.
One unique developmental benefit of the Waterwall is that it will encourage skills in the area of patience and perseverance. The saying, ‘If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again’ has never been truer. Encourage your child to keep going and explore the different options with them to help aid their learning.
Water play is more than just fun. It is an opportunity for social, cognitive and language development, in an interactive and imaginative way.
With its endless possible combinations, the Waterwall draws upon all of the benefits of water play identified and so much more. It sparks a child’s imagination through its design, encourages the development of patience, perseverance and problem-solving skills and will provide hours of fun for all ages.