It’s hard to believe the summer has already come and gone here in the toddler room at RisingOaks Early Learning | Our Lady of Fatima! This summer has brought us some hot and humid days! What better way to beat the heat and keep cool all summer long than water play? Here in the toddler room we made sure to offer various water play activities to ensure we could foster as much learning as possible!
Our favourite form of water play was using the irrigation sprinklers! This was a wonderful way to incorporate spontaneous water play, as well as offered the children a choice in whether they wanted to get wet or not. The sprinklers are isolated to a specific area of the playground.
All summer long we turned these sprinklers on at various times during our outdoor time and watched as the children’s confidence in using them grew! In the beginning they were a little timid about the water spouts and some even were weary of approaching them! As the summer went on and we used the sprinklers more and more, the children became more comfortable and adept, approaching them fearlessly and cooling off from the heat!
Another wonderful thing about these sprinklers was it gave the children the opportunity to explore the transportation schema as well as various vessels for filling water (capacity). We discovered how long it took to fill up buckets, pots, and containers by using the sprinklers then carried the water over to the sandbox to use in our sensory exploration.
The hose was another great tool we used to keep cool this summer. We brought it onto the playground and offered the children the chance to spray it themselves. This offered them a sense of control over their play while also strengthening their palmer grasp! They fostered social skills by using the hose to help their peers fill up their buckets and even ensured the mud kitchen was completely full for optimum exploration!
The final way in which we explored water play this summer was by bringing out sensory bins and buckets. We had our own individual bins, as well as used the big bin and set it underneath the water spout, keeping the plug out. This gave us a constant flow of water into the bin, draining out the old water while continuously filing it with new fluid even as we played! This enabled us to use our social skills further as we shared our materials in an inclusive setting!
Water play is such an amazing form of exploratory play as we can use so many of our senses while we play! Touch, as we feel the cool water on our hands. Hearing, as we listen to the sounds the water makes. Even smell, although water has no smell to it, this teaches children that not everything has a scent! What a great way to play!