This month, the toddlers have been exploring the water feature in the sandbox of our natural playground. The toddlers love to fill their shovels and buckets with water, before dumping it onto the sand and exploring the way it changes texture in their hands. Children build fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination through filling and dumping activities, as they lift, pour and scoop water into buckets.
With this in mind, along with the June heat that we have been experiencing, we decided to bring out the sprinkler. First, the toddlers explored the sprinkler, approaching the water cautiously with their hands out. However, the children quickly turned their attention to the mud on the playground that was beginning to form around us. The toddlers enjoyed the sensory experience as they felt the mud between their toes. A few of the toddlers explored even further by collecting water from the sprinkler and dumping it onto the ground to create more mud, demonstrating cause and effect thinking and problem solving skills.
There are so many benefits to mud play, as it is such an open-ended and inclusive material for children to manipulate and explore. Through sensory play like mud play, children are using cognitive skills as they observe and predict what will happen to the materials they are interacting with.