Our latest blog post has been written by the lovely Kate Bevan from Play Teach Love
Kate has been a teacher in England for over 10 years, working with children from the age of 4 all the way up to 13. Since the birth of her son, Alex, aged 2, she discovered a love of learning through play. She enjoyed sharing her ideas with friends, who soon encouraged her to share these more publicly. This is when Play.Teach.Love was born!
Kate shares her ideas via Instagram, YouTube and Facebook and hopes to help other parents get through the day whilst entertaining and educating their little ones.
Water play seems to attract my son Alex like a magnet. From the dog’s bowl (which we now have to keep out of reach!) to the designated table that we have set up outside, he will play with water for longer than any other activity. As a result, I have started to get creative by trying to incorporate some learning into his play.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1) Squeezy Lemons
I love activities that are simple to set up, and this one couldn’t be any easier. Slice lemons in half and throw them in water. It smells divine!
Squeezing lemons to get out the juice is a great way to strengthen hands. In particular, it will help to strengthen the palmar grasp, one of the fundamental fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are so important because they are needed later on for activities like writing, using scissors, brushing teeth and many more.
For older children, you could even turn this into a lemonade-making role-play by adding cups and straws
2) Alphabet Soup
This is such a fun way to learn letters! Put some plastic or foam letters into the water and let your child explore. With older children, you could give them a spoon, colander or net and ask them to fish out specific letters.
Why not use chalk to write the matching letter on your patio and get your child to match them up? Increase the difficulty by getting them to match upper and lowercase letters!
3) Jugs and Cups
This activity is great for developing a mathematical understanding of capacity. All you need are some plastic jugs and a variety of plastic containers. There is so much language that can be introduced / when carrying out this activity, for example: full/empty, more/less, small/medium/large. You could encourage your child to make predictions about which container will hold the most water.
Older children could even have a go at reading the scale on the side to see how much water a container can hold (it’s best to measure using larger measurements such as cups/pints/litres – this way the numbers will be more manageable).
Thanks so much Kate for introducing such fun ways for kids to learn through water play.
Do you have any favourite water play activities? I would love you to share them in the comments below.
Please say hi to Kate over on her social channels listed below.