You may have noticed that children love water, but have you ever thought, “Why?”
In this activity, we placed plastic Easter eggs in a sink full of water and observed the children play. The children proceeded to take the eggs apart, fill them up with water and pour the water out, over and over again. Adults and parents would assume that children would get tired of such monotonous play, however they remained fascinated and curious.
“Curiosity leads to experimentation, which provokes even more curiosity and more questions to challenge and intrigue. Children engage in both inductive and deductive thinking as they explore the properties of water.”
There has been multiple studies on water-play. It can foster cognitive development, teach mathematics, teach science concepts, enhance physical skills, promote social learning and cooperative effort, and enrich language experiences. For a wonderful article that dives into the benefits of water play for a child (and a great read), click here.
“Water is one of the basic raw materials for purposeful play. Just like sand, clay, and blocks, children can use water without being constrained by the one, right way to use it. Unlike many of the commercially produced, flashy playthings tempting us between Saturday-morning cartoons, water is a plaything that fosters curiosity, imagination, and experimentation–and it is free.”
This activity introduced children to the properties of water. We routinely engage in multiple projects with water during the summertime to cool the children off, but it’s also a great opportunity for a rich learning experience. Our role as teachers is to further their understanding, ask engaging questions, and assist them in evaluating and discussing their hypothesis and efforts.