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6 unbelievable benefits when young children play with water

02 April 2015

What are we learning to do when we play with water? (Learning Goals for children who are 12-22 months old).

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

o   Play alongside others

o   Use a familiar adult as a secure base from which to explore independently in a new environment

o   Play cooperatively with a familiar adult

Communication, Language and Literacy

o   Use gestures, sometimes with limited talk

o   Concentrate intently on an object or activity of their own choosing for short periods

o   Understand simple sentences

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

o   Explore objects by linking together

o   Use different approaches: shaking, hitting, looking feeling, pulling, turning and poking

o   Enjoy playing with small world models such as a boat or sea creatures.



o   Enjoy filling and emptying containers

o   Use some language of quantities, such as ‘more’ and ‘a lot’.

Physical Development

o   Pick up small objects between thumb and fingers

o   Enjoy the sensory experience of making marks in damp sand, paste or paint

o   When sitting, can lean forward to pick up small toys

Expressive arts and design

o   Experiment with blocks, colours and marks

o   Imitates and improvises actions they have observed, e.g. clapping or waving

Supporting your child is essential

What to say ?


o   Swirl the water around!

o   Can you fill up the plastic bottle?

o   Can you empty the jug?

o   Let’s make something nice to drink!

o   Which one will float/sink?

o   Let’s mix the water!

o   Can you splash with your hands/feet?

o   Can you see the bubbles?

o   Can you make waves like the sea?

o   Can you make rain?

Praising your child!

o   “I Like the way you ….”

o   “I’m proud of you!”

o   “You shared nicely with your friend.”

o   “Wow, that’s great splashing in the water!

o   “Superstar!”

Water Play at Home


o   Things to play with in water

o   strainer

o   old teapot

o   toy buckets

o   jugs and containers

o   sponges

o   small watering can

o   funnel

o   whisk

o   plastic bottles

o   toothbrushes

o   paint brushes

Key words to use when playing in water:

o   bubbles sink

o   drip drop empty

o   full pour

o   splash stir

o   wet float

o   sink

o   empty

o   pour

o   stir

o   float

Parent Tips

o   Try and sit at your child’s eye level, so you are eye to eye with them when you play.

o   Children should always be supervised by an adult when playing in or with water.


Do you need help?

We are here to help you and to help your child to learn.
Please don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any questions!

Fundinotots Program at BVIS.