Playing with water

Age group

3-5 yrs

Number of children:

8-12 ppl

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Areas it develops: getting familiar with different materials, learning about the world, perception, cause-effect relations, fine motor-skills, using of tools.

This game can be played in pairs which also helps with cooperation, being active together and communication.

Water is everywhere in our lives and therefore in the kids’ lives and interestingly we can find it in different phases of matter, with completely different functions. It can be a natural force but humans can easily manipulate it too. With this game children can experience the changes in water in a fun and exciting way.

We may come across children who exceptionally enjoy playing with water, but there are kids too who don’t like to touch wet, cold things. We provide tips on both behaviours in the description.

Ingredients

  • ice cube tray
  • sheets of papers and pencils

What is ice, how does it melt?

Instructions:

Freeze ice cubes of different shapes and sizes. Once frozen, observe what the ice looks like. (Meanwhile, they start to melt.) Have the children take them in their hands and watch them drip. Discuss that they are like raindrops. Talk about ice and the seen changes in material. We can ask children where else they encountered ice, other than the freezer.

Pro tip: It always helps to verbalise as many observations and small happenings as possible: “Wow, the ice has now melted. Oh, how cold is the water from the ice. My hand is getting cold”. If a child has difficulty in expressing himself or herself, help with a few words or let him or her repeat a sentence correctly. Do not ask questions all the time.

The rain

Instructions:

Have the children draw clouds, rain drops, or anything related to rain on an A4 paper. Learn together the saying “one drop, two drops, five drops, and ten, the icicle melts, the water drips, what’s then?” and play it together by showing the numbers with our fingers and imitating rain by simultaneously moving our fingers on both of our hands. We can ask who likes it when it rains, whether they like the quick summer rain and they should give an explanation to their answers.

Pro tips:

We can also meet children who are particularly fond of water and playing with water. In their case, make sure that not only the mere experience of water is a source of joy, but also the experience of, for example, melting. For children admiring water, it helps to mark the end of the activity if we say at the beginning that the play will last until the ice melts.

For children having difficulty with touching cold, wet things, it is enough to touch the water only with the tip of their finger at first. This can be followed by the touching it with two fingers and finally with the palm. Don’t force them to touch it. With children who have difficulties in touching and perceiving materials we should be patient and help them take small steps and improve gradually, but never leave them out of any activities.

If we have the chance: ask the child to get a packaged chocolate, a small glass of yogurt or an ice cream out of the freezer. Place it on the table and use our fingers to remove the condensed water from the side of the products. Say to the child the phrases “wet,” “cold,” “warming up”. Have a paper towel ready so the child can wipe his or her hands whenever he or she wants. (Don’t let the adult wipe it, and don’t even offer the opportunity to the child.)