Children have a natural affinity for water and as adults we can capitalise on this to support and extend children learning. Unlike so many shop bought toys, water ignites children’s curiosity and imagination as there is no one right way of how to use it. Below are a few ideas of how you can use water to support your child’s learning at home.
Floating and sinking
Ask your child to collect a range of objects and then one by one ask your child to guess if the object will sink or float before they place it in the water.
- Talk about why some objects sank and others didn’t.
- Discuss the weight, size and material the object is made of and how this influences the floating ability.
- Talk about why there were bubbles when some objects sank.
- Why not then add some salt to the water, then try to float and sink objects- does this make a difference?
Why not challenge your child to create a boat from found objects, and then ask them to find a way to make it move from one end of the water to the other without using their hands.
- Talk about different ways of making the boats move and talk about different ways that boats are powered
- If the boat sinks discuss why this was
Water Painting Outside
Many children love to paint and this is a great way to provide them with the opportunity to paint outdoors without using real paint. All you need is a selection of paintbrushes and rollers and some pots of water. Allow your child to "paint" water on outdoor pavement or walls. Whilst younger children will be happy making marks you may find that if you have an older child they may like paint the letters of their names, and after a few minutes in sunlight, it will disappear.
Keeping Children Safe
Don’t leave your child unattended, even for a second, near water — including baths and standing water in bowls and pots in the garden.