Toddler

Taking Water Play to the Next Level!
Summer 2019

 

A collage of toddler memories

A collage of toddler memories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throughout the summer, we have incorporated many forms of water play into our daily program including water balloons, the sprinkler, the hose, spray bottles, and simply filling the sensory table and buckets with water and letting the children explore. The children often ask to add bubbles to the water table, and seem to enjoy watching them form as the water table is filled. “Bubbles!” suggested Alekza when she noticed that there was only water in the table one day.

 

We've added many tools and materials to our water play that have offered the children challenges in which they have been able to master. For example, adding different sized cups, bowls, and containers has promoted problem solving as they use spatial exploration and trial and error to with fill, pour, and transfer the water. The water balloons also provided challenges as the children experimented with different ways to pop their balloons. Korah closed her eyes and squeezed her balloon until it popped, while Meredith set hers on the table and pressed down on it with both of her hands. Ella, Alekza, and Aubrey threw theirs up in the air several times until they broke on the table or the ground.

 

Everyone has expressed themselves and their thinking in their own unique ways as they've demonstrated innovativeness with the water. Aubrey and Ella scooped up water from the table using measuring cups and carefully carried them across the playground to a puddle on the ground. Not only did this experience build skills such as balance, hand eye coordination, and precision, it also enhanced their cognitive and social skills as they observed the results of their actions and communicated with each other about their play. “I’m putting water in the river” Ella explained to Aubrey. Jack and Alekza also worked together to empty a big bucket filled with water and bubbles. They engaged in cooperative play as they took turns filling their cups and bowls with water and then slowly pouring the water out on the ground. “Woah” said Alekza. “Bubbles Sarah!” said Jack as he pointed to the puddle he had made. Brynlee and Louisa also used tools to scoop water from the bucket and pour it onto the ground, but they also incorporated sponges into their play and used them to scrub the water back and forth on the ground. “I’m cleaning the floor” explained Brynlee. The water has also served as a basis of pretend play as the children use their imaginative skills to make different food/drinks. “Coffee” said Amelia as she offered a cup full of water to her peers. Joshua filled a cup of water and brought it over to the mud kitchen and mixed it into a bowl full of sand. “I’m making soup!” he said as he used a spoon to stir his mixture. Gregory manipulated the water as a cleaning method as he used it to clean off a bus that was full of dirt, while some of the girls used it to bath their babies. “Cleaning baby’s head” said Aubrey. While Finna used a large container to pour water onto her small toy fish, she made an interesting discovery as she observed the water flow down the slight slope in our pavement. “It’s running down the hill!” she explained. “There’s too much water. It’s going into the river!” she said as the water met with a small puddle at the bottom of the slope. Jude and Addilyn filled small cups with water and practiced their language skills and colour recognition with an educator as they worked to identify the colours of each cup.

 

On our “bring your own squriting/water toys” day, the children started off by using their own individual toys that they brought from home, but soon began sharing and exchanging them with each other to further their learning. Olivia and Korah took turns using a small blue spray bottle that Jack brought in. “I’m just waiting for Olivia to be all done” explained Korah. “Five minutes” negotiated Olivia. Meredith and Korah worked to wash the walls by squirting them with their spray bottles, while Noriza and Finna washed the bikes by pouring water on them using cups. Jack and Aubrey spent most of their time freely exploring the sprinkler that we set up as they ran through it, sat under it, filled bottles and bowls with it, and even tasted it! “It’s yummy!” concluded Jack.

 

Throughout all of our water activities, the children have demonstrated a group interest in filling containers and independently putting their lids on. In addition to fine motor, this has also played an important role in their independence and identity formation as they begin to recognize what they can do and what they have yet to learn. “I can do it myself” said Meredith as she focused her attention to twist the lid on her spray bottle. “I need help please” said Finna as she handed her bottle to an educator to assist her with hand over hand twisting. Amani discovered that the bubble bottle lid fit on her mustard bottle. “I did it!” she said, expressing satisfaction and joy in accomplishing her task.

 

As the children continue to engage in water exploration, they are beginning to ask meaningful questions and make conclusions about their learning. “Why is the water coming out?” asked Meredith as she carefully poured water from one cup to another and noticed that it was beginning to overflow. This lead to a discussion about concepts such as empty and full, and how water takes the shape of its containers. They have also been expanding their vocabulary and using more complex words and sentences to communicate their thoughts and understanding. “I have an idea” said Korah as she used a small purple cup to fill up a larger spray bottle.

 

Water play has promoted learning in all of our little toddlers, and has helped to equip many of them with the problem solving and creative thinking skills that they will soon be applying and reinforcing in preschool! To expand on our water interest, we could freeze it and explore the properties of ice.

 

A collage of toddler memories

A collage of toddler memories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Us

Address
550 Chesapeake Drive
Waterloo, Ontario
N2K 4G5

Hours of Operation
6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Phone:
(519) 747-0054
Email: stluke@owlchildcare.org

Supervisors

Headshot of kathleen Henderson

Kathleen Henderson, RECE 
Supervisor

Headshot of Michelle Hiebert

Michelle Hiebert, RECE
Assistant Supervisor