Keep your kids busy all summer
With the summer holidays starting, it’s time to think about how you can make the most of the much-anticipated time off school. Outdoor play brings plenty of opportunities to get creative with sand and water play activities for fun in the sun with the kids, plus they are a great way to stay cool!
One of the best ways to encourage children to get creative with imaginative play is to provide them with a variety of sand and water play materials so they can really let their imaginations run wild, while also learning valuable skills along the way. Even if you don’t have sand, there are still plenty of water play ideas.
Many of the activities are open-ended, which allows children to explore and get creative for hours on end; measuring, emptying, pouring and filling, using sieves, syphons and hoses. Experiment with floating and sinking. Wash dishes, clothes, and dolls, and create a car wash. Bury Dinosaur Counters and have a dig around to find them. Build a water wall. All these are ideal for early years and beyond – you’ll enjoy playing too!
Set the stage for creative play by providing plenty of materials for your children to experiment with. Let your child explore and don’t be afraid to get involved.
Making sand and water play a fun learning experience
Creating a sand and water play area is a great way to encourage your children to get creative, while also ensuring they stay busy for hours on end. There is no better way to get kids to learn than through play – when kids are playing in this way, they are using their senses and exploring.
Before starting, you will need to decide where you are going to place your water and sand play area. If you have access to a garden or even just some outdoor space, then this is the ideal place. Here are a few suggestions of sand and water play ideas you can try, expanding as you go:
Playing with water in containers
This is a great way to get children interested in science and cause and effect. Set up a variety of different size containers, or use our Graduated Cylinders, fill with water and drop in different objects so that children will enjoy looking at what floats and sinks. We have an extensive range of counters including Aquatic Counters, Bug Counters, Translucent Counters and many more. Which will be heavier… our counters or our Rainbow Pebbles?
This is a great way for children to learn problem-solving skills. Once you have a basic structure, build on it. Increase the sand and make additions. As your child’s sand castle gets taller, they will be challenged to make it stand up straight or keep it from falling over. Edx Education’s Circular Sand and Water Tray is perfect for outdoor fun with multiple interior levels and slopes to allow children to explore many different activities.
This is a fun way to get kids to work on their gross and fine motor skills. A water slide will allow your child to move water in a more controlled way than with a bucket. The absolute best location for a water slide would be a long, cleared, grassy area. It can be as simple as using some plastic sheeting. Remember to clear the area of sticks and stones.
However, if you don’t have any outdoor space at all, then you can always try creating a sand and water play area in the corner of your living room or kitchen floor. We have a wide range of sand and water tables in many different sizes; our Fun2 Play Activity Tray is ideal if space is limited, or you could opt for our Fun2 Messy Trays which are 4 trays in 4 colours that can be used individually or they fit perfectly together.
Children’s play centres will have both indoor and outdoor play spaces that children can use to play with sand and water, so you could always try using this option if you don’t want to make your own.
Sand and water sensory benefits
Sensory play is an important part of a child’s development, especially if they are still quite young, or have additional needs. This type of play helps children to focus their attention, and it can also help them to develop their fine motor skills. If you really want to encourage your children to have fun while they learn, then sand and water sensory experience will be the way to go.
If your child is not keen on the feel of sand or water, experiment with another great sensory activity – Rainbow Foam:
- 1 cup water
- 2-3 tbsp soap
- add food colouring in one or several colours
- hand blender or whisk
Step 1: Add water, soap, and a drop or 2 of food colouring to the blender
Step 2: Start at a low speed then increase to medium for about 1-2minures until you like the texture, then pour into a play tray and start playing
For more information on Nursery Outdoor Play Ideas read our article here: Looking for Nursery Outdoor Play Area Ideas?
Water and sand play is so important for young children because it is a great way for them to burn off energy, explore and have fun. When you incorporate these into the play, you’ll be sure to not only keep your kids busy but also give them the chance to learn something, too!
For quality hands-on educational materials to foster children’s learning through play view our full ranges:
Edx Education – Heather Welch
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