Splashing about: the benefits of water play, a great addition to leisure facilities
Children love playing outside and should be encouraged to spend as much time being active in the great outdoors as possible. Water play adds another dimension to playtime. From their early months as babies, when many children first learn to enjoy water by splashing in the bath, to teaching a toddler the fun of jumping in puddles, continuing to give children the opportunity to splash about as they grow brings many benefits.
Water activity stations, like our Water Wall, encourage children to experiment with water. It’s not just about the sensory fun of splashing of course; while they are having fun, they are also learning about the science of water, discovering more about gravity, flow, mass, volume and weight, as well as how the water cycle works.
As well as splashing about, communal activity stations encourage children to work together; this improves their social and communication skills. Role play is another way in which children have fun together, learning at the same time. Activity stations, such as our Mud Kitchen, also allow multiple children to play and work together. Combining sand and water means children can play imaginatively too, learning how to build and create sand sculptures. They enjoy the sensory experience of the texture of sand and water, as well as investigative learning through play about mixing, measuring and much more.
Water play can be a year-round activity, so long as children are dressed appropriately. However, playing with water in the summer sunshine, when children can really enjoy getting soaked through with no fear of getting cold, creates some extra special childhood memories. Public swimming pools are increasingly few and far between, but water features are a popular choice for outdoor play areas. Children certainly love splashing about in them, and it’s an easy way to keep them entertained during long, hopefully hot summer holidays.