Playing with Water

Early Voting – Done!  School work for the day – Done!  Toddler’s nap?  Miracle … but he is sleeping.  Now I have a few moments to share with you a cute
little water activity we did this morning.  As you can see
it’s very easy to set up. 
All you need is
five plastic beakers and food coloring.  I
like to smell something nice, so I threw in Almond Extract too.  
Is it really worth an effort, you might be
wondering?  How long can a couple of bickers
and water keep a child occupied?  You
would be surprised how long.  My toddler
– who is not buying into the whole independent play hype – played this game
for 25 minutes.   It’s a major achievement even if I did have to stay right by him and occasionally contribute exciting reassurances, “Oh my God!  You poured it without spilling!  Such a great job!”  My two older kids, who could have been spokespeople for the independent play movement,
have been known to engage in this play for an hour without my slightest involvement.
 My almost seven year old still likes this set up, only he plays it differently now.  He likes to build Lego bridges between the beakers and have his Lego men fall down into the water.
Set up
5 plastic beakers of different size 
Food coloring
(When I was a young mom I had no idea what to say and how to do the whole “playing-with-children” thing, so for those who are just beginning to teach their children, I am laying it out in detail here)
Draw child’s attention to contents of pitchers.
 Say, “This one is full and this one is empty.”  Pick up a pitcher, demonstrating proper hold.  Position
carefully, so when pouring spout will be over center of a pitcher.  “This is how we pour water.”  Invite child to pour. When he seems to be losing interest add different colors.  “Look it’s red/green/black now!”   If a child looks engaged, it’s a good time to start practicing what I call Engage-and-Walk-Away.  Don’t go too far though.  If they call for help, come back.  You want a child to be sure, you are available, which creates a safe space to explore independence.  
What is he learning?
  • Pouring drinks (which is a practical living skill)
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Development of concentration
  • Colors

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