Our resident Early Years expert, Sarah Read suggests water play as a fail safe way to have fun and learn at home over the festive period.

Most children love to play with water, in the bath, splashing in puddles, playing ‘pooh sticks’ in the river or just a simple bowl of water and some containers to pour from and into on the kitchen floor. If you are a bit worried about flooding in your kitchen, you can use other pouring materials, so use beans, rice or similar to pour from one container to another.

Edit: Liz here, one of my favourite memories of spending time as a child is with my Grandad playing pooh sticks on one of our walks, you stand on a bridge and throw your sticks at the same time over one side, then rush over to the other side of the bridge to see whose stick wins. Be aware of surroundings as ever, but this simple and free game is one of the most loved in history and every child should have the chance to give it a go!

Splashing in puddles with wellingtons at Spring Nursery

If you’ve got mugs at home, or your child has a tea set, use these with water and have a tea party or use spray bottles to have fun outside.

Remember to always supervise your child appropriately with water plus part of our 12 days of Christmas is helping you to get involved and play with your children – so share your photos with us!

Water play has so many benefits, these might include:

  • Splashing in puddles, running and jumping around will help release some of that energy and excitement that builds up over the festive season as well as developing children’s physical (gross motor) skills
  • Talking to your child about the water and using new words like ‘pour’, ‘splash’, ‘float’ and ‘sink’ supports language and vocabulary skills
  • Adding different or unusual items to the water will help to enhance children’s curiosity and imagination. Maybe you could add some of the natural objects you found on your nature walk or little drops of food colouring to change the colours.

We try to include water play, in and out, at all of our settings, with a cover on the floor, decent coat or wellies you can pretty much utilise water play in or outdoors in any weather, walking out and about is free and so good for your mind and body – PLUS – it has been raining for AGES so you’ll be good for puddles to explore!