Simple play :: complex learning

Happy New Year! Welcome to a brand new series on NurtureStore that’s focused on getting back to the heart of the blog and the heart of childhood. Welcome to Simple Play :: complex learning.Join NurtureStore for a special month of play-based learning: packed full of kids ideas!

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Water play experiments: learning through play

water play

We’ve been enjoying some water play this week, as requested by the children. They love the sensory play element and I love that it’s the cleanest messy play activity around! The addition of a few extra materials, and some question prompts from me, turned their water play into some science experiments and maths play.

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Ideas for water play

Welcome to the third edition of #goplay Twitter Tips. This week we have ideas for getting the most from water play.

#goplay Twitter Tip #1 water play is great for kids of all ages, free, not too messy, and accessible: bucket, bath, water pistol, beach…

#goplay Twitter Tip #2 No children should ever play unsupervised with water. Safety first, then have some fun.

#goplay Twitter Tip #3 Water play is great for exploring maths: add funnels & containers of different size to play with volume & dimension.

#goplay Twitter Tip #4 Explore the science of freezing &melting, treasure hunt objects frozen in ice, make ice lollies.

#goplay Twitter Tip #5 Add in some songs at bathtime to develop language: Row, row, row your boat. 5 Little ducks. Thou Shall Have a Fishy.

#goplay Twitter Tip #6 Add some food colouring to bath water to create a magical water world. (Thanks to A Mother’s Ramblings for this idea.)

#goplay Twitter Tip #7 Bath time is a lovely time to bond esp. if you’ve been apart in the day. A sensory play time to relax before sleep.

#goplay Twitter Tip #8 A tub of water is transformed with props: boats, fishes and rods, shells, pots and pans.

#goplay Twitter Tip #9 Bubbles build brains: make kids think. What seems solid suddenly pops. How does that happen? Have a look at these giant bubbles at the Frugal Family Fun Blog.

#goplay Twitter Tip #10 No such thing as bad weather only the wrong clothes. Seize the day, put on wellies, go #playoutdoors in the puddles!

Catch our #goplay Twitter Tips each Friday at 8.30pm (GMT). Previous tips have looked at Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Playdough and Encouraging Reading and Writing.

Come and join us next week by following @nurturestore on Twitter.

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Preschool car wash

Why not? ….  add some bubbles to your water play today and set up a carwash in the garden?

Include some washing up sponges and scrubbers and get your trikes sparkly and clean.

And how about giving the children a purse with some coins so they can count out and pay for their carwash?

More fun doing maths this way than with a worksheet!

Water play: washing up

washing up play Sometimes the simplest ideas turn out to be just the most fun. Little asked if she could do the washing up yesterday ‘like a grown-up’. Two minutes to set up, all for free, and it kept her busy for an hour. I think she enjoyed it so much because she was using ‘real’ adult things rather than ‘toys’: washing up liquid, our washing up bowl and one of ‘Mummy’s’ scrubbing pads.

As you can see we set her up outside so there was no need to worry about any splashes. However this has turned out to be so much fun, she’s been playing again today when it’s been rather chilly so she’s been in the kitchen. I put a big bath towel on the floor as a precautionary measure but she’s been very grown up and sensible so there’s hardly any spills.

I only wish I still found doing the dishes so much fun.

For more fun ideas check out our other kids role play ideas