Children from Wise Owl Nursery in Scunthorpe got wise with
water earlier this week. Using their Early Excellence water play resources the
children learned how to manipulate water in different ways.
The two children opposite decided to use water, shaving foam
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and paint brushes to mark make on the wall. Children love making a mess and
this is a really easy to clean up – just rinse with water.
Both indoor and outdoor water play is really beneficial to
children as it is always open ended. It also allows the child to learn and develop
through all 7 areas of the EYFS.
The 3 'prime' areas are particularly crucial for "igniting
children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their
capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive" (EYFS 2012). The prime areas
Communication and language: During this case study the children
developed their language as they explained how the water feels and what they
are going to do with it. The children did this in small groups to develop their
confidence in speaking to others "look bubbles" another said "if you sweep like
this you can make more".
Physical Development: It encourages children to get active and
develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. For example, the children
at Wise Owl were reaching up with their paint brushes, brushing the floor with sweeping
brushes to create bubbles using water and washing up liquid, carrying and pouring
water in different containers.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development: The children
were building up relationships with their peers by playing the activities
together. The children respected each other by taking turns to use the sweeping
brushes and when one got upset an older child came to explain how to do it. This
demonstrates how the children learn how to manage their feelings and to have confidence
in their own abilities.
The 3 'specific'
areas strengthen the prime areas. These are:
Literacy: The children developed their coordination by making
shapes and writing with shaving foam. In the setting they are encouraged to
read as all the equipment is labelled so the children can identify them.
Mathematics: As the children
experimented with the water staff were encouraging them uses concepts such as more/less,
same/different, many/few, empty/full, greater than/less than, and counting. For
example, they asked the children "how many scoops of water does it take to fill
a bucket" and "how long does it take for the water to drain through a sieve?"
Understanding the world: This involves guiding children to
make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to
explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the
environment. For instance, the children asked "where does rain come from?" A
staff member recited the song 'Pitter Patter Raindrops' with the children to
help them understand, the children were so engaged they joined in with actions.
Expressive arts and design: Children at the nursery used
their imaginations by pretending to be fire fighters and designing hose pipes
using flexi pipe with a funnel at the back end; one fire fighter held the pipe and
aimed for the 'fire' whilst others poured water in.
Outdoor Water Play Ideas
Here are some simple activities you can try at home:
Water slide: get a selection of
different sized pipes and a few plastic crates ask the children to transport
water from one bucket to another without moving the buckets.
Beach: Add water to the sandpit,
containers for sand molding, child-size beach chairs, and buckets and spades.
Bath Time: Take some warm, sudsy water,
dish tub, washable baby dolls, washcloths, bath toys, and towels.
Mud Kitchen: mud, water, pie tins,
plastic spoons, plastic knives, craft sticks, grass, small sticks, leaves.