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How Water Play Can Improve Your Child’s Development and Sensory Skills

Children Playing with Boats and Sea Creature/Ocean Life Toys in a Water Table. Science/STEM activity being enjoyed by children in a daycare/child care/home school setting.

Nothing quite compares to the feeling of splashing around in the water on a warm summer day. Playing with water is not only a great way to keep your children cool and entertained. What most parents don’t know is that water play offers many benefits for child development!

Through water play, your child will be able to put their skills and development to the test!

As an El Paso pediatric physical therapy clinic, we know the best ways to make playtime as beneficial and fun as possible.

 If you’d like to learn more, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

A Great Way to Improve Hand-Eye Coordination 

One of the first benefits that water play offers is improved hand-eye coordination. This usually occurs when children pour, squeeze, stir, or even paint with water. 

 As an example, when your child pours water from one bucket to another or learns how to control the direction water pours, they will improve their sense of accuracy and control. 

Build Social and Communication Skills

Water play can always be done at home, but this makes a great opportunity for your child to engage in a group and socialize. 

Making this a group activity encourages children to engage in social and cooperative play. For smaller children, turning water play into a shared experience with a common goal is when it becomes a beneficial social activity. 

Introduce Math and Scientific Concepts 

It’s true! This activity is a great way to introduce math and scientific concepts, such as measuring volume and analyzing weight. 

When your child is playing with water, you should ask them questions such as:

  • How much water do you think could fit in a bucket? 
  • Can we measure the water in the bucket? 
  • What do you think could happen if we drop this object into the bucket?

These kinds of questions get your children thinking about important math and scientific concepts! It may seem simple, but this will help them visualize these concepts and form positive connections in their minds. 

Enhance Concentration and Focus 

Engaging your child in water play allows them to lose themselves in the activity, spending several periods of time exploring and playing. This, in turn, will encourage your child to maintain focus and concentration. 

Any activity that can hold your child’s attention for a long period of time will definitely benefit their attention span later on in life. 

Help with Motor Skills and Sensory Exploration 

Children can enhance their motor skills, coordination, and physical fitness through water play by lifting toys or pouring and splashing water. When children have to squeeze or lift, it strengthens the hands in the muscles, ultimately challenging their motor skills. 

Even better, water play allows children to discover and explore their senses. Adding different textures such as sand or ice or changing the temperature of the water allows children to note differences in what they are feeling physically with the water!

Water Play Can Be Emotionally Therapeutic 

Oftentimes, people find themselves rather calm when sitting in or gently gliding through the water. The experience can be the same for children!  

Just like adults, children benefit from the relaxing nature of playing with water such as gently scooping or swaying water through their hands. Even children need to unwind and relax every now and then!

Develop Problem-Solving Skills 

Because children can use water to explore and make discoveries, this kind of activity can also teach them, in a very simple way, how and why things happen. This is where problem-solving comes into play.  

Using their imagination and creative thinking plays a rather important role in problem-solving!

Great for Tension and Energy Relief 

Just as we mentioned earlier, being in the water can have a relaxing effect on people of all ages. Water play is a great way to teach your children how to release and cope with their emotions. 

Why does this happen? Well, playing with water tends to absorb one’s attention for a long time. That’s what makes this an especially great activity for children who are feeling tense or frustrated as it allows them to calm down and release this energy in a healthy way.

Opportunity to be Creative 

Thinking creatively is especially vital in today’s world. Creativity should be developed early on in one’s childhood. You can put your child’s creativity to use with water by adding water to sand so that it creates a clay-like mold. 

You can also throw in food coloring and teach your child about primary and secondary colors. You can even have your child build a waterway with toys to teach them how to get water from one place to another. The possibilities are endless when it comes to water play!

We Want to Grow with You and Your Child! Get Started with us at Pasitos Clinic 

Every parent has different goals for their children. Wherever your goals stand, we want to help. Contact El Paso’s pediatric physical therapists at Pasitos Clinic today to learn more about how our services can support your child’s development!

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