Last weeks water play activity had reminded me how much fun water play could be. We’ve been looking at animals lately so I came up with an idea to introduce sea life to Rowan, Erin and the child I look after using water play.
A few weeks back I had seen a post over on TheBoyandMe involving something called Water beads and lights. You can read the post on Sensory play: Lights and Water beads here. Having seen the water beads and submersible lights gave me some ideas that I hoped the children would all love so wasted no time in ordering some. So when they arrived this week I decided I could combine both with my sea life water play idea.
On Monday morning before I took the children to school I put some water beads in a large bowl with the required amount of water to soak for 24 hours. The older boys had been quite curious as to what was in the bowl when they had returned from school that afternoon but I explained they would not be ready until the next day. I noticed Trystan was quite curious to see them expanding in size over the course of the evening. Then on Tuesday morning after breakfast I rinsed the water beads off and put them back into an empty bowl until I was ready to use them.
While Rowan and my minded child were having their snack I sat Erin in her highchair on the patio while I filled the water table with some warm water. Then added the water beads and a few of the submersible lights along with some sea life animals and some plastic eggs. Erin was getting quite excited watching me and was desperate to be allowed out of her highchair. I then helped the three children into waterproof coats as it was a bit nippy outside.
Rowan and my child minded child didn’t need to be directed to the water table, as soon as they spotted it they headed over to investigate. I helped Erin over to see what they had found. They immediately picked up the sea life animals and started to play with them in the water. Then Rowan spotted the lights and asked why they were in the water. I explained that I thought they would be interesting to look at in the water. Then Rowan realised the water beads were also in the water.
The other little one was far more interested in playing with the sharks and whales. While Erin kept peering into the water table splashing her hand in the water before tottering off around the patio. After about twenty minutes of letting the three children play independently I started talking to them about the different animals in the water table. We talked about the different types of whale and shark and we all practised waddling around the patio like penguins which the two boys found hilarious. We then sent some time exploring the water beads and how they felt. The two boys tried bouncing them on the patio and squashing them between their fingers. Then we put some inside the plastic eggs with one of the submersible lights to see what happened. Unfortunately there wasn’t much they could see in the day light but I told them I would use the lights in another way so they could play with them again soon. We returned the lights to the water as they seemed to have a better effect with the water beads while in the water table. Erin was quite taken by the plastic eggs though and spent a good ten minutes passing them from one hand to another and then putting them in and out of the water.
After an hour it was time to head indoors to dry off before lunch. The boys were still talking about the sharks and penguins as we got in the car, so I think it was safe to say they had enjoyed our water play session and learnt a bit about the sea life animals.