When the two elements hydrogen and oxygen are combined they produce the most awesome play opportunities. Water play equipment is by far one of the most popular activities in an early years classroom. Whether it is the sheer delight of getting sleeves wet, splashing water on the floor or exploring scientific theories that excite children, the water play equipment is often an over subscribed activity. Water play equipment enables primary school children to learn about the world around them scientifically, mathematically, socially and emotionally.
Water play equipment allows all children to experience their own Eureka moment and like Archimedes they can enjoy the concept of water displacement and floating and sinking. Water play equipment can also incorporate the Archimedes Screw and water wheels so older children can understand how water can be transported upwards and how electricity can be generated. Children can learn about which materials float, sink or disintegrate in water, as well as using plasticine to model the most efficient boat. Interestingly the word Eureka originates from the Greek word, ‘Heureka’, which means, ‘I have found (It)’. Also the word is closely associated to the word heuristic which is also a category of play that involves learning by exploring the world around you. (Wikipedia).
When children use water play equipment they will have to follow rules that have been made to prevent the surrounding area from getting flooded. Children will learn water play equipment etiquette to prevent squabbles about sharing equipment, getting completely soaked and tidying up. Splashing is probably the most exciting activity and it is the very reason why children are always supervised during water play. Children learn how to take it in turns and help each other to play with the equipment.
As mentioned before heuristic play teaches children about the world around them using everyday objects. Children’s centres often hold play sessions involving heuristic play to show parents that children can be just as happy playing with pots and pans as they would the most expensive toy. Water play equipment lends itself perfectly to heuristic play and the lessons learnt will be replicated in the sink, bath, washing up bowl or paddling pool when children get home. Kitchen utensils like sieves, bowls, cups and washing up bottles are wonderful everyday items that can encourage children to play with intense concentration.
Most parents will be familiar with volume and capacity as part of their maths lessons in school. For those who used schemes such as SMP cards, which were generally completed individually, will remember that the Volume and Capacity section provided wonderful respite from rows of tedious sums. Children learn how to read scales, add or subtract different quantities of liquid and compare the capacity of different vessels. Water play equipment can have measuring jugs and containers available so that children can experiment during free play activities. Parents can reinforce these lessons when baking at home.
If you would like to find out more about our water play equipment and accessories such as; Archimedes Screw, water wheel and scales, take a look at our dedicated sand and water play equipment section.
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