Taking the messy play outside

Like most children, Daisy loves messy water play.  One afternoon, during a recent visit, the sun was shining and so it was the perfect opportunity for us to set up water play outside.

You don’t need any special equipment to cater for water play activities at Daisy’s age. We quickly set up a water play area on Daisy’s little table using a washing-up bowl of lukewarm water, a small amount of washing-up liquid, a plastic jug, some kitchen utensils, unbreakable picnic cups, an small empty drinks bottle, a few bath toys and a small sponge.

It can still be chilly at this time of the year so Daisy’s waterproof coverall went on over her coat and she was happy to play with the water and ‘toys’, until we all had to go indoors to warm up!

Funnels 1

Daisy is becoming more dexterous so this was the perfect time to introduce her to funnels and how to use them.  She quickly understood where she should put the funnel and then how to use it, carefully pouring water into the top of the funnel and watching the water filter through the funnel.  Through her play, Daisy watched the water flowing into the different containers, using the funnel.  Gradually this play will help her to see how a funnel makes it easier for the water to flow into a narrow necked container.

Funnels 2

Now that Daisy is more active, her water play tends to be more messy than it used to be so the benefits of messy outdoor water play are obvious.  There are some additional benefits to being outside too.  Being in the sunshine, even in early spring means that Daisy is naturally absorbing vitamin D.  Vitamin D has a positive effect on behaviour and moods, so some time outside in the sunshine helps us all after dull days indoors.

In the evening, Daisy insisted that the funnel was part of her bath time play.

Granny Smith says –

Let your grandchildren explore funnels in other activities (indoors and outdoors).  Set up activities which enable your grandchild to use funnels with different containers and scoops and use a pour-able solid such as rice or lentils instead of water. Add different sized funnels and you will give your grandchild hours of play while they develop physical skills and co-ordination as well as begin to find out about capacity and gain an understanding of cause and effect.

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