Who doesn’t love water play?
With the sunny weather in Singapore that we get all year round, it is no wonder that rooftop water playgrounds are hot favourites among children.
But what benefits can children reap from water play, and how can kindergartens in Singapore include this in their learning experiences?
Read on to find out how water play benefits the development of preschoolers and how MindChamps PreSchool @ Boon Keng incorporates elements of water play into their daily lessons.
Playing with water hones motor skills
In the course of water play, children develop better hand-eye coordination through actions like pouring, squeezing, scrubbing, stirring and squirting – all actions which help to develop the pincer grip. This grip is important as it is used in holding writing implements, something that they will need to do as they progress to higher levels in kindergartens in Singapore.
Water play is also a great sensory experience, as it introduces children to different textures and temperatures as well as about physical properties – such as how water can make sand more mouldable.
Water play is essential for cognitive development
Water play is an open-ended activity which allows children to explore substances and make exciting discoveries about them. Simple activities like floating and sinking help to develop problem-solving skills, as children begin to learn how things happen and why things happen. They can observe changes in the state of matter when water is frozen and melts again.
Through experimentation, kids can also pick up some basic mathematical concepts such as volume, measurement and estimation, all of which are vastly useful skills that children can learn in playgroups in Singapore. Lastly, as with any new activity, children are exposed to a wider range of vocabulary where they can learn and utilise new words like ‘funnel’, ‘float’, ‘squirt’, ‘bubbly’ and ‘sink’.
Water play encourages social and emotional development
If you have ever watched your child play in a bathtub, you will know that it is an activity which can keep them calm and happy for quite a long period of time – something that is unique to water play. In fact, water play is quite therapeutic and helps to relax the senses while also allowing them to focus on the activity at hand.
This is especially relevant in today’s world where children are exposed to so much stimulation from a variety of sources. Water play also tends to be a very social activity where children interact with each other and pick up the skills of cooperation and negotiation.
The best preschools in Singapore incorporate water play into their curriculum
Many kindergartens in Singapore understand the importance and usefulness of water play and ensure that it has a permanent place in their curriculum. Parents may be concerned about safety measures, but playgroups that hold water play activities are sure to put precautions in place for the children’s safety.
For example, the teachers at MindChamps PreSchool @ Boon Keng would enforce safety rules, such as preventing children from running in wet areas and preventing them from drinking the water from the tub, which may not be the cleanest after multiple pairs of hands have been swished in them! The children would also be dried off thoroughly after the activity to ensure that they stay warm and dry.
The best kindergarten teachers would be able to leverage on the activities by prompting deeper learning through asking probing questions based on what the children are doing. These questions would help children to think about what they are doing and the reasons for their actions.
How parents can utilise water play at home
Parents can hold similar activities at home with their children, as water play is adaptable and can take place with nothing more than a simple shallow tub of water at home.
Kindergarten-aged children love role playing – give them a small sponge or washcloth, some toy dishes or a baby doll, and set them to practising some life skills!
Written by JoBeth Williams