Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Water Play and Pouring

Water play is so therapeutic for littlies and I find it's a wonderful recourse for those days when E's frenetic energy is a little more exhausting than usual. I pulled out both of our old baby baths the other day and whacked an old towel on the floor. Add a bucket half-filled with water, a few cups, bowls, ladles and jugs and a dolly, and you have an absorbing activity to keep your tot busy for a while. Eden is at the pouring stage, so this is a great way for her to pass the time, and at the end of the hour+ that she spends at it, she's a much more chilled out little girl than she was beforehand.

The water is poured from the bucket into one of the baths, jugs are filled and their contents emptied into bowls, which are in turn emptied into the other bath. She spends AGES doing this. When she's ready to move on, a dolly and a washcloth turn it into a role play game: Eden is now the Mummy bathing her baby! 
It's so easy to set up something like this, and the towel soaks up most of the spillage, reducing the clean up time. If your child is a bit younger, just pop some simple items in a baby bath and watch them go! Things like bouncy balls, small food containers (or just the lids), wooden spoons and unused sponges tend to be a big hit for the under-two age bracket. 
When Eden was just a little bambino, I would put her in her bathers in a baby bath with lukewarm water, and put some of those brightly coloured stacking rings in there; she loved batting them and chewing them (when she caught 'em). As she got older, I swapped the rings for play-sized saucepans and plastic spoons and plates, and occasionally some bath toys too. Just a note: for out-of-bath water play, I tend to steer clear of using bath toys to distinguish bathtime from playtime. For us, bath toys are for bath time, but water play is an opportunity to play with something different!
Given that summer is fast approaching, I think this form of water play will be given a good run!

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