What Are The Benefits Of Sand & Water Play For Toddlers In Early Childhood Development?
There are many benefits of sand and water play for toddlers in their early childhood development. Here are just 5 of the surprising benefits:
- Enhances motor skills
- Improves language and speech
- Enhances social and emotional awareness
- Introduces concepts of mathematics and science
- Sparks creativity
So rest assured when your littles ones are being drawn to the sand and water play it is a great learning opportunity, using their senses to learn and develop!
At Kids Club, we are dedicated to positively shaping a child’s future in the classroom. We encourage our children to play and experiment with sand and water because of the above mentioned psychological and emotional benefits.
Through sensory exploration, young children can enhance their communication skills and motor skills, and can greatly accelerate their cognitive development. Sensory activities like sand and water play also help young children gain a basic understanding of mathematical and scientific concepts, as well as developing their language skills.
To learn more about the surprising benefits of sand and water play for toddlers, keep reading.
1. Enhanced motor skills
It is important in the early years of a child’s development that they develop and exercise their fine motor skills. Part of fine motor development is when children learn how to hold objects in their hands (i.e. a pen or a spoon).
Sand and water play offers children many opportunities to use and develop their fine motor skills. For example scooping and pouring the sand and water with their hands. Using tools like mini-shovels, rakes, buckets and more not only supports their fine motor skills but also helps to develop their hand-eye coordination.
2. Improved language and speech
During sand and water play, children will often start dialogue with their peers around what they are building or ideas they might be having. This offers a wonderful opportunity for language development and a teachable moment to share new ideas and increase vocabularies in a fun and relaxed environment. When a child is playing and experimenting with sand and water, often educators will ask them questions about their creations and encourage two-way conversation. These interactions a child has with educators and peers over sand and water play positively contribute towards their improved language and speech development.
3. Enhanced social and emotional awareness
It is no secret that nature and learning outside offers some of the best learning opportunities in the early years. The early learning setting is the best environment for children to develop their social skills and emotional awareness. Through sand and water play, they are encouraged to share, listen to and cooperate with other children. This supports their empathy learning and helps them to recognise emotions in others (and, importantly, how their actions can affect another’s emotions). Allowing children the time to explore the way they feel when playing with sand and water supports their emotional growth and ability self-regulate their emotions; identifying what makes them happy, sad, excited etc.
4. Introduction to mathematics and science
Sensory activities like sand and water play are one of the most exciting types of play for little ones. Not only is exciting for children, but this type of play lends itself to countless teachable moments, especially in mathematical and scientific thinking.
For example, we can introduce the use of measuring cups and weights when playing with sand and water, opening children’s minds to the mathematical concepts of measurement, weight, volumes and more. As well as scientific concepts, such as when dry sand is mixed with water it becomes wet, and then able to be made into different shapes and structures.
5. Sparked creativity
Perhaps the biggest benefit of encouraging toddlers to experiment in sand and water play is that it develops their imagination and enhances their creative thinking. Early Childhood specialists have explained how heightened creativity can in the long term support a child’s mental flexibility and ability to absorb new information more easily and can find a life long love for learning. Sand and water play has many benefits for the emotional and psychological development and wellbeing of toddlers.
To find out more about how Kids Club Child Care can give your child the best start in life, book a tour or contact us on 1300 543 725.