Sun! Every warm day we have had this year has somehow involved water play and today was no exception. I bought these plastic bowls at Walmart a few weeks ago for $1 each. I liked them because they were each a different bright colour and also because they were cheap. I decided to use these coloured bowls and make water and colour sensory bowls. You could use any plastic container for this activity though – it doesn’t need to be coloured.
Kiddos love to control their own environment and make sense of things that don’t make sense and sorting and grouping helps them master that ability. It also really helps with their cognitive development and is the beginning of learning about math! Baby Z is still far too young to understand sorting or grouping but I believe that as he continues to see like items grouped together he will come to understand why they go together. So today was an easy visual one – colours.
I filled each bowl up with about 4 cups of warm water (Baby Z hates getting cold) and added food colouring to make the water the same colour as the bowls. I then searched around the house to find same coloured items to add to the bowls. I used a couple teethers, sorting cups, shapes from a shape-sorter, large plastic straws, foam letters, a big wooden letter and balls from his ball pit. I also put a small clear plastic container in each bowl to show Baby Z the colour of the water. There is no end to what you could use and you don’t even have to do this activity with colours – you could also do shapes, textures, items like balls or blocks, letters, numbers etc.
When the bowls were all done I changed Baby Z into his swimsuit since he was going to get nice and wet and we headed out to the backyard. He loves water and began splashing around immediately and exploring all the items in the bowls. I would talk to him about the colours he was playing with and name each item and when he handed me an item or put it on the ground I would show him that it belonged in the same coloured bowl. He eventually poured all the water out onto himself and then we spent some more time playing in the backyard. When we did eventually go indoors I cleaned all the items and put them back in their respective bowls (without water) and then let Baby Z explore them all over again while I made dinner and DH did laundry (great distraction).
This activity is great because it spans quite a few age ranges and would be good when you have multiple children as little ones and older ones can enjoy it by making little tweeks.