Boy, do I have a fun Halloween water play coming your way! My four-year-old and I were reading Room on the Broom when it dawned on me. We have everything we need for a witch’s potion from our stash of decorations. It was Halloween water play that saved our afternoon, and we must share it with you!
In the following article you’ll learn the benefits of water play, some frequently asked questions and expert tips, along with what you’ll need to set up this awesome water activity!
RELATED: Like Halloween activities? Us too! Here are 31 Halloween activities for October.
What Are the Benefits of Water Play?
Water play allows children to:
- Be in control of their play – it gives them a chance to explore their curiosities without limitation.
- Discover what sinks and floats – water makes a great science experiment.
- Explore capacity – amazing for math skills later in life.
- Feel texture wet vs. dry – incredible for sensory development and learning how different textures feel next to each other.
- Pour and hold a steady hand – incredible for coordination needed for writing and drawing.
- Problem solving – figuring out what works and what doesn’t is essential for little one’s development.
- Scoop – excellent to strengthen fine motor skills.
- Transfer water from one container to another – allows children to experiment what happens when you transport water and increase their fine motor strength.
RELATED: Ever wonder what’s behind the play and how children learn? Be sure to check out our online course, WONDER: Playing to Learn.
Water Play is Also a Form of Sensory Play
Sensory play is our jam for many reasons. My four-year-old had a few hours before his older brothers came home. I needed to wrap a few work items. Together, we needed a little redirection to find play.
That is where sensory play comes in. This sensory bin is the perfect example of children learning during playtime. If you are new to this, start with this step-by-step guide on introducing sensory play.
RELATED: Are you familiar with the teal pumpkin project?
How to Set Up Halloween Water Play
This Halloween water play is incredibly easy to set up!
- Bones – and some extra spook and another object for your child to explore. Just be careful of choking hazards.
- Bubbles! – Ah, yes! Bubbles! Every witch’s potion needs bubbles. As I filled the sink with bubbles to wash my my older children’s lunch box (part of our after-school routine), I scooped some bubbles in a container and brought them out.
- Food coloring – there is something magical about a bit of food coloring into water play. It adds a little touch of excitement. Dilute the food coloring so it doesn’t stain hands and clothes.
- Plastic eyes – would it be Halloween without floating eyeballs?
- Play cauldron – this isn’t strictly necessary, but it does add some extra fun!
- Sensory mat – aka my husband’s old indoor cycling mat. Something that the children can sit or kneel on while playing and catch any escaping water.
- Under the bed storage bin – this is what you’re going to use to put the water and everything else in.
- Water – for obvious reasons!
Waiting on the bubbles gave me 20 extra minutes of play. Set up this Halloween water activity and when it comes to a close, add the bubbles!
The best part about this supply list is being able to use them again and again!
RELATED: Enjoy water play? Check out this list of 50 Water Games for Kids!
I didn’t even need to tell my four-year-old to grab his hat. I’m seeing a very bright future as a kid activity blogger for him.
RELATED: Need quick ideas on the fly? Check out our activity cards for preschoolers and big kids!
Water Play Makes a Great Halloween Activity
Halloween activities are just so much fun with kids! If you’re in need of a fun and creative activity this Halloween, then this water play was a massive hit. Give it a go to watch your little ones learn and have a ton of fun!
Be sure to check out:
- 31 Halloween Activities for Preschoolers
- Halloween Messy Sensory Play
- Paint the Bones
- Spooky Halloween Track
Frequently Asked Questions
Water and a few kitchen supplies make a fun water table for toddlers and preschoolers. Our favorite supplies are funnels, food coloring to change the color of the water, and measuring cups.
The purpose of water play is to allow a child to learn by doing. Water tables support concepts such as capacity, filling, dumping, pouring, scooping, and calming the mind. Water play helps with hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, and holding a steady hand.
Sensory water play is just like it sounds. It is a sensory bin with water. Keep the water level low for younger children and stay close as your child plays with the water.
What can you NOT add to water play? A few favorite supplies are funnels, measuring cups, ice, and colored water. For this Halloween water play we added Halloween erasers, floating plastic eyeballs, plastic bones, plastic spider rings, soap and green food coloring to make it look spooky.
Adapt Play for Creativity Depending on Your Child’s Age
If your little one’s an infant then try adding new things in for them to copy and explore. Toddlers recognize objects as symbols, so make play imaginary and fun. At preschool kids’ imaginations run wild, so let them go with it!
Children’s Attention Spans Vary at Different Ages
Infants focus best if they’re given one object at a time. Create a quiet space and don’t introduce too many things at once. Toddlers can engage with activities for around fifteen-minutes or more. Give them encouragement and hints to keep them motivated. Preschoolers and older are interested in multiple-step activities (like cooking). Offer options that require problem-solving and lots of room for creativity.
Explore Emotions With Your Little Ones
It’s essential to bring empathy into play. Talk out loud about what your child may be thinking or feeling (or how you’re feeling!) to expand their vocabulary. As they get older, they discuss likes and dislikes, what they enjoy and things they find challenging.
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