Water sensory play has been my lifeline for the last eight years of parenting. What would I do without it? I am honestly not sure. Water sensory bins have helped us overcome the late morning hump and the lull after a nap. And with so many ways to play – it never gets old. Scoop the Sea water sensory play is a fun summer idea you don’t want to miss.
Water tables and water play is the key that unlocks independent and child-led play. And since repetition is the foundation of building intelligence at any age – let’s keep water sensory play on repeat!
Boundless benefits to sensory water play:
- Calms overwhelmed children
- Communication and inspiring new ideas
- Encourages creativity
- Fine motor development grasping objects in the water
- Gross motor skills transporting water
- Hand-eye coordination moving objects from one water container to another
- Increases concentration to remain at one activity (the water play)
- Sensory input is essential to richer learning possibilities
- Strengthening arm muscles filling water buckets
- Touch is vital to brain development
- Understanding capacity and measurement
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It all began with a water toy
Yep, you know it. A great toy has many uses. My MIL gifted my boys this treasure chest (listed in supplies) to use on a pool trip. Right after we got home, it swiftly transitioned into the water table. This treasure chest screams summer water play.
We even had a playdate with a two-year-old who scooped and transferred the fish for much longer than anyone anticipated.
RELATED: Summer is around the corner! Your family will enjoy these 30 Summer Activities for Toddlers.
Why Scooping and Transporting is Essential for Young Children
What’s the big picture of scooping and transferring objects?
Transporting objects teaches young children about weight, space, making predictions, how things move (or multiple ways. A child can move an object), empty vs. full, problem-solving, and making adjustments to see ideas out.
Scooping objects helps young children with coordination and hand-eye coordination, making problem-solving predictions.
In a nutshell, scooping and transporting objects is pretty high on the play pyramid. Want to learn more? Here is my parent’s guide on why sensory play is important.
RELATED: 50+ Outdoor Activities for Kids
Let’s get our hands on this Scoop the Sea Water Sensory Play! Here is a supply list of everything you need. Water play also includes many items from our outdoor sensory supply list.
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We like to use our under-the-bed storage bin and also this sensory bin that includes a stand.
This summer toy can be used as a diving toy or on the water table.
Neon Food Coloring
I’ve tested a lot of squirt bottles, and these continue to be my favorite!
Let’s set up Scoop the Sea!
- Pour a small amount of water into your sensory bin. (stay close)
- Add items from the treasure chest into the water.
- Put the treasure chest to the right of the water play.
- Add a large ladle.
- Invite your toddler or preschooler to scoop the items from the sea and place them into the treasure chest.
Does the colored water stain children’s hands? Not that I have seen. The dye is so diluted that we have not had a problem.
Children like to take the lead! (and they should!)
Toddlers and preschoolers often move in their direction with the play.
Encourage this! Repeating play patterns and developing their ideas is vital to child development. Here, my four-year-old asked to add yellow to the blue water. Why not? Color mixing is great fun too!
This flexibility allows children to build more confidence in their actions and thinking.
Grab your treasure chest. Let’s start this water play as soon as it arrives on the Amazon truck.
Ice, colored water, funnels, measuring cups, squirt bottles, rocks, soapy bubbles, race cars, water beads, dirt, large buttons, counting bears, and ladles work great in a water table for sensory play.
We love using an under-the-bed storage bin. This clear container can rest on the floor or grass and is excellent for sensory water play.
Water games with kids are easier than you may think! Often, items from your kitchen, such as measuring cups, large spoons, and a muffin tin to freeze water, will do the trick. Keep water activities for kids simple, and take a look around your house to see what you can toss in to buy yourself a few extra sips of coffee as your child plays.