My kids and their friends love to splash. Whether it's in water or muddy puddles, they are drawn to puddles. Adults try to avoid puddles by all means because it usually means having to deal with the inconvenience of wet pants, muddy shoes, and cold toes. Children have a natural instinct to explore and discover using their senses and motor actions.
Movement and physical play help the development of new brain cell connections and as these connections develop, a child’s motor skills, socialization, personal awareness, language, creativity, problem solving and learning ability are improved.
Next time you see a puddle, see it as a learning experience instead of a hinderance.
How can we help our children learn from puddles?
Depending on the age of your child, there are a lot of aspects to explore when it comes to puddles.
Where does water come from?
Topics such as condensation, vapour, hot air cooling, different types of clouds, rainstorms, thunder, lightning, and rainbows can be discussed and explained.
You can draw a chalk line around a puddle and observe how quickly or slowly it evaporates. You can look at clouds and see if you can find animal or character shapes hidden in the clouds. You can explore the colours of the rainbow.
Why is the water still on the ground?
Why doesn't water seep through the pathway? Why are there puddles only in certain areas of the grass (saturation)?
You can test different objects to see how quickly or slowly water moves through it. Some ideas: plastic, cotton, sponge, a container filled with rocks and then filled with sand.
Sink or float?
You don't need expensive toys or tools to teach about gravity, water density, and surface tension. Find some leaves, rocks, feathers, flowers, and sticks and see which float and which sink. For younger children, it will be a great opportunity to allow them to predict before doing.
A great time to show that a bigger jump creates a bigger and higher splash. Distance, height, and trajectory are great topics to discuss. See who can make the biggest splash.
Get a few pebbles and sticks and drop them into the water. Listen to the different sound each makes. Make as many different sounds in the water using your feet (walking, running, jumping, dancing) or objects around you (pebbles, sticks, leaves).
What patterns and shapes can you see when you tap your foot in a puddle? Does a muddy puddle wobble a bit? Does the water puddle have little waves? A great time to learn about cause and effect.
What's that word?
Play a game to see who can say the most water-related words.
Drizzle, rain, puddle, cloud, splash, pour, drip, river, ocean, creek, storm.
Sometimes it's fun to just play in the puddles. Play a game of touchems, make waves, splash each other, and float a paper boat. You might just surprise yourself and enjoy it more than you thought you would. You might even forget about the wet socks and cold toes for a while.
Delinky Kids waterproof gear
To keep dry and warm, we recommend wearing water-resistant or water-proof clothing. This increases the time you can spend outdoors to explore and learn. Delinky Kids offer jackets, overpants and overalls for the staples.