Wet Vs. Dry : Infant Explorations
Water Play is a classic summer activity. We recently shared 20+ Water Play activities that our infants and toddlers loved. Today some blogger pals and I are sharing a few more awesome water play ideas. Check the bottom of this post for the other Summer of Fun Water Play ideas.
First, I want to share two fun, simple ways to play and explore the concepts of Wet and Dry with infants and toddlers.
Exploration 1: Wet vs. Dry Washcloth Experiment
Babies learn best through hands on exploration. Play is a great way to introduce new vocabulary, such as Wet and Dry. This super simple experiment for infants introduces the vocabulary and concepts of Wet and Dry.
Gather dry washcloths and sponges in a basket or bucket.
Prepare a tub or watertable with some warm water. Put this out of sight for the moment.
Place the basket of Dry items on the floor and encourage your little ones to crawl or walk over. Make time for them to explore the items in your bucket. They will do this with their senses - especially their mouths and hands. Since you are focused on the words Dry and Wet, describe their play using the word Dry. For example, "You are touch a Dry washcloth" or "It looks like that Dry sponge is scratchy"
When they are done exploring the Dry materials, bring the bucket with you to wherever you placed the tub of water. We often play with water outside, but covering the kitchen or bathroom floor with a towel and playing there works great too. Your child(ren) will likely explore the water first. It's usually impossible to resist some splashing. After a couple of minutes, if they haven't done so on their own put one of the Dry objects in the water and see what your child(ren) do. Comment on their actions and expressions to put words to their movements and feelings. "It looks like that Dry washcloth is Wet now!" or "Does the sponge feel different now that it is Wet?"
Take turns initiating actions (such as modeling how to squeeze a sponge) and following their lead. Remember play is fun! Even though learning is woven into your experience, don't forget that play is often messy and silly.
Exploration 2: Sidewalk Painting
Here is another simple way to explore the concepts of Wet vs Dry with your kiddos outside this summer!
Fill a couple of buckets (one or two per child) with water and lay some measuring scoops and paint brushes on the ground nearby.
Bring your little ones outside and they will likely notice the buckets of water right away. To encourage them not to immediately dump the water (a likely eventuality) demonstrate how to paint with the brush on the ground. Describe what you are doing using the words Dry and/or Wet. For example, "The ground is dry but I'm making it wet! Can you do it?"
Encourage them to explore and play. The buckets will get dumped. That's okay. Respond with a "Wow! The ground is really Wet now!" and decide if you want to refill the buckets or move on to something else.
We did this activity when our twins were around 14 months old and they happily painted, splashed, and then poured the water. We got the hose and refilled the buckets. This was likely their favorite part. Our kids love helping with the hose.
If you are looking for another simple water play idea, try playing with chalk and water. This is a simple way to extend this activity.
Water Table or Container
Summer of Fun Water Play Blog Hop
10 Fantastic Experiments with Water from Planet Smarty Pants
Making Daisy Soup from Crafty Kids at Home
Learning Numbers with Water Balloon Basketball from Mom Inspired Life
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