J absolutely loves water play and because of that I have been desperate to make a water wall now for AGES! So, whenever I remember, I put my empty plastic bottles to one side. Today was the day I would introduce J to the wonder of a water wall!
- Several plastic bottles with the base cut off
- a collection of things for holding and pouring the water (bottles, jugs, plastic cups etc)
- Electrical tape (to be able to handle the water spilling on it)
- Food colouring to colour the water and make it more interesting
- trays to catch the water
To make the water wall, I cut the base off the bottles and made the sharp edges, of the ones that would be in contact with J’s hands, safe by lining them with tape. I stuck the bottles to the wall in such a way that the water would run from one bottle to another. I made two channels, one with a zigzag for the ‘wow’ factor and one that went straight down. I stuck the bottles to the wall using electrical tape as it’s durable enough to withstand lots of water spilling on it. Next I coloured some water with food colouring and put out a few ‘tools’ for J to pour and experiment with.
J went straight for the red water. I purposely left the lid on so that he would be able to rehearse unscrewing and screwing the lid for fine motor development!
J kept asking, ‘what do I do Mummy?’ I simply replied, ‘do what you want to do J… explore!’ He knew what he wanted to do but he wanted to see if he was ‘allowed to!’ Bless him!
J tried all the different ‘tools’ to pour with and enjoyed spilling the water on the floor ‘accidently on purpose!’
Nothing thrilled J more than the water gushing out of the zigzag water channel and he did this over and over at least 20 or 30 times. Probably more! Whilst he played, I mentioned the word gravity and how it pulled the water down to the floor.
J needed a hand pouring the water from the tray back into the bottle using the funnel to begin with and had a really good (albeit messy) go at doing it himself too later on.
J is loving the word ‘experiment’ at the moment. When he said, ‘we need to do an experiment,’ I suggested he put the lid on the last bottle to see what would happen when he poured the water in! He thought it was very amusing when the water got ‘stuck’ in the bottle. We then talked about this being the job of the lid; stopping the liquid from spilling everywhere.
Boys being boys, they soon wanted a bigger water channel. So, combining the bottles we made one big one…
Daddy helped J reach to pour the water in.
Of course with any water, children just have to have a splash about! J jumped up and down in the water and giggled his little head off!
J said, ‘Mummy do you know what each part of my experiment is called?’ Of course I didn’t – I’m not a scientist! He went on to point to each one and tell me their real scientific name, ‘a nong, a shling, a conore and a blamblam!’ Don’t you just love children’s minds?!
What did J learn?
- Exploration and investigative skills using materials in new ways
- New language and vocabulary: liquid, gravity, release, gush, experiment etc
- Fine and gross motor development
- Speaking, listening, sharing and working together (with Daddy!)