Our job as childcare practitioners is to facilitate this learning through the provision of resources. Most of which can be found for free. A bucket of water and pots from the recycling bin is all that is needed.
The tricky bit for us is making sure we make the most of this exploration with well thought out prompting and questioning. Encouraging the children to make predictions. Offering new language to extend their learning. We can help children develop their thinking with observation and questioning.
Today’s water play was very much based around the concept of capacity. Using different sized pots to scoop and transfer water and working out which pots were of a similar size so that they did not overflow.
Developing mathematical language such as full and empty, more and less, heavier and lighter is just one area of learning that water play offers in abundance. Not to mention the discussions around the shapes and size of the bottles and pots used. Adding numbers evenly spaced along a bottle can give a numerical reference to water play and a way for children to compare quantity as they transfer water from one to another.