Water play provides toddlers with fun, rich learning experiences.
Why do it?
Playing with water is a fun activity that can be enjoyed inside or outside, providing tamariki with multiple opportunities for open-ended play and skill development.
- It can promote language, cognitive and sensory activities.
- Water play can be calming, exciting or require focus and concentration.
- It also supports hand–eye coordination.
- Water play doesn’t have to be only at bath time.
- Skills are developed by pouring, measuring, filling, emptying, splashing, swirling and floating.
How to do it
You don’t need a large quantity of water for a toddler to enjoy themselves — an ice cream container full of water with a small yoghurt container to dip and pour is enough. Water play can be:
- washing dishes
- watering the garden
- blowing bubbles
- walking in the rain
- splashing in puddles
- bathing dolls
- paddling in the waves
- having a tea party
- racing waka
- washing the car
- having a bath.
Further tips for water play fun
- For toddlers, gumboots and puddles can provide lots of fun for stomping and splashing in. Dropping stones in and watching and listening to the results is great too.
- On warmer days, put a baby bath or large container outside and fill it with lukewarm water. Add plastic cups for dipping and pouring, sponges to squeeze and things that float.
- Use buckets, basins, babies’ baths, sieves, hoses and plastic containers. Have objects that float or sink.
- Water play requires constant supervision at this age and stage.
- An old towel on the floor will help to avoid anyone slipping in puddles.
Using more te reo Māori
|Te reo Māori||English|
|Ringi ringi (-a,-hia,-tia) To pour out, pour in. Maori | Verb||Pour|
|Wai wai Water, juice, liquid Maori | Noun||Water|
|Ngongo wai ngongo wai Water hose Maori | Noun||Water hose|
|Ua ua (-ina) To rain. Maori | Verb||Rain|
|Awa awa River, stream, creek Maori | Noun||River|
|Hōpua hōpua Pool of water, swimming pool, diving pool, puddle Maori | Noun||Pool|
|Kapua kapua Cloud, bank of clouds Maori | Noun||Cloud|
|Tōhihi tōhihi Puddle of water Maori | Noun||Puddle|
|Pāpaku pāpaku To be shallow, low Maori | Verb||Low|
|Tātari tātari To strain, filter, sift, sift through, sort out, measure out, analyse Maori | Verb||Strainer, colander|
|Horoi horoi Wash Maori | Noun||Wash|
|Kaukau kaukau Swim Maori | Noun||Swim|
|Tāre tāre Doll Maori | Noun||Doll|
|Pākete pākete Bucket Maori | Noun||Bucket|
|Hoe hoe To paddle, row. Maori | Verb||Paddle|
|Waka waka Canoe, vehicle Maori | Noun||Boat|
|Utuhia utuhia To fill (a vessel with liquid) dip, dip into (to fill with liquid) Maori | Verb||Fill a container|
|Whakapiakotia whakapiakotia To empty out Maori | Verb||To empty out|
|Pōhutu pōhutu To splash, make a splash Maori | Verb||Splash|
|Patapata patapata To drip, drop (as of rain) Maori | Verb||Drip|
|Pūrewa, teretere||To float, be buoyant|
|Takawiri takawiri To twist, screw, wring Maori | Verb||Cork|
|Totohu totohu To sink Maori | Verb||Sink|
|Kia mataara||To be alert, vigilant|
|Kia tūpato||Be careful|
|Kamupūtu kamupūtu Gumboot Maori | Noun||Gumboot|
|Mirumiru mirumiru Bubble Maori | Noun||Bubbles|
|Pōrutu pōrutu To splash the surface of the water (with the hands) Maori | Verb||Splashing|
|He mahana tēnei wai||This water is warm|
|He makariri tēnei wai||This water is cold|
|Tangohia tō poraka||Take off your jersey|
|Kei te mākū koe?||Are you wet?|
|Homai te tāora||Pass me the towel|
|He ipu aihikirīmi||Ice cream container|
|Tāora tāora Towel Maori | Noun||Towel|
|Uwhiuwhi uwhiuwhi To sprinkle, spray Maori | Verb||Sprinkle|
|Māku māku Wet, moist, damp, soggy Maori | Modifier||Wet|
|Kapu kapu Cup Maori | Noun||Cup|
|Kōpūpūtai kōpūpūtai Sponge - a general name for sponges Maori | Noun||Sponge|
|Kōhatu kōhatu Stone, rock Maori | Noun||Stone|
|Rākau rākau Tree, stick, timber, wood, plant Maori | Noun||Stick|
|Tere tere To be quick, swift, fast Maori | Verb||Fast|
|Pārekareka pārekareka To be pleasant, pleased, enjoyable, fun Maori | Verb||Enjoyable, fun|