It’s always great to get outside and play. When the weather is hot, gather sunscreen, buckets, squirt bottles, brushes, and sponges to set up some simple water stations to cool off. You’ll be building language skills while you’re cooling off and having fun. The best thing about outdoor water play is clean-up is pretty easy – just a towel, dry clothes and some sun!
While you fill up the bottles with water, use words like top, bottom, full and empty. Your child will be able to see the water rise and feel the difference between a heavy bottle that is full of water and a light bottle that is empty. Once the bottles are filled, adjust the nozzle. Look for rainbows in the mist of a fine spray or create letters, squiggles or pictures with a straight spray.
Sponges can do so much more than clean up spills! Craft stores carry sponges shaped like animals, numbers, letters, and shapes. Get these or regular household sponges wet to make patterns on the sidewalk. As you are squeezing them dry and soaking them in water, be sure to discuss how they are heavy or and drippy or dry.
Collect an assortment of brushes – wide brushes, narrow brushes and even toothbrushes! Use all of these different sized paint brushes to play a game of tic tac toe or write letters. Compare the different colors of the brushes and how the bristles feel.
Play the day away outside while you draw, paint, and create with simple tools and water.
Jann Fujimoto, MS CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and owner of SpeechWorks LLC, a provider of on-site speech therapy in Dousman, Delafield, Ixonia, Watertown, Oconomowoc, Hartland & Pewaukee. SpeechWorks helps children become confident communicators and empowers parents to be their child’s speech-language advocate.