Saturday, 2 July 2011

Water Balloons

On a warm summer's day what could be better than playing and splashing with water.  We went for water balloons!
We are lucky enough to have an outside tap so we fill them up there and then we have one or two rules.
1. Keep only to the driveway area.
2. Don't throw them at people who ask you not to.
3. Pick up all the bits of balloons afterwards.
Other than that anything goes!
So what are we getting out of this?  Firstly, it's great fun and the children just love it, especially Boy who begs to do this any day it isn't raining!  More than that the children are learning loads through doing this.  They are furthering their personal, social and emotional development by successfully taking turns and waiting until 'their' balloon is filled.  Even Girl is managing this at 20 months old.  They are also able to follow some simple rules about how we play together and they do this very successfully, understanding why those rules are in place.
Boy is learning about and interested in the physics of speed and impact.  I asked him 'why does the water make this shape on the ground?'  He replied 'it smashes the balloon when it hits the ground and it goes splat - the water comes out fast.'  Pretty accurate too!
Girl is also figuring out that you have to throw the balloon with some force to get it to burst.  Very often her's bounced on the ground so she kept picking it up and trying again - developing and perfecting her throwing skills and hand eye co-ordination.
There are probably loads of other things too but I've just highlighted a few to show that play encourages learning in such a natural and normal way that most of the time we don't notice it.  The children are having enormous fun and yet they are learning skills and picking up knowledge too.

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