Water play is my pick of one of the all time best sensory activities for children of all ages, even babies! There is just something so engaging and relaxing about playing with water. If you aren’t sure where to start with your little one, here are a few simple tips for starting out with water play for babies.
Water Play for Babies
When to start water play with babies?
I introduced water play with each of my babies once they were able to sit well. As it takes mere minutes to gather a few accessories and a shallow splash of water, and as it is so engaging and soothing, it was one of my go-to activities for times when my little ones were particularly fractious or unsettled.
RELATED: For those with toddlers, preschoolers and older children, check out our follow on article, 10 Easy Ways with Water Play.
How to Start Water Play with Babies
Babies don’t need a lot of water but it can be a good idea to keep an extra supply nearby in case it does get tipped out. Pour the water into a small, shallow sided bowl so that it is easy for them to access and reach any toys or accessories.
Keep accessories simple. I like to add two or three small containers that are easy to hold, a spoon or small ladle and a few smooth, flat river stones. Make sure you choose larger stones that do not constitute a choking hazard. If you do not have any suitable stones, a few plastic blocks or shapes will work as a substitute.
Your baby will probably get a little wet so be sure to dress them in play clothes that don’t bother you too much if they get messy. If it is really hot and you have a shady spot, just a diaper or nappy is perfect. You may also like to keep a towel nearby for a dry off once you are done.
In cooler weather, sit your baby somewhere sheltered, popping them down on a beach towel if you are inside or on bricks or decking, and use warm water instead of cold.
Sit back and watch your child explore and learn as they play. You might like to talk to them about what they are doing – simply saying what you see, “You are splashing with your hand,” or, “You put the rock in the cup.”
Please note: Children should be supervised closely whenever they are near water. Never leave your child alone when they are playing with water.
Find fresh, inspiring play ideas for little ones in our co-authored eBook, Zero to Two: The Book of Play.
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