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Water-Babies Activity

This activity is created with young babies in mind for those hot, sunny days. An easy to create activity which also links to many areas of the EYFS Development Matters. Just a few items are needed to make this activity which helps to build on physical development, communication and understanding, all while keeping cool!

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this activity today:

What you will need:

· A shaded outdoor space

· Tuff tray

· Water

· Ice cube tray

· Aprons (optional)

· Sun cream

Photographer: Lubomirkin | Source: Unsplash

Preparing the activity:

1. The day before, pour some water into ice cube trays and place in the freeze overnight*.

2. Set up a tuff tray outside in a shaded area.

3. Fill the tuff tray with water so that it is approximately 2cm deep.

4. Apply sun cream to the children and retrieve the ice cubes from the freezer.

5. Head outside and put the ice cubes in the tuff tray.

Photographer: sheri silver | Source: Unsplash

*Optional extra: To enhance the sensory experience, items can be added to the ice cubes, however be cautious with choking hazards and young babies, try sticking with liquid. Some recommendations are: small amounts of fruit squash, non-toxic scents such as vanilla essence or peppermint, or small pieces of soft fruit.

Doing the activity:

Ensure the children have a change of clothing for after the activity. Sitting in wet clothing for too long may irritate their sensitive skin.

The idea is for the children to explore the ice cubes while keeping cool by sitting in the water. If children are too young to sit up independently, they can either be held by an adult next to the tray, perhaps with their feet placed in the water, or placed on a blanket in the shade with their own ice cubes to explore.

Encourage the children to try and hold the ice cubes by demonstrating how to pick them up. Use relevant vocabulary (e.g, “cold, chilly, wet, splash, melt”, etc) throughout to assist with communicational development. Read the children’s body language and do not push them to hold the ice if they are unhappy doing so. If they are reluctant, try stroking ice cubes across their arms and legs and see how they respond.

Putting the ice cubes in their mouths is safe, just be sure to monitor closely as the ice cubes melt, they can shrink to a size where they become a choking hazard. Young children should be closely supervised during water play so make sure enough staff are available during this activity to keep in line with ratios.

Photographer: Vitolda Klein | Source: Unsplash

Tracking the activity:

0-11 months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Making relationships- Responds to what carer is paying attention to, e.g. following their gaze

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Self-confidence and self-awareness Laughs and gurgles, e.g. shows pleasure at being tickled and other physical interactions

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Managing feelings and behaviour- Is comforted by touch and people’s faces and voices

Communication and Language: Speaking- Communicates needs and feelings in a variety of ways including crying, gurgling, babbling and squealing

Physical Development: Moving and Handling- Reaches out for, touches and begins to hold objects

Physical Development: Moving and Handling- Explores objects with mouth, often picking up an object and holding it to the mouth

8-20 months

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Making relationships- Interacts with others and explores new situations when supported by familiar person

Communication and Language: Listening and attention- Has a strong exploratory impulse

Physical Development: Moving and Handling- Sits unsupported on the floor

Physical Development: Moving and Handling- When sitting, can lean forward to pick up small toys