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Be inspired to create your own duck pond water play sensory experience with loose parts.
Oh my feathers!
Can you quack-ing believe it?
Our neighbourhood ponds are just swimming with ducks, and we’re lucky enough to have front-row seats to their ducky shenanigans!
But wait, it gets even better – while having our morning scooter ride through the park, we spotted some adorable baby ducklings and it’s sent our excitement soaring like a mallard in flight!
Now, our webbed-feet friends have inspired us to dive into some duck-themed sensory play!
We’ve cooked up a quacky-fun way for kids to engage in pretend play and make a splash with water play.
It’s all about creating a duck pond-themed sensory experience that’ll have your little ones waddling with joy.
So come on, let’s get quackin’!
DIY Duck Pond Water Play
After being inspired by our local pond and having the autumn sun shining brightly, setting up our own duck pond water play was a must.
Using the water left over from our murky sea treasure station, we added some loose parts and six rubber duckies to make our own DIY duck pond water play sensory activity.
Here are the steps we took:
What you need to create a DIY Duck Pond Water Play activity
- Rubber Ducks
- Scourer Pads
- River Stones
- Assorted Glass Pebbles
- Food Colouring (optional)
- Corn Flour (optional)
- Container to hold water
As per most of our sensory play activities, trust that you can swap our elements for those you already have at home. Your kid won’t mind if you use garden stones instead of river stones or swap out glass pebbles for gum nuts.
We used the left over water from another sensory play activity hence the murky water. If your child is likely to have a little taste, by all means skip the colouring and corn flour. It will still hold lots of fun, creativity and loads of meaningful play for your child.
We are lucky enough to have the amazing Ikea Flisat table with its handy tubs to use for play activities such as this. A large shallow container or baking dish can be used as a substitute.
How to set up a DIY Duck Pond Water Play activity
Now, there are a couple of ways you can present this water play activity to your children.
Either set it up for them and let them be inspired by your vision or present the loose parts and let their own imaginations direct their play.
There are no rights or wrongs with either way – whatever you choose is perfect!
This is how we set up our DIY duck pond water play.
- Fill your water container with water. We filled the larger of our Flisat tubs with water.
- Add food colour and a sprinkle of cornflour to make the pond murky and colourful.
- I used scissors to cut out Lilly pad shapes from the scourer pads. To open conversations around sizes, I cut them in four different sizes.
- Present the other items next to the water container and let little one guide their play!
Our experience with our DIY Duck Pond Water play
Mr Two loved watching me pull out each of the elements when getting this activity ready.
By the time everything was prepared he has all hands ready and ready to play.
His attention went straight to the six brightly coloured rubber ducks. He picked each one up individually and gently placed them in the water.
From there he added the Lilly pads. I bought his attention to the texture as he placed them into the water. We then spoke about how they floated along with the ducks.
As he added each of the other elements, he did not stop talking. It was amazing to sit back and watch him explore, experiment and make his own observations.
His play went from experimenting with
- sinking verses floating
- to counting
- singing and acting out the ‘5 Little Ducks’ song
- to grabbing a random stick from the garden bed and pretending to go fishing for ducks
All while chatting away, asking questions or just following his own agenda, completely engrossed in the moment.
Busy mind and busy hands – winning!
Benefits of water play
Water play is such a fun activity for kids. It also offers numerous benefits for their physical, cognitive, and social development.
Here are some of the key benefits of water play:
- Sensory development: Water play allows children to explore different textures, temperatures, and water movements, which helps to develop their sense of touch, sight, and hearing.
- Gross motor skills: Splashing, pouring, and moving water around with buckets and cups can help develop children’s large muscles and improve their balance and coordination.
- Fine motor skills: Picking up small objects like rubber ducks, squeezing sponges, and manipulating water toys can help develop children’s hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
- Creativity and imagination: Water play provides an open-ended, imaginative environment that encourages children to use their creativity and develop their own stories and games.
- Language development: Water play provides a rich environment for language development, as children engage in conversations with their peers and caregivers about what they are doing and experiencing.
- Socialization: Water play provides a natural opportunity for children to play together and practice important social skills like sharing, turn-taking, and cooperation.
So next time you’re splashing around in the water with your little ones, remember that you’re not just having fun – you’re also helping them develop important skills that will benefit them for years to come!