Incorporating Water Play in Your Outdoor Classroom

Incorporating Water Play in Your Outdoor Classroom

The Many Benefits for Children’s Development

“Research shows that when children engage in free, spontaneous play outdoors, they adapt more readily to their culture, to society, and to the world.”  – Joe Frost

Many parents of young children know that when you “add water,” any play activity immediately becomes more desirable. From an early age, children love to play, scoop, pour, and splash in water, whether they are playing safely in a bathtub, a swimming pool, or at a water table. Not only is water play fun and exciting but it has real benefits for children’s development as they grow, including:

• Improved hand-eye coordination. While children are pouring water from bucket to bucket, they are controlling the direction of the pour. Other actions—such as scooping water into a container—also require hand-eye coordination.

• Strengthened concentration. Many students who may struggle to keep their attention on a specific task will become focused on the simple task of pouring and scooping water. This increases their attention span and helps them learn how to concentrate on a singular task.

• Gross and fine motor skill development. Water play incorporates physical actions like pouring, carrying, and splashing—all considered gross motor activities because they involve the large muscles in a child’s arms. Playing with water also strengthens a child’s fine motor skills as it works the small muscles in their hands and wrists.

• Opportunities for sensory experiences. Water itself provides a great sensory experience, but it isn’t hard to explore others. For example, you can add a bucket of ice cubes, a few squeezes of dish soap, or a bag of fabric pom-pom balls to the water for a completely different sensory experience.

• Opportunities for cooperative play. While water play can be a solitary activity, it also lends itself to cooperative play. Children can work together, sharing buckets and cups, containers, and other toys. Educators can facilitate group activities, such as having children wash a bucket of “muddy” toy animals or “dirty” toy dishes, test whether certain items sink or float, and other water play games.

Imagine if you had a permanent space in your outdoor classroom devoted to facilitating water play. Playspace Design offers a variety of outdoor learning products to make this possible, including: 


Small Water Table With Lid

Dimensions: 33” X 46” X 24” (preschool height)

• Also available in pre-toddler or toddler heights
• Available in primary or natural colors


Large Water Table With Lid

Dimensions: 33” X 83” X 24” (preschool height)

• Also available in pre-toddler or toddler heights
• Available in primary or natural colors


Water Spill Post

• Compatible with both the small and large water tables

Start Designing Your Outdoor Classroom Today

Contact Playspace Design to Begin

Whether you want to incorporate an area for water play or a space for music and movement, Playspace Design can create the ideal outdoor learning space for your organization. Let’s have a conversation about your space, your wishlist, and your budget, and begin designing an engaging and stimulating outdoor learning environment.