Wacky widgets to spray, squirt, and splash!
Water is fascinating. It moves and can be moved in so many different ways. This gallery is about making choices and decisions, being persistent, using hard work to make something happen, and fostering a love for water as a natural element.
Water play offers something for all ages and learning styles. For the very young, water play is a multi-sensory exploration: filling buckets, floating balls, splashing hands, and getting wet. For older children, there is an additional layer of science learning: making guesses about what will happen and then trying it out, manipulating flow jets, or switching tracks, and then pumping up pressure in the water in order to watch a ball take the predicted path to another part of the gallery. Splash challenges children to experiment and find multiple solutions.
Through water play, children explore the natural properties of water, water movement, and the tools used to manipulate water. Splash is packed with high-energy, interactive fun!
Build a pipe and direct the water flow. Attach tubes and elbows to divert water in wacky, wild directions. Have a ball squirting targets and making them move with water.
This area develops fine motor skills by moving small pieces, putting them together and creating different structures. Visitors gain knowledge of how water moves and ways to move it in all directions. Children learn from one another in seeing how others build their structures.
Visitors wonder what would happen “if” the water moves like this…including out of the table!
Designed specially for toddlers, this area is sure to elicit giggles and excitement. Children watch colorful balls float down water troughs over paddlewheels to cascading waters. Jets manipulate the water and move it in different directions. Toddlers work with moving water, changing its direction with their hands or with colorful objects.
Toddlers learn cause and effect following the balls through the winding pathway. They practice tracking the balls through the river, which helps early reading skills. They also learn persistence watching the balls maneuver through the troughs and over the paddlewheels.
Plink, Plank, Plop
Move the colorful balls to a launching platform. Arrange the Plinko panels to change the ball movement and then watch the balls move over the panels and back into the water.
Children learn to plan a pathway and then build it. This develops cognitive skills by planning and sequencing in more complex ways. Children can work together and share in the excitement of watching the ball use the pathway they created.
Continue to explore at home with ideas from the books below.
Many of these books are at the Brookings Public Library.
Ages 3 – 5
Ages 9 – 12