Benefits of Water Play for Children

Splish, Splash, the Benefits of Water Play for Children – Summer is the perfect time to explore, and there’s nothing more fun than playing in water. No matter if it’s in the ocean, lake, creek, community pool, or tub in the backyard, playing in the water may help children grow and develop in these essential ways: – we found this article on pathways organization’s site

Mother and young daughter playing and having a great time during baby swimming lessons.

Balance and Strength

Though it might look like your child is just splashing around, water play can help improve children’s balance and strength. Playing in water is like playing in a brand new playground where even the simplest activities like clapping your hands or jumping are a whole new sensory experience. Children can experiment without worrying about falling or crashing into hard surfaces. Water also adds resistance so water play activities work as strength training. It takes more muscle strength to move arms and legs through water then it does through air.


The ordinary act of swimming develops muscles and motor skills and helps improve coordination. Kicking movements engage the core, and can help children learn how to coordinate both sides of their body to move through the water. When children swim, dance, throw objects or practice any movement in water they’re developing coordination.

Communication and Social Skills

Water play allows children to explore and interact with each other. Shared discovery experiences within shared spaces offer a great opportunity for social development. As children play, they’re going to be excitedly communicating their discoveries to everyone around them. This is a confidence booster for kids! Because water play typically occurs in a limited space with limited supplies, children practice sharing with each other and work together engaging in play. There are many opportunities for communicative and social growth during water play!

Exploration and Learning

Bodies of water offer endless opportunity for physical experiments and discoveries. Children may have already investigated wood, dirt, sand, rocks, and other dry substances. But what happens when these substances are mixed, sifted or dropped with water? Children also get the opportunity to think about concepts like water displacement and volume as they explore in a body of water. Water supports a variety of life forms like fish and frogs, so water play can lead to new biological adventures as well!

Water play can be a fun summer activity and also allow children the opportunity to practice many valuable skills. But it is important to remember to never let children play in or nearby water unsupervised. Don’t allow children to play with non-CPSC approved toys, and do not trust flotation devices solely to support a child if that child cannot swim.


Disclaimer:  The views and opinions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Edmonton and Area Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Network.

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