Benefits of Sensory Water Play for Toddlers and Children

Benefits of Sensory Water Play for Toddlers and Children

Benefits of Sensory Water Play for Toddlers and Children

As parents and early childhood educators, we're always seeking ways to support our little ones' development. Sensory play, particularly water play, offers so many incredible benefits for toddlers and children. In this post, we'll explore why sensory water play is so important and share some exciting ways to incorporate it into your child's routine. If you would like more information on sensory tools, resources, and overall information on sensory processing disorders, please visit us at


Why is Sensory Play Important for Child Development?

Sensory play involves activities that stimulate a child's senses, including touch, sight, sound, smell, and even taste. It's a crucial aspect of child development because it:

  1. Encourages exploration and curiosity
  2. Helps develop fine and gross motor skills
  3. Supports cognitive development and problem-solving abilities
  4. Enhances language development as children learn to describe their experiences
  5. Provides opportunities for social interaction and cooperative play


The Magic of Water Play

Water play is a particularly engaging form of sensory play. It offers unique sensory feedback that captivates children and encourages them to explore. Here's why water play is so beneficial:

  • Tactile Stimulation: Water provides a rich tactile experience, allowing children to feel different temperatures, textures, and pressures.
  • Cause and Effect: As children pour, splash, and manipulate water, they learn about cause and effect, which is a foundational concept for problem-solving.
  • Calming and Soothing: Water play can be calming and soothing for children, helping them regulate their emotions and manage stress.

Different Types of Water Play

There are countless ways to incorporate water play into your child's routine. Here are a few ideas  to get you started:

Water Tables

Water tables are a classic tool for sensory water play. They provide a contained space for children to explore water without making a big mess. Here are some great options from Amazon:

  • Little Tikes Water Table - This water table features a fun spiral design and includes  several play pieces for added engagement. 





    • Step 2 Rain Showers and Unicorns Water Table - This water table holds up to 5 gallons of water and has 13 pieces with a tree-frog, toucan, and tropical fish squish toy with a waterfall and teeter-totter that teaches cause and effect. 




        Splash Pads

        Splash pads are a great way to enjoy water play outdoors. They provide a larger space for children to run, jump, and splash. Check out these options:

        • Splash Pad Sprinkler/Play Mat - This splash pad is incredibly easy to set up with a garden hose and you have control over how much pressure/how high the water goes! Toddlers can use it to play in and older children can use it to run through! 


          • Tummy Time Splash Pad - Comfortable for babies for tummy time to help develop  head and neck control as well as helping hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.  


            Bath Toys

            Bath time is a perfect opportunity for sensory water play. These toys can make bath time even more engaging:

            • Whirling Waterfall Suction Toy for Bathtime - These suction cup base sticks to the bathtub floor or wall and allows for children to explore the concept of movement and  reaction. The colorful beads trapped within the clear center structure allow for babies to connect sound, sight, and motion.  



                • Learning Eyedroppers for Science Exploration - This science-inspired water play activity allows for children to build their fine motor skills and explore the properties of water in addition to learning cause and effect. The larger size of these droppers is perfectly sized for a while hand grasp with little hands.


                  Other Fun Water Play Toy Recommendations

                  Here are a few other recommendations children are sure to enjoy that incorporate water for play!

                  • Dophin Water Wiggler Toy Slippery Water Tube - Kids love squishing and squeezing  these water wiggler toys while watching the dolphins and glitter move and swim. This provides sensory rhythmic feedback that helps some children focus and improve concentration. 


                    • Reusable Soft Texture Water Balls - These are becoming increasingly popular with play  water fights and just overall use in sprinklers, for trampolines, at waterparks, inflatable pools, or in the backyard as toys to use with pets. 



                        • Play Kitchen Sink - This kitchen sink toy is perfect for nurturing children’s desire of playing with water in real-world scenarios. 


                          • Magnetic Fishing Water Toy - This toy is so fun and is useful for improving hand-eye coordination, color recognition, in addition to things like interpersonal skilled and counting skills. 


                            Dive into Fun!

                            Sensory water play is a fun, engaging way to support your child's development. Whether you opt for a water table, splash pad, or simply add some new toys to bath time, your little one is sure to benefit from the rich sensory experience that water provides. So go ahead, dive into the fun!

                            Enriching your child's sensory experiences doesn't have to be limited to just water play. There are many other forms of sensory play that you can incorporate into your child's routine, such as sand play, messy play, and nature exploration. Each type of sensory play offers unique benefits and encourages children to use their senses in different ways. Experiment with different activities and see what sparks joy and curiosity in your child. Remember, the key is to have fun and let your child lead the way in their exploration! So go ahead and dive into fun with sensory water play, but don't be afraid to explore other forms of sensory play too. We have many ideas and options for you to explore on Your child's development will thank you for it!  Happy playing!

                            Note: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always consult with your child's healthcare provider and follow safety guidelines when engaging in sensory play activities. 

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