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Tweezers - The Item You Might Never Have Expected to See in Water Play

Reimagining water play experiences with different, or lesser-known resources can provide a shift in learning intentions that emphasise creativity and function.

Written by: Jo Harris - Educational Advisor  

Usually when educators think of the learning benefits of water play, they tend to think of its sensory properties. It is easy to imagine children filling and emptying various-sized containers to explore aspects such as quantity and volume of liquids.

As children first approach a water play experience the conversation may be geared toward which objects sink or float. This is a natural starting point as it responds to how objects ‘behave’ in the water before they are picked up and exploration begins.

Water Play Learning with a Focus on Construction 

Reimagining water play experiences with resources that borrow from those used with sand play, can provide a shift of learning intentions that emphasise lesser-known skills children can master. Stacking individual pieces which include different-sized pots and a canopy circle to construct a tower, causes it to pivot and rotate, so that water can cascade down the structure. Using specially designed ladles and scoops, children can use tweezers to transfer things as they choose.

Experimenting with Water

Much like other areas of the program, it can be easy to stick to the same tried and true resources when setting up a water play activity. By observing the kind of play the children are engaged in, will stimulate ideas that may encourage a rethink of what learning intentions will be planned for and what equipment will be chosen.

  Children can continue their exploration by creating bigger towers with the different parts of the ECO Sand and Water Kit.  Once the water is poured over the structure, they can watch how the water drips and sprays in a circular motion.   As children test varied amounts of water and the speed at which they spin the structure, it will encourage them to pose questions and observe the cause and effect of the experience.  

Emphasising Fine Motor Skills

Children’s fine motor skills can be developed by adding an assortment of small objects to pick up, sort, and classify using ergonomically designed tweezers. Part of the ECO Sand and Water Play Kit, these are ridged to allow easy gripping of small items, such as shells, pebbles, stones, flowers, and leaves.

As play continues to develop there is an opportunity for children to become curious about other properties of water outside of this concept. Discussions about what water is made up of and what gives it the sense that it is either heavy or light are ideal starting points for further questions and wonderings.

For more ideas to boost children’s water play activities and experiences visit


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