|Playing at the sink|
I have a distinct memory of my sister and cousin getting in trouble for playing with the water in the bathroom - they'd slipped away unnoticed and when one of the adults realized it was too quiet, they'd been found out - water play over! Thinking only of the mess, I often cringe when Beansprout wants to "wash" his hands; and it's this memory that helps remind me of the pure fun kids have playing with water. When we're able to oblige, the scene usually plays out the same way - Beansprout starts by actually washing his hands, and then he quickly moves to grabbing things out of the drain pan to re-rinse them (I must have missed a spot), soaking any cloths he can find near the sink, and just holding his hands under the water - he could spend hours at this play.
The brilliant thing about play is all that you can learn while in the flow. Hot, cold, pour, float . . . no need to set up structured learning scenes, the kitchen sink is scientific learning at work! Not Just Cute has a great post about the benefits of sensory play, if you're interested in sensory play for little ones. What I love about watching children play, however, is how much it reminds me of what I'm learning or re-learning by being around them. As adults we DO play with water -- how many of you have you ever felt renewed by a simple game of splash in the pool? And, do any of you indulge in a relaxing bath filled to the top with bubbles? Simple ways to refresh our spirits and senses with water.