Habitot Children's Museum

FALL-WINTER HOURS
October 1- March 31
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30

SPRING-SUMMER HOURS
April 1 - September 30
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30
Private Rentals Only

THIS MONTH'S SPONSOR
State Farm Insurance
Berkeley Agent, Gary Eason
http://garyeason.net/



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Habitot is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that relies on community support



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Habitot Children's Museum
2065 Kittredge Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 647-1111
www.habitot.org


Q: How does water play build healthy brains?

A: The summer is a great time to explore indoor and outdoor water play with your child. Even though we are currently in a drought, there are many opportunities to explore the joy and the science of water through open-ended exploratory play without wasting it. The beach, the backyard, the bathtub and the sink all provide excitement and learning experiences such as acquisition of fine motor skills, social skills, and early math, science and language concepts. Not to mention, it’s pure fun!

Water and a few inexpensive tools can provide a sensory and learning experience of immense proportions. What is it children get out of their water study, which looks so much like fun? Free play with water can build the foundation for understanding of a multitude of scientific concepts, including those in:

  • physics (flow, motion)
  • chemistry (solutions, cohesion)
  • biology (plant and animal life)
  • mathematics (measurement, equivalence, volume)
Tools for Water Exploration Small, safe, unbreakable, sturdy, recycled when possible • measuring cups • containers of different shapes and sizes • funnels • ladles • straws (when children will not drink from them) • basters • droppers • sifters • colanders

Here are some ways to have fun with your child in the water and promote early learning at the same time:

  • At the beach, lake or river: Sand and water are great natural learning materials. Children can learn early science concepts by mixing sand and water to create beach mud. Shovels, funnels, and cups are great materials for sorting, measuring, and pouring, and lay the groundwork for future mathematical concepts. Playing with sand and rocks also promotes the development of fine motor coordination. When your child builds with his hands or moves sand around with his fingers he is making crucial connections in his brain that will set the stage for future learning.

  • In the back yard: With a small pool or bucket in the backyard children can experiment with various materials to see if they float or sink and understand concepts such as shallow and deep. Casual discussions about what you observe about the objects can also enhance your child's vocabulary. Dramatic play such as a "toy car wash" or "baby washing" can also enhance yourchild's vocabulary as well as provide a base for social and emotional awareness and an understanding of "the way the world works."

    The backyard is also a great place for art experiences. Children can use paintbrushes and water to "paint" walls, fences and the ground. This is a great opportunity for children to practice early art and literacy concepts and enhance their imaginations. When you’re all done playing, water your plants with the leftover water and add an extra layer of learning about environmental consciousness, conservation and how plants grow!

  • In the bathtub or sink: If you have limited time to go to the beach or play outside this summer you can use bath time or kitchen time as exciting opportunities to experiment with water. Any of the above activities can be adapted to the bathtub or the sink. Add household objects like a strainers or turkey baster to turn up the learning and fun.

It is important to make sure that all water play is safe. If you have any questions about Water Safety please stop by the museum for an Early Childhood Safety Campaign event on Friday, July 10 or Saturday, July 11 from 10-12 and speak to a Junior lifeguard from Easy Bay Parks Department about keeping your children safe around water.



 
Online Resources:

Science Concepts Young Children Learn Through Water Play. Carol M. Gross. Dimensions of Early Childhood 3 Vol 40, No 2: 2012.

Water Play: Wet and Wonderful. Angie Dorrell, MA. Early Childhood News. 2008.

Water Safety: Tips for Parents of Young Children. Healthy Children. 2015.



Books:

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder. Louv, Richard, (2005). Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

 
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