Children by nature love water and it doesn’t matter what their age or sex, they are always fascinated by what they can do with water, how it feels on their skin, the different temperatures of water and especially the flow of running water.

From a developmental perspective, waterplay is always very beneficial and well recommended as an effective activity for encouraging skill development: It facilitates the development of tactile stimulation and integration, promotes proprioception and the development of mature grading, force and speed of movement as well as effective coordination as children learn how to pour water from one container to the next. It
stimulates vision and focus as children watch the water being poured through various spouts and containers with different spouting characteristics.

Due to the obvious issue of water wastage in our world today, it is very difficult to allow children to play with water for an extended period of time as they tend to enjoy pouring it out of the container and into the garden or onto the floor. The challenge of a running water activity is even more difficult to achieve. Moreoever, water play tends to be restricted to the Summer months as children tend to become soaking wet by the time they are finished.

What a sheer delight therefore to discover a toy that encourages all these aspects of water play INCLUDING the highlight of continuous running water play without any water wasted and one which can be played throughout the year, every evening without the issue of getting the children’s clothes wet!

The Yookidoo flow n fill spout has been a huge hit in my household and because of it, I am struggling more than ever to get my children out of the bath. Moreoever they are fighting over who gets to play with it so we have developed a sharing and turntaking arrangement which has enabled me to teach them the important lessons of sharing, using an activity that is very meaningful and relevant to them.

It was particularly interesting to observe the different way in which my two children (boy and girl of very different ages) played with the toy.

My 2 year old daughter loved the pouring element and the visual stimulation of seeing which different patterns or “sprays” she could make using the varied spouting actions. She loved to put her hands and feet under the “tap” and experience the different sensory experiences of the various spout actions. She also enjoyed pouring the water from one container to the next and continued to do this for at least 10-15 minutes.

My 4 year old son, used the tap for imaginary play as he is obviously not allowed to play with running water indefinitely. He pretended to be a waiter using the “tea dispenser” to make cups of tea for a range of imaginary people and he loved the independence of being able to turn the tap on and off at his own will- an activity which most kids are not allowed to do, I’m sure. He also filled up various sized containers and poured water from the one to the other, learning by experience how to pour from different weighted containers. His final game was to “shower” all his animal bath toys as he pretended to be an animal washing parlour and had to wash all the animals using different spouting actions depending on how hard or soft he needed to clean
them.

I was impressed at how versatile this toy was and how it was loved and enjoyed by both my kids of very different ages. By watching them engage with it, it was clear that they were learning through play and were developing some very important skills and generating some incredible ideas and creative, independent thinking. I have no doubt that this single bath toy will keep them entertained and fascinated for a very long 
time and will continue to encourage them to develop their skills as they create new and different games of increasing complexity.

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