Practical Life Skills – Water Pouring

I finally sucked it up and set up a water works section for L.  As you may have noticed from my posts about painting, I HATE MESSES!  Relinquishing control and allowing my child to potentially make a big mess is hard for me, but the benefits far outweigh my own personal issues, so I did it.  I set up one shelf in the kitchen with water works and food prep.  I bought some cheap plastic trays with high sides at the dollar store, so water would not spill off of them and they were easily wipeable.  I filled a basket with washcloths and put it next to the water works shelf so L could dry up any spills she made.  And then I let it go.

The first work on our water works shelf is water pouring.  Simple, yet highly satisfying for a two-year-old!  I took two small vases that were favors from a wedding we attended a few years ago.  I filled one about halfway with water, then put the two vases on a tray.  I dyed the water blue with food coloring so it was easily visible (the pics have two different colors of water in them… sorry!).
When L found the water works shelf, she put her hands on her cheeks and yelled, “Happy!”  She’s a pretty silly kid.  As she carried the tray to the table, I told her, “Slowly!”  Now every time she carries a water work she repeats, “Slowly.  Slowly.  Slowly.”  I showed her how to pour one into the other. Water pouring requires hand control and hand-eye coordination.  The repetition of pouring the water from one container to the other builds concentration and focus.  Even spills provide an opportunity for care of the environment, as L gets a washcloth to clean up her mess.  This work also allows for a discussion of “empty” and “full.”  L often sits with this work for 20+ minutes at a time!  It is definitely one of her favorites.