On a warm sunny day, there’s nothing children love more than cooling off with some water play. At Little Giants Oran Park, the children can do this every day!
That’s right, this new child care centre features a purpose-built water splash park, and it’s popular with all age groups.
Toddle spoke with Lana Weh, the Assistant Centre Manager at Little Giants Oran Park, NSW. ‘The water play area is a fantastic feature which really is a highlight of the children’s day,’ explains Lana. ‘Our families think it is sensational.’
How is the water splash park set up?
‘The water play station consists of a bucket above the children that slowly fills with water and tips once the bucket is full. This is such an exciting moment for the children as they watch the bucket become heavy and begin to tip; there are always lots of squeals and excitement surrounding this,’ says Lana.
‘There are interactive water squirters that send out water at the height of the children, and water that squirts from the ground which is a great sensory experience for all ages.’
On a warm day, the children change into their sun safe swimmers so that they can get busy splashing and cool off for the day. ‘Children also have a free choice of various indoor and outdoor experiences derived from our educational curriculums whilst the water park is in action,’ explains Lana.
‘We aim to use the splash park in smaller groups so the children can have ample space to move freely with their friends,’ says Lana.
A hit with the children
The children at the centre are lucky enough to be able to play in the splash park whenever the mood strikes. ‘Most children love water play so our splash park is a fabulous extension to this popular interest,’ explains Lana.
‘They especially love when the bucket fills and slowly tips to splash everywhere. There are lots of squeals and laughter to express the fun they are having.’
Water fun and games
The splash park is a great opportunity for free play for the children. The educators watch and see if the little ones need some guidance or ideas for games.
‘Some of the fun games we play are crocodile snaps to see who can catch the water with their hands and dinosaur stomps to see who can stomp or squash the water spouting from the ground. This is a great opportunity to challenge gross motor skills and support physical movement,’ says Lana.
‘Overall it is just a fun opportunity for the children to explore and have fun! It is a great way for our educators to see their children’s interests and ideas stem from our water play area.’
‘I’ve never seen a centre with a water park. The kids love it. It gets really hot out here in the summer so it’s one of the biggest features.’
Benefits of water play for children
‘Water play has amazing benefits,’ explains Lana.
‘It is great for developmental motor skills, problem-solving skills, language development, social and emotional growth, science and mathematical learning.’
The best part is, the children are learning through play without even realising.
What do the parents think?
For a family coming to see the centre for the first time, their eye will naturally be drawn to this novel outdoor feature. ‘The parents love the idea of the water park and knowing that their child can have even more fun with their peers and educators whilst at Little Giants,’ says Lana.
‘If the water park is running in the evening we often have younger or older siblings joining in the fun and having a splash too.’
‘Our water play area makes us unique as we believe we are the only centre in Oran Park and surrounding areas that has this feature.’
Lana Weh, Assistant Centre Manager, Little Giants Oran Park
How can we recreate this at home?
‘There are many ways water play can be recreated at home even without the amazing feature of a water park,’ says Lana.
‘Water troughs, buckets, hoses, sprinklers, watering cans, even household items from the kitchen; the opportunities are endless!’
Oran Park is a suburb in south-west Sydney, in the Macarthur region. You can find out more about Little Giants Oran Park, or search for child care in your area with Toddle.
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