Bring Play Value to the Splashpad

There has been a wealth of research into the value of play in recent years, and we now know that play contributes to physical, cognitive and social development. Increasingly, splash play designers are taking these benefits into account as they create fun, nurturing and meaningful water playscapes.

Q: How can water play contribute to physical development?

A: There's no denying that the fun of water play will get kids moving. If you've ever watched kids playing in and around water, you know what kind of excitement it generates.

But in addition to just plain fun, water play contributes to healthy physical development, building gross and fine motor skills. Kids on the splashpad run, dodge and jump to develop gross motor skills, while developing fine motor skills through interactive features like pumps, movable cannons and floating objects.

In addition, water has a sensory aspect that teaches children about how we are connected physically with water through mists, sprinkling, dumping, raining, splashing and more.

Q: How can water play contribute to cognitive development?

A: When designers of water playscapes aim to design products that maximize learning opportunities, everyone wins. In addition to the cause and effect learned through many interactive elements on the splashpad, newer play modules are available inspired by streams to engage users in an interactive learning experience. Children can drop gates, block nozzles and turn levers to manipulate water.

Within the water playscape, children can play alone, engaging their own imagination to create a new adventure. Or, they can collaborate with others to manipulate the sprays and streams. They can even get competitive, racing objects downstream. This cooperative play helps develop social skills as children learn to work together to create various effects in the water.



Vortex Aquatic Structures International