As most of us all know that here in Mangawhai, our summers can be particularly hot and dry. Unfortunately, this means that here at Before Six our water play activities need to be drastically limited to try and conserve as much water as possible. Sustainable practices such as using water appropriately is a regular discussion point with our tamariki, particularly when filling up our water trough, where we prompt the children to think about ways that they can re-use or re-purpose the water, or when we fill their drinking cups the tamariki are encouraged to feed the surrounding gardens with their leftover water.
We have recently purchased some new outdoor water play channels for the Kauri room and last week I was really excited to see sustainability in practice within the playground. I had set up the water channels and the trough in the sandpit and I observed a group of tamariki experimenting with pouring water down the channels and trying to catch the water from the bottom using a container. Once the container at the bottom was full, they swapped it out with another vessel, then re-used the water from the container to pour back down the water channel. Such wonderful problem-solving tamariki ma! Mahi nui! Promoting a sense of value and respect for water is fundamental when educating tamariki about the natural world. Water is critical to our existence and we believe that if children understand the significance of this important resource they will be more inclined to use it wisely.