There seems to be some kind of fascination that kids have with spray bottles! What better way to sneak some educational value into an already motivating game than to incorporate learning and fine motor concepts into spray bottle play! Don’t let the simplicity of these games undermine their effectiveness in improving both academics and fine motor skills.
Squeezing the squirt bottle requires great fine motor strength and mimics the hand motion needed for scissor skills and pre-writing (pencil grasp skills). Adding in educational value to these games is as limitless as your creativity. Here just a few ways to incorporate educational concepts in spray bottle play.
1. Window Letters
Stick foam letters to a window/or glass door panel and have your child squirt the bottle at the specific letter or word you ask them to. This game will also work well in a bathtub on the tiled wall for indoor play. Make sure you get the foam letters wet on the back to help them stick to the glass or tub tile.
2. Cup Shots
Stick foam letters onto plastic cups (the letters will stick if you wet the back of them) and then instruct your child to spray the water at a specific letter. Have your child shoot at that letter until the cup falls over.
Start by cutting out a piece of paper that matches the same size as the backside of a Tupperware container. Next, write the learning concepts on the paper (such as words, numbers, letters, shapes, etc..) and tape the paper to the backside of the Tupperware container. Finally, instruct the child on which learning concept you want him to squirt the water at.
4. Sidewalk Squirts
Start by writing several different learning concepts in chalk outside on the sidewalk (such as words, letters, shapes, numbers, colors, etc..). Next tell your child which learning concept to squirt and have your child find that specific concept and squirt it. Spread the concepts out when writing them to add more gross motor movement and exercise into the game.
5. Tracing Letters
Write out a large academic concept for your child (i.e. shapes, words, letters, numbers, etc…) and have them use the squirt bottle to spray the outline of the letter/word. Take careful note to ensure that your child is tracing the letters with proper formation such as starting from the top and going downwards. This teaches proper writing formation without having to actually write!
Have fun learning new letters, numbers, and words with your little “squirt”!