Our small indoor terracotta pond cum fountain, besides serving as a source of positive energy flow, and soothing sound of water flow, also doubles up as a unique means of spontaneous, free play for Pari.
It warms my heart to see her play with it for hours sitting on the living room floor, where the fountain is placed. As such, playing with water gives some sort of therapeutic bliss to kids. Be it in rain, in puddles, in bath tubs or under taps – leave them near a water source and they will bond instantly.
As the temperatures have been soaring up and up here in Delhi, I can foresee her spending many a afternoons soaking her hands under the water gushing out gently and steadily from the mouth of the terracotta tortoises.
She's played with it in the past in different ways. This time, she brought out the dinosaurs from her "Prehistoric Earth" to give them a nice bath. She immersed crystal pebbles and watched them glow under water.
She filled tiny cups and bottles and emptied them and refilled them over and over again.
And there was some sensory play involved as she plugged the mouth of the tortoise to see how the water stops from gushing out and then releases her finger slowly.
She then wanted to float a boat in there. So, I taught her how to make a paper boat. Her first real attempt at Origami. I'm sure we're taking it up in a big way. Origami is such a creative traditional art-form.
The boat was made from one of her recent paintings (she had made it with buds as we call them here in India or Q tips in US and elsewhere).
Meanwhile, can it be a hat, too?!
She couldn't contain her excitement to see what would happen when the paper boat would be soaked. Will the colours start running into the water? Will the water become colourful? Which colour?
As the boat started getting more and more wet, the colours started trickling out of the paper and into the "pond".
And the Dino goes – "Row, row, row the boat…"
And the boat is about to do a 'Titanic'…
The pond turned from colourful to soupy to muddy as she squished and sqeezed the paper boat to wring out last drop of water from it and mixed into water.
It took some effort for me to clean it up the next morning but this free play had allowed me 2 hours of peaceful time for my work. (winks) And most important – Pari had spontaneous, unhindered fun.
The possibility to get innovative with such play is immense. In the past, I have given her petals and flowers to float on the pond's surface. She also likes watching candles floating on it.
I really recommend you to get an indoor fountain (or outdoor, if you have a backyard) this summer.
It serves well for the whole family!