Children receive information through their senses, so sensory exploration is key in the discovery process.
"Materials that include open-ended play... are the best toys you can offer. The possibilities for making discoveries and discussing them are unlimited with sand, water and paint. Such materials promote exploration and discovery." ~Jill Frankel Hauser in Growing Up Reading.As mentioned in my last post: You can help this process by giving them language to describe their discoveries. This helps them to build concepts that will have a lasting impression on them.
Here are a few ideas for water and sand play.
What child doesn't love a sandbox? The bigger and deeper the sandbox the better! My older boys still have such fond memories of our sand box when we first started homeschooling.
Explore sand with:
- measuring cups and spoons (measure, scoop and pour)
- molds (make sculptures and talk about their creation)
- shovels (dig holes and tunnels)
- sieves (sift sand free of twigs and stones)
- funnels (experience how a funnel works)
- water (add varying amounts and talk about the change in the sand's consistency)
|From our alphabet fun with the letter S.|
As they mix, mold, pour and dig in sand, ask if it is dry, damp, or wet? Which sand cake is big, bigger, and biggest? Is the sand rough or smooth?
Water is readily available for most and can be enjoyed in a bathtub, wading pool or even a small tub or tray (but always requires adult supervision).
|Water play with jars.|
- plastic bottles
- wash cloths
- plastic tubing
- meat basters
- measuring cups
- spray bottles
- paint brushes
- plastic medicine droppers
- egg beaters (add a little soap and make bubbles)
- every day objects (which items sink or float)
- ice cube trays (freeze water, make ice sculptures with salt)
We are passing a cold around so I have been stressing the need to wash our hands often ~ she was paying attention! It was a great time to reinforce what germs are and how they make us sick and why what she was doing was a good thing.
While in the bathtub yesterday, she was squirting water with a plastic dropper. I showed her how to squeeze it to push the air out so that it would suck the water in. After she figured it out and played for awhile, I then asked her if she thought it would work underwater. She guessed it wouldn't, so I encouraged her to test that theory. She discovered that the air can still be pushed out of the dropper while under water, but the water won't come in until after she stops squeezing. I told her that is what scientists do to learn about the world around them!
These are simple activities, but the key is to discuss what is happening with your child!
Discussion gives them the language to go along with the experience!
Tomorrow I will talk about PAINT!
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Be sure to visit these brilliant women in this 10 days adventure between February 7th-18th! We love these ladies and we know you do too.
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