Playing with water can be a wonderful tool for laying the ground work for future mathematical and scientific learning as well as a fun, hands-on learning experience rich with discovery.
- How water takes the shape of its container.
- How water flows down to the earth pulled by gravity.
- How water sticks to itself (cohesion).
- Water sticks to other materials (adhesion).
- Air makes bubbles in water and rises to the surface.
- How water can turn things into mixtures or solutions.
We gathered items from around the garden and made hypotheses of what would happen when we put them in a large tub of water.
A lot of the learning comes through meaningful conversations between the teachers and the children that supports scientific inquiry.
Inquiry is a process that includes foundational skills like exploring, wondering, and raising questions, and more sophisticated practices like collecting and recording data and analyzing previous ideas in light of new evidence.
Child: "It will float like a boat!"
Teacher: "Why do you think the leaf floats?"
Child: "It just floats."
Teacher: "Do you think the leaf is lighter or heavier than the water?"
Teacher: "How are the ball and the rock different from each other?"
Child: "Ball is bigger and the rock's little."
Teacher: "Is the ball heavier or lighter than the rock?"
Child: (long contemplation) "Lighter!"
Teacher: "How are the ball and the rock the same?"
Child: "They are both circles!"
The floating naturally led to a fascination with boats!
In this science experiment we had a contest to see who can design a Tin Foil Cargo Boat that will hold the most pennies.
We made Sail Boats out of pool noodles, straws, and self-designed sails!
DIY Water Slides are another fun way to explore the effects of water!
We compared making Watercolors on dry paper with watercolors on wet paper.
These frozen Paint Cubes are a creative way to explore a solid that then melts into a liquid.
- How does the ice feel?
- What is happening to it?
- How long do you think it will take to completely melt?
This Ice and Rock Salt activity was inspired by Figment Creative Lab - they have the coolest art workshops in Austin that focus on STEAM learning in an art studio environment!
Child: "It's like the ocean turning it into a river?"
Teacher: "Do you think the salt raises the temperature at which water freezes or lowers the temperature that water freezes
Child: (long contemplation) "It lowers it!"
Allowing children plenty of time for contemplation gives them time to formulate their own hypotheses, predictions and ideas!
We extended the activity by creating Ice Sculptures with liquid watercolor.
Annie prepared Home-made Ice Cream with us! So simple and delicious with only coconut milk, raw honey, and vanilla essence.
We mixed water, corn starch, and food coloring to create Ooblek!
Child: "It's a liquid!"
Another Child: "It's a solid!"
Teacher: "You're both right!"
Picking and shelling (and eating!) black eye peas from the garden was another favorite activity!
The kids love feeding the bunnies carrots and collards from the garden too.
Hay Bale Playground!
Super-fun and super-yum! We were inspired by a picture in Thrive magazine to create these pretty fruit 'pizzas' with bananas, blueberries, strawberries, coconut, and mint leaves. Such a cute Summertime snack!