Water & Mirrors

Today acrylic mirrors were added to the water tubs for the children to explore. The children enjoyed looking at and playing with their own reflections as well as that of the objects they were playing with.

Water play was extended to washing the playhouse as well as mixng sand and water in the sand box.

The children continued working with the ducks from yesterday. They used the rubber ducks as stamps and made prints on paper.


A Very Wet Day!

On Wednesday after music circle time the children listened to Alexander's Outing written by Pamela Allen. Alexander's family goes on a walk, but Alexander can't watch where he's going and falls down a hole. Several attempts are made to rescue him, but all fail. Finally a little boy spills his drink into the hole and everyone notices that Alexander floats up a bit. In the end everyone pours water into the hole and Alexander eventually floats to the top and hops out.

After reading the story the preschoolers went outside to try the experiment for themselves. They put ducks into "holes" (plastic containers) and then poured water in and watched the ducks float to the top.

In the afternoon the children played with colored water and tried the duck experiment again.

Many toys and tools have been set out for the children to explore. At one point they decided the boat needed to be washed.

The misters felt good on a hot day! A soaker hose was wound through the shrubs above the walkway and play house. Kids tried catching the "rain" and enjoyed getting wet.


Colored Water Play

Our water play continues and today the children began exploring colored water. They chose to make pink and purple water.

They poured water into the tubs.

Next they added pink tempera paint.

Purple was the next choice.

After coloring the water they began playing with bottles and mixing colors together.

It took some time for the children to mix the water and paint, but the end result was very vibrant colors which the children enjoyed playing in. Tomorrow we'll try some other colors.


Wheelbarrow Playscape

Kerry painted our wheelbarrow blue to match the boat and then the children created a miniature playscape in it.

They filled the wheelbarrow with soil,

put in some plants,

and then topped it with bark chip.

They finished the project by adding a couple rocks and then played with dinosaurs and insects in the new space. Their new playscape is portable so when interest wanes we can move it to another location and put a different set of animals in it.


Squirt Bottles

The kids continue to play in their new water table and experiment with many of the objects provided. I would not normally add a post featuring only one child, but I loved these pictures. And, I admire the intensity and the pleasure that this little girl portrays. It's interesting to watch how her play progressed while experimenting first with shaking the bottle and then quirting it upwards, then horizontally until she finally realizes she can make patterns in the pea gravel.


What Floats? & Ping Pong Balls

Today while waiting for friends to arrive a couple of our boys played in the gym with some brightly colored ping pong balls. The boys had a great time bouncing the balls and then catching them in cups.
During the next couple weeks we have several water activities planned. We began this week just exploring and playing in the new water table. Today the children experimented with different objects to see which would float or sink.


Our New Water Table

The children tried out the new water table that Kerry built over the weekend. It still needs to be sealed and finished, but we covered it with plastic and set up all the activities. Today there were four tubs filled with water and a variety of different toys to experiment with. We'll keep adding activities to the table throughout the rest of the summer. The very last picture is my favorite. One of the boys has discovered how to make a stream of water flow from the table to the grass.


Tin Foil River

Today the teachers created a tin foil river for the children to float different objects such as toy boats, bottle caps, and cut up pool noodles. The kids had a great time experimenting and getting wet!

Matching Colors in Chinese!

Yesterday Yiwen reviewed colors with the children in Chinese. The children were then given paint sample cards with holes punched in each color. The children's task was to find objects that match the paint samples by placing the cards on different objects. Yiwen reinforced Chinese vocabulary and at the same time the children practiced using visual discrimination skills. Visual discrimination is an important skill children need as they learn to read and do math. While it may seem that matching colors is pretty basic the children are actually learning to compare objects and look for differences and similarities. The task our kids were engaged in was made a bit more complex as the children had to find which of the four colors on the card best matched the object they were looking at. For further information about visual discrimination and it's role in education look at this link: Early Childhood Development of Visual Discrimination - School Sparks. To top it all off our children learned Chinese vocabulary while practicing this vital skill!