Our sand and water unit has been a great success! I believe the children would never tire of these activities. As they continue to explore they find new things do with the sand and water everyday. Today one little boy decided to shovel the moon sand into a bucket of water.
The children began to notice that the sand settled on the bottom and the cornstarch made the water turn a milky color. Other children began to join in and it became a very focused group endeavor to fill the bucket and watch the layers grow.
The children decided to add colored sand to the bucket which meant they had to carefully carry the sand from the activity table to the bucket on the patio.
The project turned out to be a great impromptu science experiment where the children practiced observation and fine motor skills as well as teamwork.
Our sand exploration continued today as the children made moon sand. Moon sand is quite expensive and cost prohibitive to purchase in bulk for the preschool. There are many recipes on the internet for making it so we gave it a try.
The first step was to measure 16 cupfuls of beach sand and pour it into the tub. We practiced counting in Chinese at the same time. Learning to measure had its challenges but we'll get lots more practice with that skill this year as we explore all of our science themes.
Next 8 cups of cornstarch was added to the sand. The soft powdery feel of cornstarch provides a great sensory experience for the kids.
Getting the right consistency was a challenge. This is a bit too wet still, but as the water evaporated some it became more moldable.
The boys began putting trucks in the sand to see what would happen. They found that the tires make prints in the sand.
Kerry has spent the last couple weeks building this giant balance that I saw on the internet and just had to have for this year's science projects. It's the perfect toy for our outdoor water and sand table.
Water was the next obvious choice to try out on the balance. A soaker hose has been wound through the shrubs, tree, and over the playhouse to create "rain" on hot summer days. The kids decided filling their measuring cups from the "rain" was ideal.
We'll continue to experiment and compare other things this week. We'll look at wet and dry sand, water and sand, water and river pebbles, sand and pebbles and whatever else the kids want to weigh.
Yiwen has been teaching the kids Chinese colors and related vocabulary. Today they began with a game to find which house the mouse was hiding behind. The kids would chant "Mouse, mouse are you in the red house?" Then a child picks up the red house to see if the mouse is there. The Chinese translation is "Laoshu, laoshu are you in the hong se fang zi?"
The children were fascinated with the colored sand that was added to our water table today. Additional toys and containers were provided for more experimentation. Several new sand and water activities are planned for the next two weeks.