Saturday, April 2, 2011

Learning Through Water Play-One Drop at a Time

Exploring water can be fascinating.

We started our exploration with plain water and eye droppers.  The trays were lined with wax paper. 
The children started with dropping amounts of water on the tray and seeing the interaction of the droplets.

They quickly discovered how they could drag the drops with their droppers to meet others.

Some figured out that they could use their own fingers much the same way. 

They noticed that the droplets increased in size as they connected with others.  They learned that the speed with which they squirted out the water affected the size of the droplets formed. 

Then they started changing the path of the droplets by blowing on them or moving their trays.  They were even observing how the wax paper changed depending on if the water was dropped on top of the paper or if it seeped below the paper. 

After several days we added ramps and all new discoveries were possible.

Then we colored the water.

Each was a step that acknowledged their prior discoveries and challenged them to investigate further.

When a child became intrigued with the paper towel we were using to wipe up the table, and began dropping water on it, we added that to the experiment.  Each tray then had a piece of wax paper and a piece of paper towel on it for comparison. 

With the colored water, the children loved what was happening to the paper towels used to clean up the spills, so that became the center; colored water dropped onto paper towels-a simple tie dye activity evolved. 

We sparked their curiosity and then followed their lead.
The smiles explain better than any words the joy experienced when learning science through play!

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