We enjoyed a glorious 25 minutes in the (frigid) sunshine today as we played with the colorful ice blocks that we set outside to freeze yesterday. There were some challenges building and moving those sometimes slippery blocks with mittens on! But, the kids persevered as they so often do, and we saw some beautiful shimmering towers and formations.
We had a grand adventure today! :) While we were playing outside this morning, one of the kids came running up and said, "Hey! We have thick, oozy mud! Just like Bear Hunt! We need to go on a bear hunt!" In case you're not familiar with the reference, Michael Rosen's We're Going On a Bear Hunt is one of our group's absolute favorite stories. I'm talking, even the 2 year olds can recite it almost word for word because they ask for it so much. :) So, off we went on a bear hunt! We found some long, wavy grass.....
Used our imaginations a bit and called this puddle our deep, cold river...
Circled back to that gloriously thick, oozy mud...
and then we were a bit stumped for a while on how we could find a swirling, whirling snowstorm on a sunny fall day. But eventually the kids came up with not one, but two great ideas for a pretend "snowstorm." We grabbed up a handful of leaves and threw them into the air for our first snowfall, and then we headed to our favorite misting hose for our second snowfall....even catching some "snowflakes" on our tongues!
After that, we finished up with a tiptoe through our big tire "cave" and then came our very favorite part.....screaming and running from the BEAR!!! :) We have recited this story many, many times before, even getting up and doing actions most times, but this is the first time we have ever gone quite this deep into the story....it was SO much fun! Everyone knows about the endless benefits of storytelling and literature for children and their development - language and verbal proficiency, creativity, imagination, & sharpening memory skills to name a few - but beyond all that, there's just something almost magical about getting all wrapped up in a great story, isn't there?
We are exploring dyed tapioca pearls in our sensory table today! A completely edible version of water beads although, would you believe, not even ONE of the kids tried putting these in their mouth this morning?! After finding an extremely wide variety of cooking instructions, I decided to just be completely random and I cooked 3/4 cup of pearls in 2 cups of dyed water for each color. It seemed to work out perfectly! We added a bit of water to the tub for play, and it took away all of the stickiness and made for a fantastic sensory play experience! Aren't they just beautiful?!
We set up a pouring station today and had so much fun with it. Great practice for an important life skill and a fun way to exercise critical thinking skills, eye-hand coordination, self-regulation, and spacial awareness too!
Well, we tried to freeze bubbles once again today, and although still not what I was aiming for, we did at least have some success this time! There is more learning in scientific failures than immediate successes, right?! ;) We learned that smaller bubbles work better than bigger ones, and that we had to keep them protected from even the slightest breath of air. Mostly, as soon as we would start to see the tiniest bit of crystallization/freezing, the bubble would pop. Seeing them pop in these temperatures was pretty cool, too though - instead of just disappearing, they would send out a little poof of frosty, flaky bubble shards. But, see how these two bubbles are cracked, dented, and broken, but still there? They're frozen...we did it!
The kids really loved this sensory exploration this morning. SO simple to set up, too! Just a tub of water, and some trays of colored water with cotton balls in them. I added tweezers at the last minute as an after thought, and it was a definite hit! Whether using the tweezers or their fingers, it was a great fine motor activity, with scientific aspects (absorption, displacement - when they made big splashes, which brought big giggles, too!), and a great opportunity for expanding vocabulary (I heard words like darker, lighter, full, empty, splash, and lots of color words, too).
We are trying out a new twist on an old favorite around here today: colored vinegar and baking soda in ice! The kids love the chemical reaction, as usual, and the ice gives it all added depth and texture.
We are experimenting with sound this morning! Scooping and pouring dry noodles into containers made of different materials. We are having fun noticing the differences between the glass, plastic, ceramic, and metal containers of differing sizes and shapes.
We are having a blast building with egg cartons this morning. And knocking them down is even more fun! It has been such a great opportunity for teamwork, negotiating, problem solving, structure/engineering experience, vocabulary building, and more!
I'm excited for our combination art and science absorption activity today! We have wax coated paper plates, coffee filters, parchment paper, cotton balls, tissue paper, felt, paper towels, tissues, and various types of art papers, and liquid water colors, paintbrushes, and droppers to experiment and create with!
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