Sunday, May 19, 2013

Warm Weather Provocations

One of my new favorite tools is a low, wooden tray that was gifted to us.  It's very helpful for catching loose parts as they fall and now I have been experimenting with water play while we go outside in the afternoon.  It is a constant joy to see how little water it takes to make this sensory exploration possible and long lasting.

This week we tried many variations including water as our weather has turned for the warm.  First we tried ice and there was much dumping and splashing.  We also tried small tubes, containers and metal bowls.
The most interesting thing I noticed through our exploration was there were two common behaviors that happened with the children: collection and full body exploration.
On the first day, H searched out and found ever ice cube and one by one made a pile outside of the wooden tray.  He would smile at me periodically as he made his pile of ice.  When he felt satisfied that he had found them all he returned them to the tray and repeated his actions.  The same thing happened when Z was manipulating the plastic register tape rolls.  He made a pile on the grass next to the tray and then returned them to the water.  Both had a sense of satisfaction as they played with this sense of gathering and returning.  They were also categorizing the items available into like piles, which helped their mind create a new file in their brain.  It was a physical way for them to say, "This is the same.   This is ice.  This is this shape."  Having the ability to manipulate and use all of their senses to know that item, created a new file in their brain and I look forward to how they will use that knowledge in the future.

The other way the children explored this provocation, was to lay or sit on the tray or use their hands to splash and feel the water.  This contrasts from the finer motions of collecting objects as they navigate their whole body on and off the tray and then experimented with this idea of water-ness: what is water?  this is wet! what happens when I hit it? taste it? Look at it?  And the list of their interactions goes on and on.

As the weather continues to get warmer, our water play will become more involved.  Our combining of wonder and play will push our creative explorations further and further.


Are sprinklers next?

Wonder is the heaviest element on the periodic table.  Even a tiny fleck of it stops time. Diane Ackerman

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