Today as HR, C, SC and V were digging and pouring water I made an observation:
"It looks like a lake is forming."
The intention was to plant a seed of inspiration and information to drive the play to the next level. Sometimes these seeds sprout and other times they never break the ground. Today, the idea of a lake took off quickly.
HR - It is a lake! The water is inside. But we need more
V - I will build a lake of sand over the top.
SC - What is a lake?
C - I know how to make a lake. You need to put sprinkles of sand on top.
HR - NO! You just need water. Like this, See??
I stepped back at this point an allowed the children to integrate this new information into their play. Water is scooped in a hole that was dug. Some of the water began to drain under the sand. Where did it go? Some sand is added which covers the water. Where did the sand go?
These questions begin the cycle of inquiry and wonder which drives the work and play of the children. By asking questions and allowing them to sit in the air for a while, they are able to draw their own conclusions, seek more answers through their play and answer for each other. When I am able to observe their wonderings, it gives me ideas for where to go next.
Sand and water are a favorite open ended, loose parts material that lend themselves perfectly for introducing the idea of Landforms: lakes, rivers, continents, countries, islands, archipelagos. It gives the children a concrete way to explore with what shapes our earth is made up of, as well as exploring the qualities of the sand and the water as they mix together.