Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

We're melting (colorful ice)!

With temperatures hitting 100* this week, we need to find ways to stay cool while we play outside.  I've seen some fantastic ideas on Pinterest, including Ice Play Ideas from kids weekly co-op , watercolor ice art from Learn Play Imagine , and More fun with colored ice from Time For Play.

I'm also very interested in reusing and recyling as much as possible, and have been saving dried markers for a while, in order to make my own watercolor paints - an idea I found on Finding My Marbles.

This week I put all those ideas together, and came up with this invitation to play.
 To get the beautiful colors, I soaked similar colored old markers in a little water for a couple of days.  Don't you love the intensity of the pink?  Once I had the colors, I watered them down enough to fill a variety of reused containers, and froze them.

I anticipated some fun color mixing as the ice melted, and we did see some of that - unfortunately I offered too many colors, and the resulting mix eventually resulted in a yukky grey-brown.  The kids didn't seem to mind, because, as always, it's the process they are interested in, much more than the result. 

They were fascinated by the colors and shapes, and crowded around the water table to get in on the action!
At first they were most fascinated by the colors and the mixing, not to mention the sheer fun of playing with ice and icy water on a hot day.
 Pretty quickly though, their main focus shifted from the melting colors, to another element I had put in the water table - a large block of ice with plastic ocean animals frozen throughout it.
 I made the block of ice by freezing a couple of inches of water at a time, with a few plastic critters added in each time.  The kiddos wanted to get those critters out!
 It was interesting to watch, and to listen to the children as they worked.  They started by wondering how to melt the ice to free the creatures: water, or other ice cubes.  I asked what melts things, and they were quite sure it was heat.  I asked which was warmer, the water, or the ice cubes - and they had it.  Water could melt the ice!  They poured, and poured and poured water onto the block.
 A critter was sticking out!  Excitement!  Pour more water, quick!

 They wrestled with the plastic animals, and I was really impressed with how well they took turns, and how they cooperated to free the animals from the ice.  With only one large block of ice (plus lots of smaller ones), we could easily have had a problem, but I didn't hear anyone fuss or complain, they simply got to work - together.
 When an older sibling came to pick up one of the kiddos, he joined on in too - this was an irrisistable challenge for the children!
 Slowly, the animals were freed from the ice.  Then another interesting thing happened: some children continued to pour water and free animals, and others began making "soup" with the ones that were already out.  (Anyone for whale, dolphin, crab soup?)

 It took 75 minutes for the block of ice to be completely melted, and all the toys released.  While they played, one of the girls told me, "You should make a fairy princess ice cube next."  She's right, and I'm already thinking of all the fun things to add... sparkles... jewels...pink or purple water...
Guess what I have planned for next Friday?  Oh yes, pink fairy princess ice cubes, here we come!

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