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!

Friday, August 15, 2014

More ice play!

 A few weeks ago I blogged about our fun ice play, and about how long the children played and worked together to get all the little toys out of the ice.  It was such a successful play experience, that we've revisited ice play several times since.  This week I added some new twists.
 When we went outside to play with the ice, we found it was very difficult to get the ice out of the bucket.  The sides of the bucket are straight, and as I took it directly from the freezer to the play table, there hadn't been time for the ice to melt enough to separate from the bucket.  I asked the kiddos what we should do.
 There were a lot of suggestions, everything from "hit it hard" to "pour water on it," to "leave it in the sun until it melts."  We tried hitting it first, taking turns to smack the bottom of the upturned bucket.  Not surprisingly, it was very hard and unyielding.  I was really proud of the kiddos towards the end who decided they really didn't need to hit it - they'd seen their friends' faces, and the lack of results, and just didn't need to go there for themselves.
 Pouring water on it didn't work very quickly, but we continued, and sat it in the sun at the same time, and were eventually able to release it from the bucket.
 This time I offered empty squirt bottles as well as cups for the children to pour the water.  They were fascinated with the squirt bottles, which was just as well, as I had (foolishly!) only made one large block of ice for them to share.
 Here's some great recycling and reusing: empty mustard bottles and snowcone syrup bottles.  Refilling them was also a fascinating process - most of the children tried to pour water back in the same way it had come out, only to find the tiny openings very frustrating. 
I helped out with loosening a few lids, and they quickly caught on, removing and replacing lids as necessary.
 Just as before, some kiddos were happy to work at releasing the trapped "treasure", and others wanted to play with the pieces that had come out.  Others just played with the water and the pouring experience. 

 Fast forward a few days.  We played ice again!  This time I had prepared several frozen containers, and replaced the cups with tiny pipettes.  We got a fine motor workout!
 Learning how to get water into the pipettes was tricky, I had to hold several children's hands and talk them through the process a few times, but eventually everyone could do it.
 It definitely took a lot longer to pour enough water over the ice to melt it to release the new treasure: reused lids. 
 As you can see, the children were very engaged with what they were doing, very focused on their self directed goals.  Even though we all played with the same set of materials, every child had a unique experience, using the materials in their own ways, and in their own time.  This is what I believe early childhood education should look like!

If you are interested in enrolling your child in my program, please also check out my website at www.paulaspreschoolandkindergarten.webs.com and submit the "contact me" form. 

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