Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Importance of Getting Dirty and Clean.

Sand and Water play. It's where it's at in our room.
We don't have too many any kids that say "No way! I will not play in the sand and water."
Each of them have their preference.
There are some kids that will just scoop dirt but never really make their hands touch it, and there are some kids that can't stand having a drop of water on their clothes and will leave water play as soon as it gets sloppy. That's okay. It is an important option to have available.

Here's why.

It promotes cooperative play. Our sand and water tables each hold 4 children. That is what we allow in the centers at any given time. There are only so many accessories in those tables, and they have to learn to share them. Kindergarten Rules.

The amount of science and math they learn from sand and water play would amaze you! They learn to measure and pour. They learn the different consistency of the materials. How the sand is different from the water, how the water feels with bubbles in it vs. how it feels with no bubbles. Our kinders described it to me as "fuzzy with bubbles" and "soft with bubbles".

Right now our sand table looks like this:

Our sand table started off with traditional sand toys. Buckets, shovels, rakes etc. This week my teaching partner switched it up to this. They are loving it! :) I observed a boy sticking his fingers in the sand to make little holes and when I said "What are you making?" he said "pot holes." so matter-of-factly. They have made roads, and hills, a mountain and even a tunnel! Their imaginations are going wild!!!!! So-in addition to the math/science and cooperation, they are using their creativity.
Our water table did look like this:
Traditional water play toys. It started off with no bubbles, and then we added bubbles, and now those toys are put away. We now have a set of foam alphabet shapes. They float and they stick to the sides of the water table. Both things that our kinders discovered their first day using the materials. I also witnessed a child making  an alphabet sandwich today! He had about 10 letters all stacked, pretending to eat it, and he called it an alphabet sandwich! <-----again. Creative? I think so.
Is it messy? Yes.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
See the pretty little water table up there^? Well-it may look absolutely state of the art-but don't be fooled. It's by far the most useless piece of equipment if we are measuring its convenience. It is so hard to empty. It has a totally inefficient tap to drain it. BUT-----again. It's worth it. They love it. They use it. They learn from it.


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