Making our River!
This morning, we placed all of our materials that we collected at the river on the table for the children to openly explore as an invitation to play. The children immediately recognized these materials from yesterday and were so excited to explore them. It first began as a very sensory oriented experience. E, A, J, W, R, G, V, I and C all came over at least once to explore the items at the table. The children spent time comparing the size, shape and texture of the different rocks. (Pre-math skills) Exploring the parts of the grass from the roots to the tips. V then noticed all the sticks and remembered the pile of sticks from the river “Let’s make a beaver dam like this one” (referencing the photos that were up) . C, A and W worked hard to pile the sticks, rocks, and grass up to stop the water. When they had added all the materials, A said “It’s time to add the water” We added some fresh water and left the river water in a clear jar for the children to explore. “It’s not working” A said as the water dripped under their beaver dam. This seemed to be disheartening as the play seemed to slowly break down after that.
During snack however, the interest came back up when W said “Maybe we can bring the river stuff outside and we can keep trying to make the river!” Bringing the outdoors in and vice versa is so incredibly important in our philosophy we obviously said yes! This seemed to spark the excitement again about creating rivers. V said “Maybe we can dig a line all around the sand and fill it up with water to make the river and see if it will sink in or float.” This started a very interesting conversation as the children shared their theories of what they thought would happen to the water. E said “The water will just sink into the sand!” A said “We will have to put something on top so it won’t sink into the sand” Lolo went to the recycle centre and came back with 2 of the ramps we have been using. “What about these? Do you think these will keep the water up?” The consensus was mixed so we decided to try out theory. Lolo poured water into the middle A said “you need to catch the water at the end” The children watched as lolo poured the water in and they waited to see if it would drip through. “It didn;t drip!”
After snack we took the materials outside to test the children’s theories. The children quickly got to work digging the trenches. V used the ramps to create an outline “Now we know how big to dig it” This must have looked super exciting as many of the Schoolage children came over to join. The multi-age grouped children worked collaboratively to create their river exploring how the items they added changed the oath or direction of the water. R excitedly said “A WATERFALL” as he noticed the water hitting a rock and flowing off of it. He happily put his hand in and out of the water giggling as we did so. The children then wanted to explore ways to “Stop the Water” They began digging the sand and filling up the far end of the ramp and laughed as the water started to build up and spill over “It’s working!”
Lauren Dewar RECE, Selena Martin