As parents and teachers we often create activities with something specific in mind, then when we add our little ones the activity takes a turn. That is the moment when we can encourage or lose our cool and stop everything and fight against our little charges and get the activity “back on track”. There will be days when the best choice IS to redirect the children and stick to the plan but many more where we can trust our children and follow their learning and exploration.
My plan was to have a desert and swamp water table activity her plan was to explore what happens when things get wet. We went with her plan, I’ll still share mine in case it’s useful for you.
Gather your materials. You will need some sand, rocks, and desert animal figurines for the desert side of the table. For the swamp side you will need water, pebbles, grass clippings, frogs and other swamp animal figurines.
Pour your sand into one side.
And your water in the other. Add all the extras.
I envisioned exploring the differences and for a few minutes she did. We talked about the frog life cycle and made snake prints in the sand… and then went off-book and the real fun started.
The kinetic sand went into the water, and out, and in.
She stirred the water and let it settle, found the animals and hid then under the water again… and kept exploring.
Parenting and teaching is a balance of choosing your battles, but it’s only a battle if we choose to look at it that way. If we choose to think about how they are exploring, how they are learning about their world through their senses and following their own curiosity we can battle bigger issues than sticking to the plan all the time.
Where did you get your water table from? I’m in search for one. This looks like it’s perfect for open ended work.