Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A splashing good time

Ever heard the rhyme, "Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day!" Well living in sunny California, this is not the case...let it pour! 
Coming from an Early Years background in Great Britain, we played out come sun, rain, wind and snow. Playing out in different weather conditions, promotes a knowledge of seasons and provides an opportunity for learning experiences and most importantly FUN! 
My daughter was only 18 months when we explored her first puddle and it was a big hit.
Get on your rain boots and rain coat and head on outside!
Who can play?
Children of all ages... young and old.

It goes without saying that young children need constant supervision when around water. It has been known for children to drown in just a couple of inches of water.
Watch out for slippy areas and try to avoid them.
Ensure that you and your child wear the appropriate clothing. Even though people say that you cannot catch a cold from getting cold, I would not chance it, plus it is not enjoyable to be wet and cold.

What do we need?

  • Waterproof coat
  • Rain boots
  • Optional umbrella
  • Washing up liquid
  • Paintbrushes
What did we do?
Bee, was really excited to play in the rain. This was her first experience of a downpour, and as you can see by the photographs she loved it.
Once we had put on our waterproof clothing and boots we explored the water by kicking it. Learning about its properties. Next was the fun part... for both of us. We jumped up and down, trying to create big puddles. Bee found this so funny, especially when the water went on her face.

We then added washing up liquid to the large puddle and watched how when we jumped around it made bubbles. 
The paintbrushes then came out and we began drawing and mark making with the bubbles. pushing it back and forth on the ground, creating small foamy bubbles. Bee enjoyed swishing the paint brush from side to side.
At the time of this activity, we were attending a parent education setting, with an inspirational teacher, Miss Bonnie. She taught us a bubble song that Bee loved, so we sang it whilst popping the bubbles we made.

Bubble Song

One little, two little, three little bubbles.
four little, five little, six little bubbles.
seven little, eight little, nine little bubbles.
ten little bubbles go pop, pop, pop!
Pop them, pop them, pop them bubbles.
Pop them, pop them, pop them bubbles.
Pop them, pop them, pop them bubbles.
Ten little bubbles go pop, pop, pop!

 We had so much fun, with such a simple free resource.

What did we learn?
Physical: Developing large motor skills, such as upper leg muscles, when jumping up and down. Fine manipulative skills when holding the paintbrush.
Creative: Singing the bubble song. Making patterns with the paintbrush in the bubbly puddle.
Mathematical: Counting the bubbles when singing the bubble song or when popping them.
Personal, social and emotional: Fun and enjoyment. Participating in new experiences and activities.
Knowledge and understanding of the world: Learning about weather conditions and experimenting with water, learning about its properties. Developing awareness of change of state when adding washing up liquid to the puddle.
Communication, language and literacy: Talking about what they can see and feel. Learning the words to the bubble song. Description words such as wet, dry, cold etc.

What could be done next?
The possibilities of a rainy day are endless. Below are some other ideas:

  • Add paint to the puddles to create swirly patterns
  • Supply cups and bottles, so your child can experiment with collecting the water, pouring and filling
  • Make boats to sail down guttering
  • Collect water in containers to measure rainfall and make a simple chart
  • Introduce chalk to a puddle and watch how the chalk dissolves and almost turns into paint.
To finish off a perfect play in the rain, we always favour a nice cup of hot chocolate and a snuggle on the sofa.

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