Yesterday was one of those yucky days when our apartment complex's kids space floods, and it gets really hard to enjoy any time outside, so I thought it was time for an activity I had been saving.
I put a selection of squeeze bottles and pumps on the edge of the tub, and invited my little scientists to do some experiments.
For quite a while they were happy just dumping and pumping. Then, they spent a long time trying to figure out the best way to fill up a water balloon.
They learned that as you pour water into a balloon, the balloon will expand, but only to a point. Beyond that point, you have to force the water into the balloon in such a way that it makes the balloon expand. Pressure, limits: those little pieces of intuitive knowledge can be so valuable later on.
Of course, they spent some time blowing bubbles, too.
From a science perspective, it was a great opportunity to let them say, "What if?" and then find out.
I have been saying, "No", "Don't touch" and "Not so hard!" more than usual lately. The teacher in me feels guilty. After all, I know that they are only trying to understand and manipulate the world around them, things I really want them to do, and do well. The homemaker in me feels like I am barely surviving as it is. This activity was a great remedy for that situation. They could squeeze, dump, and blow bubbles to their hearts' content without creating more work for me. They loved it, they were learning, and I was relaxed.
What fun ways have you found to focus your children's natural curiosity recently?