Read Sing Play

Adventures in early literacy

Explore! Preschool STEAM: Splash!

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This week’s program focused on water. You probably figured that out from the name, but I’m Captain Obvious today.

I got to do both sessions this week, which was great since there were some things about the Monday session I didn’t think worked so well. They were fixed in today’s program.

Storytime:

Welcome: Block Song (they LOVE this activity!)

Book: Splish-Splash by Nicola Smee

Even though this is a book I would usually share with toddlers because it’s short and simple with lots of opportunities for movement, I knew preschoolers would like, too.  With the older kids I focused on asking more open-ended questions I knew they could answer and getting their help in telling the story. For example: “Why do you think they want to do it again?” and pointing to the animals and letting them say “dog”, “cat”, “pig” and “duck” instead of me every time.

Song: The Goldfish by Laurie Berkner

This song is ALWAYS a hit. We swam all over the room and only occasionally swam in to each other. This is a great song for following directions.

Book: Seals on the Bus by Henry Hort

Usually, I just do one book so there is plenty of time for playing, but I just happened to have this on the table for today’s session (I sang it in the preschool storytime right before Explore) and since there was a seal in Splish-Splash, HAD to pull it out.

Exploration:

Dissolving

The idea for this activity is to see what kinds of things dissolve in water and what kinds of things do not. And, of course, to define “dissolve”.

In Monday’s group I let each child do their own test. They had little cups with sugar, beans, and rice plus a big cup with water. They dumped each item into the water and stirred to see what would happen. Grown ups were directed to ask them what they thought would happen before they put their item in water and then talked about what actually happened. It was great, but there were only 8 kids. Thursday there are more like 25-30 kids. So, I knew I’d have to think of something else.

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In Thursday’s group I did a demo, but had the kids help me. I pick a couple of special volunteers to be in charge of stirring and all the other kids just gathered around to watch and talk about what was happening. This way I was able to do more items, too. We had beans, rice, sugar, glitter, flubber (from our first week), salt, and dish soap. With each item I asked if they thought it would dissolve, or “go away”, or if they thought it would stay whole. They pretty much thought every item would go away, and only a few did. They were totally amazed.

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I left the cups on the table so they could keep stirring and talking and a lot of them wanted to do that. I split the group up in to 2 groups and sent them to the next station.

Sink or Float?

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Pretty straightforward! A tub with water and a tub with items. Each child/family got a paper with a chart asking them to write down their predictions (another great word to define!) and what actually happened. They mostly just wanted to play in the water, which was totally fine. They were talking about what was happening with everything they did. The pom poms got so wet you could wring them out and one girl was asking her mom why that was happening. I didn’t hear the answer, but I bet it was a good one.

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On Monday I had bins for them to sort the items that sunk or floated. With such a large group on Thursday I didn’t bother with asking them to sort.  Plus, there isn’t enough room on the tables for that much stuff plus the kids.

People checked out books, asked questions and had a great time. Another SUCCESS!

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Author: Kendra

Children's Librarian in the Northwest. Lover of toddlers, twitter, and TV (T's, too, apparently!).

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