Making something happen is very powerful for a young child.
A child kicks a ball. It rolls. More often then not...they will kick it again, just to see if the same reaction will happen. If their cause (kicking) will have the same effect (rolling ball).
We, as early childhood professionals need to provide opportunities for young children to make things happen...for them to explore their world through cause and effect, for them to cause a reaction.
I thought it would be fun to use a sifter to sprinkle baking soda onto puddles of vinegar. Sadly, baking soda is too fine, and it falls right through the sifter.
|Squirt.....then shake, nice and neat....this of course didn't last long as the container filled with a kaleidescope of colorful vinegar and fizzing reactions! Soon there was shaking and squirting, squirting and shaking...reactions everywhere!|
|It was fun to observe as the fizzing puddles started to appear. One puddle, then two..then soon....one giant puddle, all contained by the walls of the bucket.|
|Lots of teamwork created a BEAUTIFUL rainbow, and a container-sized puddle of fizz!|
|Squeezing, grasping, muscle control (if the shaker hit the vinegar, it would clog the holes of the shaker making it useless) and working together....all valuable life-long skills.|
"Danger" makes young children feel responsible and important...children respect danger. Is vinegar all that dangerous? Of course not...but just enough to garner an opportunity for trusting!*****
|Free the vinegar!! (just keep it out of the grass!!)|
|Little hands and fingers need strengthening. The more opportunities for squeezing the better! Finding the right motivation is the key. Children will try and try until they are successful if they are provided with the right motivation!|
|First the shaking|
|Then the spraying...ahh teamwork!!|
Negative reactions (causing someone else to react to something we did in anger or disapointment is what I consider a "negative reaction") teach us about feelings, consideration and respect. We learn how to express our feelings with words and feeling of compassion. We learn an awareness of how others feel too.
Positive reactions can hold a treasure chest full of learning....teamwork, expressing ourselves, sense of pride, learning from trial and error, persistance, cooperation, sharing and patience just to name a few!
|Thanks Erik! Purple was just what this fizzing puddle needed!|
|I loved all the teamwork that came out of this. I thought there would be teams of shakers and sprayers, but it was fun to watch the sprayers join forces to create colorfull puddles of fizz!|
|Teamwork is a good thing, yes...BUT there is something to be said about having all the supplies to yourself!|
|If you're going to set the vinegar free...it's only fair that you set those piggies free too!!!|
Make sure there are opportunities for children to learn through cause and effect every day! These opportunities can be as simple as kicking or throwing a ball, they do not need to require a lot of supplies or set up.
Here is a quick list of some of our favorite "cause and effect" activities off the top of my head:
- balls of all sizes
- parachute with various objects to be tossed around (if you don't have a parachute grab a bedsheet or table cloth)
- water and cups
- rice and cups
- ANYTHING that can be poured and dumped
- ramps (see post for ideas)
- paint brushes and water for outside play (my crew LOVE to paint the cement with water and make it change color!!)
- bikes, cars, push toys
- Squiggles (see post)
- baking soda and vinegar variations (see post)
- goop (see post)
- shop vac (toy #1 at my house! A shop vac that is STRICTLY FOR PLAY) My crew LOVE to suck up colored rice or fluffy pom poms, then turn it off, open it up and dump their hard work out just to do it again! They also love the blow side (my shop vac sucks and blows). We have a blast blowing light plastic ball-pit balls around the room, silk leaves or silk flower pedals too! On the suck side we love to see what objects the suction is strong enough to pick up (books, various toys, containers, paper etc.)
- "Rainbow Rain" -- at an easel, the child colors lines with washable marker at the top of the paper, then sprays the lines with water and watch as the colors run down the paper!
- Absorbing colored water with papertowel. Put out cups of colored water and pipettes..let the children squirt colored water onto the table, then lay a piece of paper towel on top...watch as the colors are absorbed into the paper towel.
This is a small list that will hopefully get your creative juices flowing!!
Once again, I firmly believe: PLAY COUNTS!!