Monday, September 26, 2011

Oil Spills and Car Washes

One of the many reasons I love early childhood and our curriculum is how flexible and child guided it is. Activities/Lessons never seem to go as I planned. I start them out a certain way and many times, the children take them in another direction. Most of the time the activity/lesson ends up being 10x more fun and beneficial then I'd planned.

Activity Planned - Painting with Cars

I covered the table with paper, then set out black paint (the kids corrected me when I called it black paint, it's "oil") and gave the kids cars. The kids thought painting with cars and oil was the coolest thing ever. The activity entertained them for a good 40 minutes. Slowly, the children's interest started dwindling and participation dropped from about 12 to 2. But those 2 were happy to keep going. 

Guided by Child

While painting one of the kids noticed how oily the cars were and commented. "Ms. K, we need a car wash." I thought, a car wash . . . hmmm. . . a car wash. Yeah that would be cool . . . How would we do that . . . We should do that sometime . . . Why not now? . . . *Look at clock* . . . Yeah let's do that now. . . 

Awesome Result - Car Wash

So, I grabbed the 6 pans we normally use for our magnetic letters. Filled them with water, added some dish soap, gave each kid a Q-tip, and the car wash began. This was some of the most creative and engaging play I've seen from my kids this year. Two Thumbs up for learning through play!

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