Yesterday I tried to inspire learning by setting up a few different activities.
I put out clipboards with paper and pencils and mentioned how much fun we had the last time we went around the block on a scavenger hunt. We didn’t end up taking a walk, like I had envisioned, but we did sit outside in the backyard and the kids wrote down everything they saw. Their lists included things like trees, butterflies, birds, and Mommy. Spelling, handwriting, observational skills, nature studies.
I put out a globe, a state puzzle and an atlas. I envisioned a conversation starter, or maybe someone doing the puzzle. I did not expect Eliana to find tracing paper and trace the different states and label them, but that’s what happened. Fine motor skills, geography, handwriting. Later Stephen found a set of flashcards with all the states and started matching the puzzle pieces to the flashcards. Sorting, matching, geography.
Later in the morning I filled up the kiddie pool, not to inspire any learning, but because it was blazin’ hot.
The kids started making “experiments” with chalk and water. They did drawings with chalk on wet pavement.
They put chalk and water in containers, had them float in the water and then took the chalk out to discover what would happen. This is when I introduced the word hypothesis and they began a string of experiments that started with “My hypothesis is…” and usually ended with “My hypothesis was wrong. Let me try something else!”
Juliette, as always, did her own toddler learning.
I did not envision a science lesson and had no intention of teaching about hypotheses. But, since the kids were interested in putting chalk in water and seeing what changes occurred, it was the perfect time to learn it. So that’s what they did, all while having fun poolside.