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Exploring physical properties of Sand through Play and Tool Use
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Exploring physical properties of Sand through Play and Tool Use


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  • 1. Exploring Physical Properties ofDry Sand, Wet Sand, and SandPlay-dough through Play andTool UseAlexandra LeeMay 19, 2011
  • 2. Beginnings… Plan: Build withblocks andobserve/teststrategies for creatingstable structures Purpose: Explore theconcept offoundations andbases and the rolethey play in makingstable, secureconstructions
  • 3. …Later that Day Technology on theplayground: Sandbox Tool use Construction Exploring of materials
  • 4. Redirection New Plan: Explore construction techniques and purpose/use oftools through a variation of the same material (drysand, wet sand, sand play-dough, oobleck) Observe similarities and differences in the waychildren approach the differing materials and how itinfluences their construction strategies, the way theyutilize tools, and in which ways they explore thematerial Learning outcomes: Discover and explore the properties of variedmaterials How to adapt and expand schemas and strategies toeffectively and satisfactorily work with a new material
  • 5. Dry Sand Sifting Raking, molding Use of Shovels Digging Filling buckets, sifters, etc. Pouring Use of construction trucks to transport sand Symbolic play
  • 6. Water and Sand Tool use: Watering pail Hands Shovel and Buckets Construction: Molding Making impressions Mixing (all more effective with wet sand) Exploring material: Where did all the water go? More heavy (harder to pick up full bucket) Feels different; a lot more exploring material with hands compared to dry sand(swishing in puddle, scooping wet sand, squeezing in hands, letting it drip) Can’t pour as easily as dry sand Less symbolic representation and play Hesitant to interact at first
  • 7. Water and Sand
  • 8. Sand Play-dough Construction: Similar to play-dough (rolling balls/snakes, pancakes) Tools: Hands Exploring material: Rolling Squeezing in hands Flattening Crumbling in fingers Symbolic representation
  • 9. Sand Play-dough
  • 10. Sand Play-dough
  • 11. Self-Initiation A rainy day on the playground… Filling up buckets using shovels, with water frompuddles Little symbolic representation Transporting filled buckets to sandbox In the sandbox: Symbolic play (unlike first interaction with sandand water) Wet sand becomes incorporated with dry sand Wet sand for molding, dry sand for pouring etc. Combining varying amounts of water and sand tocreate a variety of textures
  • 12. Observations More explorative with unfamiliar materials More purposeful, higher level of symbolicrepresentation with familiar materials Discovered new strategies/purposes to initiateand utilize in future situations Using wet sand for molding Using dry sand for pouring or transport
  • 13. Next Steps… Gardening; Cooking Apply similar materialsand tools in real-lifecontext Representational playmostly revolves aroundbaking and cooking Explore and incorporatemore tools and morematerials, their purposes,how they interplay, andthe results they create Connect symbolic(sandbox) experiences toreal-life (cooking)counterpart