Exploring physical properties of Sand through Play and Tool Use
Exploring Physical Properties ofDry Sand, Wet Sand, and SandPlay-dough through Play andTool UseAlexandra LeeMay 19, 2011
Beginnings… Plan: Build withblocks andobserve/teststrategies for creatingstable structures Purpose: Explore theconcept offoundations andbases and the rolethey play in makingstable, secureconstructions
…Later that Day Technology on theplayground: Sandbox Tool use Construction Exploring of materials
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
Dry Sand Sifting Raking, molding Use of Shovels Digging Filling buckets, sifters, etc. Pouring Use of construction trucks to transport sand Symbolic play
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
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
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
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
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