Tuesday, 22 November 2011

today we Investigate - 30 Days Play Challenge

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Today's prompt in the play challenge is to investigate. Now I am the first to admit my weak spots, and science is one of them. Art, literature, music... even maths I can deal with (at least the kind of maths that two year olds can cope with) but when I try to think of something science-y my mind just freezes up a little.

But then I unstuck myself and I swallowed all my senior school chemistry lesson demons and I realised that life to a toddler is an investigation. When we do planting seeds, playing with bubbles, baking cakes, playing with magnets and colour mixing - that's all science at work. Each one of those activities is a chance for a little person to investigate, to explore and to wonder why or how or what if.

So I collected some materials to have a little messy sensory sciencey experiment. I grated up a couple of bars of soap and some crayons, shredded some tissue paper and we decided to see what would happen to each ingredient when we mixed them with warm water...

(the blue tray is actually a cat litter tray - unused of course - but it is deep and wide and great for different kinds of art and messy play)

We noticed that the soap started to melt in the hot water and we could make bubbles by swooshing our hands through the mixture...

the orange crayon shavings (aside from being a pain to clean up) didn't melt or mix and we talked about the difference in materials and how they were reacting

The tissue paper started to soak up the water, but then disintegrated quickly. Vin mentioned it looked like playdough when it was all mixed with the soap (I think there is actually a recipe for cloud dough that is very similar to this) so we scooped out the solid bits and tried to mold it...

This was such a great learning experience for the kiddos and for me - it helped me think outside the box, to play with something purely for the discoveries and the experience rather than an end product and helped me rediscover a little of that 'why... what... how...' magic that little kids possess.


  1. Fabulous! I had a recipe that was called "Snow Dough" that used the soap, tissue and water. I have had kids help make it before but didn't think to just explore the materials individually like that. This will be on my to do list. And I want to add crayon, too!

  2. This sounds like a lot of fun! It never even occured to me to try something like this with my toddler! Following you now to get more of your great ideas! : )

    evie @ brown paper packages

  3. What great ideas you had for investigating I'm just now trying to come up with ideas to do this challenge in the new year :)


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