Ice is Nice!
The cold really sets in by this time in January, so to explore one aspect of winter, we had a super-fun day filled with ice-related activities today. We began in our usual way with calendar, weather, circle, and sharing. We sang our song about snowflakes and talked about how snow is just really tiny bits of ice.
After music time, we moved onto our first ice experiment. I blew up a balloon and we talked about what was inside... we weren't quite sure. Whatever it was, we couldnt' see it. With some help, we figured out it was whatever goes in and out of us when we breathe. I explained to the children that even though we couldn't see it, the stuff we breathe and which fills balloons is called air, and that air is a gas. After that, we let the air out of the balloon and I filled it with water. We all took turns feeling and patting the balloon.
We observed how the water inside the balloon changed shape when we touched it. I explained to the children that in this case, water was a liquid, and that liquid is something that can easily change its shape. We talked about what would happen if we brought the water-filled balloon outside in the cold. One of the children guessed that the water would turn into ice. We thought about whether ice could easily change shape and decided it couldn't. I explained to the kids that freezing makes ice change from a liquid to a solid. After that, it was all fun- we added drops of food coloring and filled the balloons with water, then left them outside to freeze.
After this, we had a little free play.
Once free play time was over, we did a guided art project and made a picture of a snowman. This activity was a great way to practice counting, ordering, and spatial orientation skills. First, we talked about what we needed to make a snowman. We decided we needed three snowballs, items to make a face, a scarf, and a hat (apparently arms were optional!). I presented the children with felt cut-outs of items they would need, and the children took turns counting out three snowballs, five pieces of black "coal," one "carrot" nose, one hat, and one scarf.
After that, we practiced assembling the snowman. I modeled stacking the "snowballs" one on top of the other, then making a face and adding accesories. The children then glued their snowmen onto the page. They really liked this project!
Once we finished the snowman, we checked on our balloons... they were still liquid.
At lunchtime, we enjoyed sampling some tasty ice in the form of popsicles. They were yummy!
Later in the afternoon, we read Curious George Goes Sledding and The Missing Mitten Mystery. We all felt restless and had a bunch of leftover balloons, so while one child focused on learning to blow up balloons, the rest of the children had a wonderful, active play session that lasted over an hour! We discovered that rubbing balloons onto different objects has some interesting results... including making our hair stand up and sticking to the ceiling!
All in all, it was a very busy and fun Thursday.
See you tomorrow!