In the garden last week the children noticed that the sand was frozen “Jack Frost made it hard, it’s icy” they agreed. Upon finding a bucket with frozen sand in it, they worked together, taking turns to dig the sand out “it’s a frozen castle” they exclaimed! Then the children tried to get the sand out of the other buckets but couldn’t, deciding that “we need to melt it”. So using warm water and timers the children investigated how long it took to melt the ice.
The children have been exploring the ice that had formed during last week’s cold spell. One child noticed the ice that we found in our water trough looked very different to the ice that had formed on some of our plants and furniture. What a great excuse for an investigation! Could there possibly be different types of ice?
Now, we could have had an experiment to see if ice lollies, ice cream or sorbets were all different but we wanted a challenge; how many types of natural ice are there, and can we make any?
Well, we discovered there are actually 17 different types of ice but could we make any? Of course we could! Jack Frost helped us too, there was sheet ice in the garden and we also found a little bit of rime on the furniture and plants but we had wanted to make our own. We looked in our nature box and found flowers, twigs, leaves, seeds and nuts which we washed so they had a little coating of water and we popped them in the freezer. Everyday we went in and sprayed them with a little more water to see if we could make our own rime. We also put a thin layer of water in a tub to make our own sheet ice. We filled some pots with water to make water ice. Finally, we mixed salt and water to make sea ice which stayed a little bit soft even after 5 days in the freezer.
So, I bet you all want to know, what other types of ice there is that we did not make out of the 17? Pancake, dinner plate, blue, green, black, hoar, névé, chandelier, candle, hail, interstellar, cubic and hexagonal. Wow, so many types!
This activity had the children guessing, thinking, enquiring, exploring and doing in an outdoor environment. We all learned so much and had such a nICE time learning more about the wonders of nature.
We are continuing to do random acts of wildness everyday in the garden. Today we decided we didn’t want to use our paintbrushes to paint. Instead we decided to use some natural resources found in our garden. First, we found some pine cones and then we took two baby carrots that had started growing in our flower beds as we thought they looked like pens and then we cut some of our willow to make bushy paintbrushes. What random act of wildness could you do this week? #30dayswild
It all started because our plants looked thirsty after all the lovely hot sun we have had. Jaweria brought out the hose so the the children could water the plants but the children had other ideas, they wanted to water each other! Luckily everyone was protected in their puddle suits so they could all run in and out of the cooling fountain of water while watching it sparkle in the sun.
Today the toddlers made the most of the good weather and enjoyed lots of different learning experiences. They were busy watering the welly plants and riding the bikes . We also created some nice pictures with the paint and played with the playdough. We were very tired after our busy day and happily chilled out in our book corner area outside.
The outdoor environment has massive potential for learning. Here at Cart Mill we provide opportunities for children to learn and assess their outdoor surroundings. This morning we had fun splashing in the puddles and using the funnels and pipes to pour the rain in to. The children were estimating how fast they thought the water would flow.
This afternoon we decided to extend the bike track. We had a go at drawing our own parking spaces for our bikes and used some chalk to draw pictures on the ground.
“If we want a society that promotes happiness and well-being among children, we could start by giving them back space where they are happiest along with the freedom to enjoy it”, Children society, (2012).
This week we welcomed some children from nearby nursery classes. We have all been busy playing together and building new friendships. The children from Cart Mill have helped to settle some familiar and new faces. We have been out in our local environment learning about boundaries, hazards and risks. We have been using rope, tools and ring games to build our social skills and team work. As we are so close to the park we can’t resist going in and having a play there too.
Today was a very exciting day in Cart Mill. We took our first delivery of plants and seeds for the garden. This afternoon we were all kept very busy, and muddy, planting our herbs. The children enjoyed touching them, feeling the different leaves and smelling all the different smells that come from herbs. The children talked about the herbs they already know and have seen being used in cooking. Today is the start of our growing programme in the garden. Over the next few weeks we will be planting our seeds and plants so that we can harvest different vegetables later in the year for cooking with and eating!