Rainbow Acoustics

The presence of music in young children’s lives can sometimes be taken for granted. In most early childhood classrooms, children and teachers sing a song or two at circle time. Parents often sing lullabies and traditional rhymes to their young children. Nevertheless, there is a growing awareness that music is underused and underaddressed in early childhood education. In the early years, musical aptitude is still developing. Infancy and early childhood are prime times to capitalize on children’s innate musical spontaneity, and to encourage their natural inclinations to sing, move, and play with sound.

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When offered a variety of implements, children play with the different tones they hear. For this activity, we poured water into different containers. Some were made of glass; some of metal, and some were made of plastic. We also experimented with quantity. Some of our containers had only a small amount of water, while others were filled to the top. Using a metal spoon, they gently tapped each container. Our final component involved the fun and “messy” portion of our activity. Using turkey basters, spoons, small cups, and bowls, we mixed our colored water among the different containers. In addition to its musical advantages, this segment invited your child to experiment with math concepts such as more/less, same/different, empty/full, before/after, greater than/less than, and counting.  By exploring and “messing around,” your budding musicians discovered that they can make one sound by hitting one container and a different sound while hitting another!

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Flippers and Friction

The Ichthyosaurus was a marine reptile that roamed the prehistoric seas. These massive creatures ranged from seven to thirty feet, and used their massive dorsal fin and powerful flippers to navigate. To introduce the concept of friction and its relationship to speed in the water, we swam with our very own flippers! We initiated this activity by placing our hands into some water to make waves. We then placed Ziploc bags onto our hands, and did the same thing. We followed this with a discussion of the differences between the two. Our conversation consisted of questions such as “What made bigger waves, when we had bags on our hands or when we didn’t?” and “Why do you think the bags made bigger waves?”. This activity facilitated several developmental areas, including deduction, cause and effect, and cooperative learning.ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Colors and Creatures

The rainforest plays host to an overwhelming array of plants, animals, and insects. It is impossible to accurately determine the precise amount. Some biologists estimate that there are over five million species, more than half of the world’s population of creatures elsewhere. These creatures provide a rich texture of color that adds to the intrigue of the rainforest. During circle time, we discussed the various colors of some of these animals, and concluded the morning with a color experiment! Using half and half, soap, and droppers, we observed how color is affected by soap. As it is dropped into the half and half, it quickly disperses. This is due to the fat content in the half and half. Your little scientist not only practiced their fine motor skills, but experienced the benefits of cause and effect!

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