Recently the children have showed interest in water and what water can do. We incorporated this interest for water into our food exploration using celery and food coloring.
First, we set out cups and had the children fill the cups with water. Then as we dropped the food coloring in we counted, “1, 2, 3 DROPS!” The children gasped with awe, non-verbally communicating by using facial expressions to show their amazement at how the primary colors swirled around to the bottom of the water. “It’s BLUE, it’s BLUE, and RED and PURPLE too!” The children said ecstatically.
After we let the celery sit in the food coloring we brought the cups and set them on the light table to be able to see the vibrant colors that were absorbed into the celery. The children developed observational skills as they saw the watercolor traveling up the celery. This was a great learning experience for the children, they acquired new vocabulary and practiced their communication skills by attempting to describe the process of what was happening to the water and the celery.
At this age the children are at their prime time to expand their vocabulary and begin to learn and work with others in a positive environment. Doing group experiments actively involves the children and encourages participation. Provocations such as this one welcome successful peer interactions involving ideas and language. This gave them the opportunity to hear and use language in many ways including practicing when to listen to others and when to verbally provide feedback. It’s highly beneficial for the children to increase their vocabulary at this age because when it comes time to learning how to read they will be more comfortable and the process will feel intuitive due to their strong vocabulary.
This experience encompassed a variety of skills with various topics –like science, math, and language skills. Tying different topics makes the learning process smoother and versatile for the children. It is crucial for them to learn through experience that not everything is black and white, there are many different ways to learn and the opportunity to see that concepts intertwine together through out the process is extremely valuable for the children’s intellectual endeavors in the future.
“Learning is their journey. Let them navigate. Push them to explore. Watch them discover. Encourage their questions. Allow them to struggle. Support their thinking. Let them fly.”