Activity Plan Mixed Ages: Sand and Water Mix-Up
Invite children to experiment with sandy concoctions of their very own.
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Science
- clear plastic cups, bowls, or containers of water
- chart paper and marker
- sand, dirt, salt, sugar cooking oil, paint, food color wood
- wooden spoons or sticks for stirring
- small spoons or coffee scoop
- disposable camera
Objective: Children will engage in experiments mixing water with other materials to develop science skills as they make predictions, observe changes, and discuss conclusions.
In Advance: Invite older children, who have more advanced language skills, to develop the list of materials to mix with water. Very young children can simply engage in mixing activities as they observe how materials change when mixed with water.
1 Set out the materials in the science center. Divide children into small groups and assist each group in choosing three or four materials that they will mix with waters Conduct the experiments with one group at a time. Photograph the different phases of their study to document the activity. 2 Encourage children to make predictions by asking questions such as, "What do you think will happen when materials are first poured into the water?" Encourage observations by asking questions such as, "What happens when you stir the materials? How does the water change? Which materials do not mix with water?" Use chart paper to record each group's experiments, listing the materials they are mixing with water and their predictions and findings.
3 Provide children with opportunities to use their senses to notice and explore the changes. Invite children to touch sand and dirt that is mixed with water. How are they similar? What happens if we put both mixtures in the sun to dry? Does the water change color? Does the water smell different when mixed with different materials? Encourage children to think of other ways to mix and learn about materials.
4 After all of the children have conducted their investigations with water invite them to share their findings during group time. Record children's conclusions on chart paper.
Writing: Document a Project. Invite children to work together to create a visual presentation that documents their water study. Display the language experience charts recording the children's experiences. Assist children in displaying photographs of different experiments and include individual dictations about the photographs. Some children may even want to create drawings for the display. The project can also be documented in a book format and placed in your science center.