Wet, Sandy, and Wonderful
One of the highlights in the K1 Sunbursts' day is their time to indulge in sensory play through the sand pits and waterfall-stream areas. A significant chunk of their day is spent outdoors and they welcome this with exuberance consistently.
Some of the little ones preferred to be by themselves, immersed in their own imaginative play. Others called on their classmates for help or for someone to be with them as they explore. In addition, social skills expand as children play cooperatively; negotiate; and share equipment, space, and materials (Dorrell, 2008).
Whether a child was alone or in a group, it was noted that since school started, their engagement in sand and water play has gradually become more rich, complex, interesting, and full of laughter.
"Let's water the plants!" - Pippa
"We're taking a shower!" - Kianna
"Let's make bubbles! We need soap!" – Shriya
Water and Sand play provides opportunities for children to experiment with math and science concepts, advance their social and emotional skills, and enhance language development (Crosser, 1994; Hendrick, 1996).
Children can learn much from playing with sand and water. Over time, the K1 class experienced first-hand the properties of these resources and how they behave. This promoted open-ended, investigative play because they were able to control what these materials do.
A few were intent on scooping up sand from the pit to a container, while others wanted to add water to a bucket full of sand and mix them gently. As they transfer the resources from one area to another or transform them, they use their small and large muscle groups and develop eye-hand coordination.
They also were able to make estimates as they mold sand, fill containers with water, and move one container from one area to another. They also figured out which materials sink or float and drift away in the ever-flowing stream.
Moreover, the schemas most noted in their play were transferring, transforming, and trajectory. These patterns of repeated behavior were observed as they moved sand or water from place to place through filling containers, mixed sand and water, and poured water or sand-water mixture.
Knowing about these schemas or developmental urges can help us to understand why our children are so determined to do certain things that we might not understand (Claro, 2012). Using these schemas in future provocations, we acknowledge and support their predispositions as they play and learn.