Welcome back to Pondering Playtime, my fortnightly series where I share a favourite picture book and a craft or play activity to go with it. This week, I’ve chosen Look I’m a Scientist by DK. We chose the iceberg animal rescue activity from the book, and recreated it in our tuff spot, with a couple of fun little extra details.
Look I’m a Scientist is a non-fiction book full of experiments, which are perfect for younger children. Each experiment is really visual, with lots of lovely images, and most involve things that you’re likely to already have at home. A great introduction to lots of scientific concepts.
This activity required a little bit of forward planning, but not a lot of effort! I simply shoved some of M’s polar animal models into an ice cube tray, filled it with water and popped it in the freezer the night before. I decided against making a single, large block of ice (as the book suggests) because I thought my toddler might lose interest waiting for a larger block of ice to melt. I didn’t want to give her water that was too hot, to help it on its way, as I knew that my one year old would also be joining in.
As well as the frozen animals, to add a bit of colour and interest for M, I also used food colouring and shaped ice cube trays to create some purple ice flowers and pink ice fish.
Then I put all of the ice in the middle of the tuff spot and added some utensils, a cup of salt and watering can full of warm water. M and I read the relevant pages of Look I’m a Scientist together, then M set to work exploring the tuff spot.
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M loves her copy of Look I’m a Scientist. She has asked me to read it to her every single day since we bought it last week.
M enjoyed investigating in the tuff spot. She was a little too busy pouring salt and water, hitting the ice with various utensils and exclaiming excitedly at the different coloured ice to listen to much of what I was saying about the science of melting, but I think that’s probably to be expected for a not-quite-three year old!
Even still, this activity provided M with a good opportunity for M to witness the changing state between ice as a solid and water as a liquid. She seemed to prefer using the warm water to the salt, but I suspect that’s because it had more of an immediate effect on the ice. M also enjoyed developing her fine motor skills by using the tongs to pick up the coloured ice shapes.
For B, she mostly enjoyed the sensory experience of the tuff spot. She particularly liked scrunching the wet salt between her fingers and turning the ice cubes over in her hands.
It was lovely watching the girls explore and seeing them both get something out of the activity.
If you enjoyed this, you can find more Pondering Playtime activities here, and you might like to join my Early Years craft and activity Facebook group; Play Craft, Explore. We’d love to have you! And lastly, don’t forget to Pin it!
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