Make a recycled bird feeder and do a water filtering experiment to learn about pollution.
Last week we talked about pollution, so to extend the subject we talked about reduce, reuse and recycle.
Our crafts were all made from recycled material:
These bird feeders were made from plastic soda bottles. We used 500 ml or 1-liter bottles which I cut for the kids. They pushed through old pencils and decorated them with dot stickers. The last step was to add the birdseed, which required hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and estimation skills too. Their assignment was to hang it up at home and to come back to tell us which birds liked their feeders.
I provided the children with polystyrene packaging scraps and felt pens(markers). They could make whatever they wanted, making this an open ended crafting opportunity. Some made people, some made “sculptures”, some just coloured the pieces and stuck them on randomly.
We attempted to make paper mache bowls. It is still drying, so we must still finish it off.
This was a great sensory experience too, adding the flour and water, mixing it with a little white glue to make it stronger. Then dipping the strips of shredded paper into the mixture to stick them around the jars. This was done in a few layers, some more than others, and smoothed out with the hands, also some more than others. Now we need to wait for it to dry to take the paper off and paint it.
For sensory play, we had a plain rice bin with different small items. I added magnets to the bottom of the army men, and we played the army men must find the “baddies”(magnetic attractable items). So, in reality, we sneaked in some science and imaginative play during sensory play too.
The next day we “reused” the rice, colouring it and playing with the plastic kitchen utensils.
This experiment we did on water filtering was easy to set up: I added some dirt from outside to one glass, pouring it through three coffee filters to show the kids how the filtering process works. I explained that our drinking water gets filtered much more than this and more processes are used to purify our water. The clean water glass showed how clean our tap water is after all these processes.
For gross motor, we played with our hula hoops, jumping in them, one foot, two feet. Playing hopscotch, rolling and catching it, climbing through them etc.
Again a great week, full of fun learning about pollution, reducing, reusing and recycling!!
Next week we are having a week of school holidays where we have an informal week: the kids can bring toys from home and just play! The teacher will be doing preparation for the last term, oh, and take off two days to “rest”!