Step 1: Introduce Children
to Exploring Water
Three- to five-year-olds have been exploring water all their lives,
whether in the bath, at a sink, in the rain, or on a beach. Ideally they
have had regular opportunities to explore at the water table area in
your classroom too. This open exploration of water builds on chil-
dren’sprior experiences by giving them plenty of time to explore
water with materials selected to highlight water’s movement and its
ability to take the shape of its container. In addition, open explo-
ration introduces children to science talks with the whole class, which
continue throughout open and focused explorations. Science talks
give children opportunities to reflect on their observations, experi-
ences, questions, and theories, and they create a group sense of
shared purpose and excitement. This initial step helps you set the
tone for an exciting and manageable water exploration. It guides your
thoughtful introduction of new materials, rules, and routines, and it
introduces you to some of the strategies and roles you will be using
throughout Exploring Water with Young Children.
Shareprior experiences with water.
Hear about materials in various water centers.
Explore water and water materials.
Sharecurrent experiences with water.
Teacher note: Martin showed us
how he made water come out of
the end of a long tube by attach-
ing a funnel to one end. He didn’t
say anything about his explo-
ration; he just wanted to show us