Step 2: Ongoing Open Exploration
Initial explorations with water will be exciting for most children. As
they continue to explore the water centers with a changing array of
materials, children will go beyond their initial excitement and begin
toexplore more questions and develop some ideas about properties of
water that will help them move toward more focused explorations.
Continue to explore water with clear plastic containers, funnels,
tubing, and syringes.
Explore water with plastic squirt bottles and basters.
Discuss experiences with water at the water table and the water
Think about and look for water in books and in daily life.
Photocopy the observation recordform.
Set the schedule for the week, or until all children have participated
in the following:
5–10 minutes for a meeting before each choice time
45–60 minutes for choice time, four or five times during the week
5–10 minutes for discussions with the whole group, once a week
At the Water Table
Add a set of the following to materials already at the water table and
3or moreplastic turkey basters
3or more clear plastic squirt bottles
Send notes home periodically detailing what children are doing
Encourage family members to work with you in the classroom.
Prepare a brief explanation of what they can do to facilitate chil-
dren’swater exploration or to give you time to observe and encour-
age the water exploration.
Create a sign-out sheet for families interested in borrowing water
exploration materials over a weekend.
30 Exploring Water with Young Children
Early on I decided not to use the
basters because I was certain that
children would use them to just
squirt each other.But another teacher
in the workshop we’re attending con-
vinced me to try. She said she’d
talked to each group that chose to ex-
plore water about checking to see
where the tips of their basters were
pointing before they squeezed. I tried
the same thing, and it worked! A few
kids did squirt each other, but I used
it as an opportunity to talk with them
about how to predict where the water
will go before they squirt.
Teacher note: I shared a photo of
Monica, Isabel, and Marissa pour-
ing water from one large con-
tainer into another, and we had
the following conversation:
Teacher:What can you tell me
about the water you were pouring?
Marissa:It can spill. I like the way
itspills on the sides when it gets
Monica:It can get all wet. I got
my shirt wet. The floor got wet,
but I cleaned it up.
Teacher:Who else has been pour-
ing water at the water center?
What did you notice?