Friday, September 24, 2010

Ice Excavation with Preschoolers

We have our preschoolers work on problem solving techniques, cause and effect, cooperation skills all in one activity! We have ice excavations at our sensory table and it is always a fun engaging activity that really gets our preschoolers thinking and working together!
Here is what you need for your ice excavation!

Materials Needed:
  • Large and various sized bowls to freeze water in
  • Small materials such as buttons, Lego's or plastic animals. This activity fits well with any theme because you can have excavation items coincide with your preschool curriculum
  • Rock Salt: although it's not necessary it is great to help melt the ice. Supervision is required if you decide to let the children manage the salt because it is a toxic substance.
  • Brain storm with the children what materials you should use to get the items out of the ice. Spoons, brushes, small hammers, fly swatters, etc. We have the children report to us what is working best! 
  • A Sensory Table or tubs
  • Keep some cups of hot water handy 
The Prep Work:
Gather you materials you wish to freeze in ice and fill your containers some half full. Freeze them with no items inside. After a the ice is frozen, place materials in top of the ice and cover them over with water and freeze them again. Ice excavation deep in the ice will really cause kids to work for the materials that are frozen at different levels.
Ice Excavation Presentation:
Put your various frozen ice blocks the sensory table or tubs along with all the materials you and the children have chosen to excavate them with. Pour hot water over the ice to create nice smooth grooves to work with. Ask the children to work together to get the ice out and brainstorm together what is working and what isn't!

How do yo like to have children problem solve?


April said...

I bet its great to hear the kids working together.

Dan Gurney said...

Great idea, Barbra. I think we'll use this one in my kindergarten next week. I love it.