I've been wanting to enhance my sand tray for a while. The children have now added so much water to it (on the sly) that it would take at least a month to dry out!
My TA's dumped that bag of compost in it yesterday and today we added some signs of autumn for the children to discover. We have looked at the trees in the playground, discussed the leaves changing colour and had the odd random conker brought in, but I really wanted to have the opportunity to focus in on the language in a small group situation so we buried them in the compost (that's buried said signs of autumn, not the small group…).
I had just the BEST time working with them digging for the autumn treasures. Their enthusiasm was infectious and at some point all of the adults spent some time digging. That was until we discovered that there were indeed live things in it. When we tipped it out yesterday there were a fair few slugs. Today…not a slug to be found! Plenty of other mini-beasts though!
You can see the concentration!
This little chap caused MASS HYSTERIA and that was just from the staff!
I get the feeling that this will run and run. Have GOT to utilise it for other things as the level of engagement was so high.
If that wasn't excitement enough we did our dying today – I was really pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Even though it was only 2 days ago it was like pulling teeth with some of the children just to recall what we had done with the cabbages, but we got there in the end!
I really debated about using elastic bands to tie dye as they are really fiddly. In the end I decided to use them to differentiate for those children we had already identified as being able to triangulate. The others worked with the adults help. Lots of children managed it well independently.
They then dipped them in the cabbage water (which really STANK) gave them a squeeze and then we put them in the tumble drier so that they would be dry by the end of the session.
I wasn't sure how to fix the colour and read a number of things that suggested salt and vinegar. In the end I went for salt as we had loads for our dough area. I don't know if it has worked and I don't intend to wash them to find out!
Here are the results…
It was only at the end of the process when I was talking to the children about this vegetable that was a cabbage but didn't look like a cabbage, that was bright purple but was called ' red ', and produced purple water, when boiled, that dyed fabric blue, that I suddenly appreciated how confusing it must be to be 3 and discovering this weird old world for the first time!