Monday, August 8, 2016


After seeing an erosion table at a nearby museum, I decided to implement the same concept on a much smaller scale in my grandson's water table.  I have it inside since it is so warm out now.  Some ingredients: gravel/sand, leafy trees and bushes, some larger rocks, a few other interesting items.  I spent some money and got some items that would go inside a fish tank.  You can also get water filled spray bottles, and of course, dinosaur figures.  After placing the gravel/sand in the water table, add the dinosaurs and mix well.  You want some to be buried, some to sit on top, and a few somewhere in between.  If it is outside play, provide spray bottles filled with water so that the child can spray water to erode the sand and unearth the dinosaurs.  Inevitably, they will incorporate some dramatic play as they create story lines involving storms, floods, or dinosaurs trapped in quicksand.
This type of activity gives children that time-honored sensory experience of mixing gravel/sand and water.  That could be reason alone for doing this activity, but there’s more!  Using spray bottles takes a great degree of fine motor strength and control, as well as hand-eye coordination for keeping aim while firing!  Science and language skills come into play as the children notice and talk about the effects of the water on the sand; not only that it changes the texture and consistency of the sand pile, but that the sand can be moved by the force of water.  This can also lead to discussions about the concept of erosion, or about how dinosaur fossils and remains are found as earth is moved, perhaps by erosion, exposing the prehistoric treasures! 
If outside...when your little paleontologist is done at the table, remove and clean the dinosaurs, drain the water from the sand, and leave it out to dry (preferably thinned out on several trays) so that you can store your dry sand and reuse it later!  If cleanup required, which I love.

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