How can we make water play and inquiry with young children more sustainable?Thinking with drips and drops

Because we live in such a hot and humid climate, water play is a huge part of our days at home. We usually fill the water tray up in the morning and in the afternoon we sometimes fill up our paddling pool. The girls get so much out of it but the amount of water we use makes me extremely uncomfortable. We try and use the left over water for watering plants and washing down the yard but I feel we waste so much and I have noticed the girls will ask for more and more.

So I have been reflecting on how we might be able to make our use of water in play and inquiry more sustainable and how I can help my children understand the importance of preserving water.

Collecting drips and drops

We used containers in a range of sizes and materials to collect rain water. We talked about which one might fill up first? We used the water collected in the different containers to see if we could fill up one container to the top. We moved the containers around to see if it made any difference to how much water collected in them. A held them high to see if it resulted in more water (exploring a hypothesis that closer must mean more). As she held the metal container up she noticed the ting ting ting sound it made, she made the sound herself. When she used the plastic container she noticed the different plunk plunk plunk sound the rain made when it hit this material.

“Mummy, when I hold this up it makes a different sound.”

recognising that taking the bucket off the floor changed the sound.

Making drips and drops

We used some small syringes alongside milk bottle and jar lids to explore the power just a few drops of water can have. We noticed we didn’t need lots of water to fill then up.

Smaller containers for drips and drops

Rather than using large containers we used yoghurt pots, an empty vitamin bottle and a muffin tin as receptacles for water contained in source bottles.

More ideas for preserving water

Using funnels to stop water spillage when pouring

Using spray bottles

Using pipettes

Using drips and drops on different materials (plastic, glass, wood, paper) to explore size, shape, movement and how materials change when water is added.

Set up a permanent rain barrel (unfortunately not an option for us in Singapore with mosquitoes ).

Find natural sources of water. Next week we will head down to the beach with a variety of containers and some tarpe to explore how we might collect water from a natural source.

How do you feel about your water consumption? How can we make our practice with water either in the home or in an educational context more sustainable?

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