It’s me, Deanna, the teacher with 20+ years experience who, like you, is practicing social distancing at home with my child. I have decided to use my training and experience to develop a daily list of activities for you to do at home with your kids.
Today is World Water Day, a day designated by the UN to draw attention to the importance of freshwater. Today’s activities are focused on learning about and with water.
The Water Cycle
Create a Mini Water Cycle – Fill a large bowl a quarter of the way with water and then place an empty mug or cup into the bowl. Cover the whole bowl with plastic wrap. Tie a string or place a rubber band around the plastic wrap to keep it in place. Place it outside in the sun or in a south facing window if, like me, you live in a part of Canada where winter is still going strong. Over the course of the day, the water will evaporate and then drip into the bowl. Have your kids draw a chart with times and have them check on the bowl periodically.
You can repeat this experiment, but this time with two seperate bowls. Place one in the sun and the other in the shade. Have your kids observe the difference in what happens. When you are done, please share the following with them.
Cloud in a Bottle
This next activity will require adult supervision. Fill a 2-liter bottle ⅓ of the way full with warm water. Screw on the cap. Firmly grasp the bottle and then squeeze and let go. Ask your kids to tell you what they see. Then take off the cap. Now for the part that requires adult supervision. Light a match, blow it out and then quickly place it into the bottle while it is still warm. Screw the cap back on and repeat the squeezing and letting go of the bottle again. If all goes right, a cloud will form inside the bottle and you have just demonstrated how a cloud forms. (If you want, you can read them this after to explain what they have seen.)
Build a Water Filter
This is a classic science class activity that is easy to replicate in your home. There are tons of pages on the web that explain this activity, but how I would switch it up is let your kids do it a second time and see if they can make their filters better. Have them record their observations, just like real scientists by making a list of how much of each material they use for the various models, how long the water takes to filter, how well they work, etc.
Playing with water is an important part of childhood. Unfortunately not all of us live by the ocean or somewhere where swimming is viable given the temperature right now. You can still give your kids a chance to play with water in your own home. Here are some ideas:
- Washing Toys Water Activity for Toddlers
- ICE FISHING AND COLOR MIXING
- PRESCHOOL SCIENCE – SINK OR FLOAT?
- Pouring Station Activity for Toddlers
- ALPHABET SENSORY PLAY
And if you don’t have a water play table, don’t worry here are some ideas on how to set up an alternative. This is also a good activity to co-opt your older children to help/supervise with, as I saw a good friend do with her tween daughter and two year-old son.
If it is warm enough, you can also send the kids to the back yard with some water pistols or sponge balls and have a water fight.
There are a variety of water webquests on the web. Choose the one you like the best and have your kids complete it. Better yet, have them make one for you to do!
Research Water Issues
For older children, have them look at UN Sustainable Development Goal #6 and do some reading and research around the targets and indicators. Have them share their findings in some way. Blog post,vlog, slideshow, infographic, discuss them with a friend or family member on a video call, you name it.
And now something just silly and fun.
Today is also International Talk Like William Shatner Day. Started by Maurice LaMarche and Doug Van Horn, this day is meant to celebrate the very unique vocal stylings of William Shatner, the man who played Captain Kirk on the original Star Trek series. Start off by showing your kids some classic Kirk scenes like this one or this one. Then show them this how-to video from Maurice LaMarche, a renowned, Emmy winning voice actor responsible for such iconic characters as The Brain, Calculon and Lrr. LaMarche also does a very good William Shatner impression. He teaches you to speak like William Shatner in this video. (Cut it off when the camera switches to the camera.) It is also a good lesson on different speaking techniques, which your kids can apply to their own presentations. (Or try to avoid.) And then practice. Try speaking like William Shatner as you do things around the house. Video tape and share your results. Laugh. Because we all need to laugh at this time.
And if your kids can handle it, share with them the song stylings of William Shatner. Also, keep an eye on his Twitter feed. Shatner is apparently making Captain’s Log entries, in between promoting his TV show.