Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tadpoles & Water Fun: Sensory Tub!

I love tadpoles, frogs, and basically anything messy!  For the last two months, we got to experience the entire frog life cycle in our home.  You can see our adventures here.
I loved watching the little guys grow, but I wanted my kids to really get to play with their hands and experience "being" a tadpole and frog.  This was the perfect opportunity to bring in the water tub.  When you watch young children, you can see that they learn best through hands-on experiences.  Using a sensory table, or tub, brings in learning through multi-sensory experiences.
We set up a water tub for our "Froggy Fun".  I don't have a traditional water table, so I got out one of my large Tupperware bins.  It is clear and worked perfectly.  
I got my daughter involved in the set-up.  First, we added clear rocks from the dollar store and rocks that we collected from the creek.  She had a great time building the creek bed.
 Next, we filled it with water.  She brought the water over from the sink with only a few spills!  We added fake leaves, and our plastic frog models.
I bought figures from Insect Lore that show the stages of the frog life cycle.
We added them to the tub and talked about the different characteristics of each stage of the frog's life.  She loved making the tadpoles swim and making the frog jump and swim.
We talked about how the tadpoles could hide among the leaves and lily pads.  It was a great time to discuss how animals use camouflage to protect themselves.
The tadpole.
 The frog with a tail.
 The full grown bull frog.
After playing for awhile, my daughter started commenting on how she couldn't make the tadpole's tail move to swim.  I love that she is observing the world around her and using her observations to enhance her learning!
We had to make some tadpoles that would allow her to make them swim!  Don't laugh at my tadpoles :)  I only had a 10 minute window to make these suckers!
This tadpole is made from a pom pom, bent pipe cleaners, and googly eyes.  Just hot glue the eyes and tail to the pom pom and you have a tadpole.  The one above is supposed to have legs :)
She really enjoyed using these tadpoles, because she was able to manipulate the tail to make it "swim".  You can see actual lettuce in the tub here.  We added frozen lettuce to our water tub, because that is what we fed our real tadpoles.  This was my daughter's idea and it actually worked out quite well.  She loved the feel of the frozen lettuce and was able to make tons of observations on the changes to the texture of the lettuce as it thawed.
We brought in nets to "catch" the tadpoles.
Then, she was able to examine them up close.
 She caught a bunch!
She got everything...
 What is a good exploration without a magnifying glass?
 The magnifying glass worked the best when she put it right on top of the water.
 Checking out those frogs.
This was our frog sensory fun and it was definitely a lot of fun!  We played with the tub over and over.  My son enjoyed it just as much as my daughter. 
Hope you enjoyed the pictures and found something to use with your own kids or students!

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