This week has had a lot of ice in it. We had a couple of very cold days, but mostly the ice exploration was indoors. Little Bear had shown an interest in ice in puddles last week, so I followed this up with him by making thin slabs of ice with bits of grass, pebbles, leaves and mud in from the garden. Monday saw us pulling these out of the freezer and examining them on the light panel.
The light shining through was beautiful, revealing the layers of ice within with scatterings of soil and crystallised shapes.
Little Bear talked about drawing what he could see to begin with, and examined it carefully with a magnifier, then became preoccupied with breaking it up. Eventually he put all the pieces and the melt water into a new tub and left it in the garden in the hope it would freeze again overnight. Unfortunately, this has happened only once this week, showing how unseasonably warm this January is proving to be.
Teddy has been playing a lot with the dinosaurs, particularly with big dinos and baby dinos. He has also been creating large arrangements of dinosaurs and other small toys all over the house, all facing the same way as though on some mass march somewhere…
Our fake snow has been through a few incarnations this week. Teddy had enjoyed it quite a lot last week, but then seemed to lose interest. I popped the tub on the top of the light panel for a couple of days, which looked very effective, especially with the glass suggest in it as well. I then tipped it allot onto the tuff spot, adding battery candles, fairy lights, mirrors and a few dinosaurs. I hoped it might inspire some snowy dinosaur small world play, but what Teddy enjoyed most was burying the dinos in the “white slime”.
This week has also seen lots of Lego. Teddy in particular has been dismantling and rebuilding an aeroplane model over and over again. At first he needed lots of support to follow the instructions and place pieces, but by the end of the week he has been completing his model almost completely independently. Another wonderful thing has been seeing the small bears Lego-ing together. Little Bear likes to occasionally take on a teaching role with his brother, and Teddy is usually happy to follow along. It was great to see them completing the aeroplane model as a team.
One of our highlights of the week has been creating coloured ice. Teddy has finally learned how to operate an eye dropper whilst doing this activity, both small bears working hard to fill chocolate box inserts and foil mince pie cases with coloured water. And, of course, any activity is improved with copious amounts of glitter! We then, very carefully, put them into the freezer overnight.
Little Bear already knew what would happen, but Teddy and I had a long discussion about the water would get very cold and turn into ice. He was so excited when he got up next morning, ready to check on them, so it was the first thing we did that morning. The light panel was pulled into use again, and allowed the colours to glow through beautifully. I let them try piling up the blocks to begin with, then offered a container of table salt and a container of sea salt to add. Little Bear appropriated both of these, which didn’t seem to bother Teddy, and started sprinkling. He had three pieces, one each with a different kind of salt added, and one with no salt, and quickly realised that the salt caused the ice to melt more quickly. We chatted about the gritters he had noticed recently, and how the salt in grit helps roads remain safe in icy conditions.
Teddy didn’t like the colour coming off onto his fingers, and so spent most of the time watching very carefully, only occasionally poking ice with his finger. After a while he noticed “its coming out” whilst stirring a patch of glittery water. I explained the ice was melting, it was warming up and turning back into water, and he commented “like snowman”, referring to the end of the The Snowman film he has seen recently. It is wonderful when they put experiences together in this way.
We will definitely need to add some more ice experiences to our play over the next couple of weeks.
So that, along with a few trips to the park, lots of books and listening to music, is our week. How has yours been?