It Not "Just Recess" Anymore!

Teachers often heave a sigh of relief when they take their students out to recess. Finally! The children can burn off the pent up energy they had been accruing for the past few hours indoors. But what if we change our outlook on outdoor play time? What if we create an outdoor environment that offered all of the learning opportunities that one would typically find indoors? What if children could run out to a well-planned play yard to find experiences in math, science, nature, dramatic play, water, building and construction, sensory activities, physical development, art and music? What if they play yard developed critical thinking, discovery, problem solving, and cooperative skills? The result would be that we wouldn't have "just recess" anymore. We would have The Outdoor Classroom!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Swirly, Sparkly Water Play

We bought a few packets of water beads to test out in the Outdoor Classroom sensory bin. They were WONDERFUL! Unfortunately, we didn't buy nearly enough, so our supply was short-lived. With the remaining few that I had left, I created a Swirly, Sparkly Water Table.
 I added water, water beads, Christmas confetti and glitter to a small water table. I also added some empty water bottles. 

The water was cold, so the children rushed over to our large water table and snatched the large slotted spoons and tongs for picking up the beads. 

Filling the bottles took a lot of fine motor coordination and patience. The children astounded me with their concentration as they tried hard to fill their bottle with as many beads as possible.

Once the bottles were full and caps were tightened, the children discovered that they could swirl the water so it looked like a colorful tornado! They also realized that when you look at someone through water beads, the other person is upside down! How does that happen, anyway???


  1. Brilliant, I too didn't buy enough but will know for next year huh? We had so much fun with these for over 2 weeks - most unusual. Given their bounciness I may get some more for summer term to enjoy outside. I put some of them on the craft table for the children to glue with & even tho' I knew they would, was still surprised when after a few days they all shrank on the children's work!!

  2. Just popping over from "It's Playtime". We love our water beads too! Love the idea of adding glitter!

  3. What fun!! I am your newest follower. I'd love for you to follow me back, if you want to =-) I also wanted to invite you to come link up at TGIF Linky Party -
    Beth =-)