Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Experimenting with Wind and balloons

Since being in Boulder last year and seeing upright windtunnels for children to experiment with I have been wanting to contruct something similar myself. Once I found most of the materials to construct it the electric fan I needed to complete the wind tube/tunnel was out of stock...

Oh JOY upon joy - yesterday I found it in the store (I was only intending to get a USB stick - for the presentation/workshop on Pre-philosophy and the Art of Listening I will be running in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada this coming Saturday)...

Today we started an experiment ...

I put out left ovr snowflakes from the winter fairyland that I just dismantled, tinsel and this stringy glittery stuff... It was brilliant fun watching it fly across the room - and tangle onto the children and look like snail trails on the floor. It was less fun picking all the stuff up as it had become super static... but it was not THAT problematic... but if you are testing out something similar... don't forget to plan time for tidying up... and also I worked out if you span the threads into balls then it lost some of its static clingyness...
One of the children tried a broomstick... it did NOT fly (contrary to the folklore of flying broomsticks)

The reason I waited so long for this particular fan is that it could be angled upright too - which really allows you to experiment... we used balloons (something the children have been talking about having in the square - connecting the project with the experiment... and of course our group name is "The Wind" so experimenting with wind is something I have been wanting to do for AGES). At first there was one balloon and it flew up with the wind and danced for a while before coming down into someones eagerly awaiting arms...

In the end we had up to five balloons... we noticed that when there were more balloons the balloons danced in the air for a shorter time... sometimes they could stay up for quite some time, one at a time...

The children learned about taking turns... yes they ALL wanted to hold the balloon and put it onto the fan, but one child was able to see to the needs of the others and share turns when she realised that she had had many turns and some hardly any... even if they were not able to give away a turn, they became aware that another could and did...

When asked why the balloons danced in the air, one child answered it was because the air pushed them up... and all the children agreeed. When I asked them where the air came from... they ansered outside...

So we took the experiment outside onto the square... the very place where they wanted balloons... Would the balloons fly and dance in the air outside where the air comes from...

Of course the balloons did not dance in the air... although they did blow around so that they needed to be chased. each child got a balloon of their own to experiment with. There was a lot of runnning and a lot of laughing and problem solving when balloons popped and a child was without a balloon... they solved it by sharing a balloon and playing TOGETHER. Stoicks were used to play hockey with the balloons too... of the ten balloons that went outside 6 balloons returned to the preschool. All popped balloons were the responsibility of the children to collect and throw away and they were bale to do this competently.

Of course playing with balloons gets attention... and as always the children loved to share with others what they were doing... sharing smiles and laughter too.

It was also fun to see our handprints still there from when we painted on the square last week... no rain means that the handprints were beautifully preserved... the children tried to work out which print belonged to them....


When we went inside I asked the children if the balloons danced in the square as they thought they would. NO, they all said. Why not, I asked. Because you need wind, and there was not enough wind to make them go up in the air...


No comments:

Post a Comment