Monday, 25 February 2013

Coloured rice on the light table

Today was the first day coloured rice was used with this group of children. I selected blue and green rice to give a water and ice feel, since this is what the children have been working with over a longer period of time. As expected, there was a great interest in the rice - it was something new. What does it do? How does it feel? What can I do with it - and I want to test it NOW!

There was not enough room for all the interested children around the light table -  so I quickly went and got more rice and another large box so that the RICE could be experienced. It was quite clear that it was not the light table that had a attracted the interest but the new medium. Yellow and orange rice were mixed together to offer another rice experience area.

The children at the light table did talk about water, and rain and the sea. After a while I introduced some plastic glasses in various sizes - which stimulated play around a food making theme. The children at the light table were 3-4 years old.

The children at the other rice experience area were 1-2 years old. These children concentrated more on filling and emptying and refilling the containers rather than on a specific role-play, which is understandable as there is less verbal language between them, but there was co-operation and communication.

It is important to give children a little time to be a bit "wild" with a new medium. They need to test it out and check out what it does and what can be done with it. There is also an initial buzz of excitement when experiencing something new - and this has to settle before the children can start to focus on experimenting in a more structured and thought out manner.

The children were allowed to make it rain, and while they were encouraged to keep the rice in the boxes there was no discouragement from being experimental.

And yes, there was rice all over the floor - but that is can be swept up!

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