whether it is summer puddles where you can jump barefeet or in sandals, or spring/autumn puddles where it is colder and the use of wellies and rain gear is needed... or winter puddles that have a layer of ice on top that needs to be cracked first...
Muddy puddles that squelch, deep puddles, shallow puddles. They all have their play value.
They are not just sources of splashing but so much other learning.
Scooping up and mixing into sand and dirt - changing the chemistry of materials...
working out what sort of tools scoop up that water best
In sandy areas puddles can be connected and channeled, they can be dammed and made deeper. Working alone or collaborating with others. And when collaborating with other you know that language skills are being improved, even mathematical concepts being used, concepts of gravity and saturation/absorption explored etc.
Puddles are spaces that need to be negotiated... children cannot come and jump and make big splashes in a puddle that has a group of children sat round floating things on it - as this will not only destroy their play but will mean that those children will get splashed in the face. There are consequences. So puddles are great places for social learning.
When it comes to splashing you can start thinking about how many different ways can we splash... big, small, all together, one at a time... how far does the splash go... how many ripples can I make.
what happens if I through a snowball into a puddles, a rock, a small pebble... is it always safe to throw things in a puddle, when is it not.
Do I have the right clothes on to explore this puddle? This is something that is important for the children to learn for themselves (if you know that you are close to the preschool should they get very cold... I don't want the children to get hyperthermia) - so I will let children get wet through when it is cold, so that they understand that when you are wet you feel the cold more intensively.
If we are far away from the preschool, then I will tell them that they are not dressed appropriately - and the fact that I have let them experience this themselves before means that they know and understand they are not just following my instructions just because I have said it.
|muddy puddle play... we washed hands and mittens in warm soapy water outside afterwards...|
|puddle play in Palestine... only one child had boots to allow play...|
and yes there are few spaces in the camp that is not filled with rubbish.
|summer rain... puddles rushing down the mountain road... for jumping, sitting in and lying in... the water was so warm|
|making big spalshes|
watching leaves float, stones sink etc etc
|puddle collaboration... learning how to play together in a puddle and respect each other|
|pretend play... sometimes you just HAVE to sit in the middle to make your soup.|
|the pure joy of running across a BIG puddle|
|and I like to splash too|
|wearing the right clothes can keep you dry and warm... or well at least dryer and warmer|
|watching puddles overflow and run down hills... damming them and changing their directions... this time with pine needles|
|the joy of cracking ice|
|ice with a big puddle on top... slippery and big chances of getting cold... steep learning curve for the children... but OH so much fun in the process of that learning|
|ice and water|
|when the adults have tried to avoid a massive puddle at the bottom of the stairs going up to the train station... by adding newspapers... after a while they turned to much... great to explore... and then we made papier maché when we went inside|
|jumping in puddle together - sharing laughter|
|big or small... all puddles are worth splashing in|
|and sometimes a puddle overflows into a dry tunnel... and we can have fun running through it and making footprints round and round and round|
|meeting together to collect puddle water to make concoctions...|
its more than splashing and laughter
the whole curriculum can be found in the puddle if you let yourself look for it.
size, shape, colour, volume, dissolving, floating, sinking, saturation, absorbing, mixing, using to paint with, using in role play, frozen, evaporation (where do puddles go) - social (sharing puddles, do you splash a friend in the face, what happens if you do... how can the same puddle meet different children's needs?) How many different ways can you jump in a puddle? The story of a puddle, bubbles in puddles, depth, breadth, bridging, diverting, emptying, filling, sensory... etc etc
This is original learning in full swing.