Apr 13, 2015

WonderWorks: VELCRO!

This soft and sticky reusable fastener is truly a technological wonder!

Today's Topic: Hook & Loop Tape (Velcro)
--as many different kinds of hook and loop tape as you can afford to get! (we had adhesive Velcro dots, Velcro zip ties, Velcro hair rollers, Velcro "one wrap" by the yard.... I purchased them from a fabric store and a hardware store)
--Soft things that will stick to the "hook" side of Velcro (pom poms, yarn, felt, fleece)
--Hard things that will not stick (buttons, paper clips, blocks)
--Wooden blocks
--Wiffle balls
--knit mittens and hats
--craft sticks

cover art Spiky, slimy, smooth : what is texture? / Brocket, Jane

The inspiration for this class (or "what I thought kids might do"):

velcro sticks
velcro chains
velcro blocks
velcro catch ball
velcro hair rollers

What Kids Do:  Velcro is fun to just play with! It's sticky and makes such a satisfying ripping noise...

Before class, I stuck a bunch of tiny "hook" circles onto a few wiffle balls.
 Kids and parents played "catch" using mittens and a stocking cap with these wiffle balls.
 I also added velcro dots to the tips of some craft sticks (two fuzzy stickers on one side of the stick, two scratchy stickers on the other side) and let kids create shapes with them:
 (they stick to the carpet well)
 (and also the flannelboard!)

 (and if you wiggle them, they shift around in a most interesting way!)
We wrapped the "zip ties" around wooden blocks to make more stable and interesting towers:

 We also had a testing station to see if objects would stick or not stick to Velcro
 This young explorer was "ironing" her fabric with a dry sponge.
 This very young explorer enjoyed the sound that a velcro hair roller made when brushed over the surface of the table:
Does it stick to the carpet? (hint: yes)
 Some built two-dimensional shapes with the strips:
while some built 3-dimensional sculptures
 Lots of "jewelry" was created:
 Sometimes unintentionally....
 These hair rollers make great bracelets!
And this one-wrap strap makes it difficult to walk
 These hair roller "skates" aren't much better.
 Rollers also stick to clothing!
Hindsight Tip: 
--I just realized as I was writing this how well the conversation about texture also worked with last week's Nature Walk! As far as I know, there are no picture books featuring hook and loop tape, but this was a nicely written book about texture for this age group with lots of excellent "rare" vocabulary words and a great introduction to talking about how we can use lots of different words to describe how something feels and sometimes one word can describe two very different things (soft & fluffy bunny slippers vs. soft & fluffy cake frosting).

 Variations to try: 
--Instead of making the Velcro wiffle balls (the stickers fell off quickly!), try purchasing a Velcro Dart Ball set similar to this.
--Velcro block "cutting" activity (original link is broken but this picture is pretty self-explanatory)
--Excellent video explaining Velcro (discovered via the WonderBox app)

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