Oct 12, 2016

WonderWorks: Tunnels & Tubes

What can you do with a tube?

Today's Topic: Tunnels & Tubes
pop-up tunnels
cardboard tubes (I got mine from a carpet store and had some cut down to a shorter size)
toy cars
the water play equipment from last week

 cover art Sam & Dave dig a hole / Barnett, Mac

Why I put these materials out: Inspired by the AnjiPlay that I did last summer, I wanted to see what would happen if I gave kids more than one opportunity to play with the same materials.  So this week, I brought out the tubes and tunnels but I also brought out the same "water works" toys that they'd played with the week before.  I was curious to see if they would gravitate towards the new or the familiar and if they would combine the two together. 

What the kids actually did: 
some kids started with the exact activity that they did the week before:
 Some of the kids were new this week (it's a drop-in program, so repeat attendance is not assumed) and just got lucky enough to have two sets of toys to explore:
 This young explorer is learning what happens when you blow air through a loooong tube into water:
 Although a parent was the one that rigged these pieces up to the board, the kids played with them for quite awhile.
 And they added their own twists -- the loop of tubing that feeds back into the top of the funnel is their own invention
 It's hard to see in this photo, but the funnel is strung onto this tubing like a bead on a necklace:
 She is figuring out that she can thread pipe cleaner through the little hole on the edge of the funnel:
Other kids tried new things with the familiar materials.  Will this suction cup stick to the door?
 Will it stick to the textured wallpaper?
 How about this tubing?  Will it stick?  (this kiddo also repeated his fireman play from the week before and this miiiiight be him putting out a "fire" on the door.  I'm not sure.)
 Other kids gravitated toward the new tubes.  They built towers.
 Taller towers.
 Tried to make a tower with a turn:
 made tiny ramps for cars to drive through:
 When the ramp fell down....
 ... he tried adding two tubes below the tunnel to see what that would do
 Some liked to fill the tubes up with all of the bouncy balls:
others liked dropping the long tubes to hear the noise they made as they bounced on the floor (different lengths make different sounds!).  This guy was enjoying the "risk" of letting the long one drop towards the floor and then catching it quickly before it bopped his mom on the head.
 Some of the short tubes could be threaded onto long tubes:
 Watching cars and balls rolls down the longest tubes was popular.
 This young scientist discovered that when she rolled the wooden egg-shaped ball, it made a much different noise than rolling a round ball.  She also compared how those sounds changed with different angles of the tube (slower, faster).
 These guys discovered the joy of hollering into one end of a long tube with a friend listening on the other end.  :)
And as always, the toy cars were a big hit.
 (love the line of cars here.  After I snapped this photo, he added another car on the shorter side so that they'd be symmetrical.)
This week's Play Stories depicted balls and tunnels:
 LOTS of detail here (thanks for the captions, mom!)

Adult Challenge of the week:  Allow (encourage!) your child to experiment and fail.  That's how they'll learn!

Please note: "Anji Play,” refers to a specific philosophy and comprehensive approach to early education developed by Ms. Cheng Xueqin in Anji County, China. I use the term "Anji Play" to describe my programming and throughout this blog with the explicit permission of Ms. Cheng because our programming has been developed as part of a close collaborative relationship with her and her team of Anji Play educators. If you are interested in learning more about how you can bring Anji Play to your community, please visit www.anjiplay.com

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