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  • Cristi Wuenschel

Pond Sensory Play Ideas for Preschoolers

As an Experience Early Learning Blog Ambassador, we receive the Experience Early Learning preschool curriculum in exchange for sharing our honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. As always, our opinions on amazing things for children are 100% our own. Keep in mind that all preschoolers do things in their own time and on their own terms. What one is ready for, another might not be. Please use your best judgement when planning activities for your children.

Oobleck is such a strange and unusual thing. It's a non-Newtonian fluid, which basically means that it has properties of both a solid and a liquid.

Preschoolers love this mix of cornstarch and water and it makes a wonderful sensory experience. This week the children had the opportunity to learn about the life cycle of a frog along with it.

Most days we work through our Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) activities throughout the morning and because it's been cold and rainy we don't always get to go outside.

You know what that means, right?

Lots of time in the afternoon to continue learning through play with the math and literacy activities as well as creating new opportunities for sensory exploration.

We love messy play! And of course the preschoolers do too!

"Its so gooey! There's a tadpole in there!"

"I have the tadpole!"

I guess they very quickly realized the frog life cycle was in the oobleck.

"This is so disgusting!"

"It's not a tadpole, but it's not a frog," another one said. Of course this led to a great discussion.

Sensory play is such a wonderful way to facilitate play-based learning.

The children got to have their very own treasure hunt as they searched through the gooey oobleck for all the life cycle pieces.

"It's hard," one preschooler said as she punched it.

"But my fingers are stuck!"

The preschool years are such a wonderful time. Children are so interested in exploring the world around them and they're always asking questions.

I love that Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) provides us with many play-based ideas each and every month, but of course also inspires us to create our own.

Every week there are several ideas for STEAM Station and we love to mix and match the ideas in the Teacher Guide with ones that we keep up with on our own.

Last week we created a pond with water beads and explored color mixing with blue and green water.

This week we made a gelli pond and learned about life cycles with oobleck.

And that doesn't even include all of the wonderful ideas that were included in the Teacher Guide.

  • Making snakes with beads and buttons

  • Creating algae sensory bags

  • Building a pond from blocks

  • Discovering what items sink and float

  • Measuring ripples in water

  • Exploring pond life via dramatic play

I could for sure keep going. There is no shortage of quick & easy, play-based ideas that keep preschoolers learning.

Most days we set up the STEAM stations as the children are getting ready to choose a center and they always rush over to see what the options are before making a decision which center to choose.

Have I mentioned how excited the children are to discover the fun things that Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) provides for us each and every month?

Children learn through play and this is one preschool curriculum that goes all out to encourage exactly that.

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