R was 16 months old and K was 20 months old at the time of this activity
1001 Things to Spot in the Sea by Usborne – We love the Usborne Things to Spot series of books. At this time, R just enjoys looking at the pictures and flipping through the pages. I’m sure she will continue to enjoy these books as she gets older, as my Kindergarten and Grade 1 students did!
In a Rubbermaid tub, I added water beads (green, purple and clear), large rocks and three of R’s bath toys (whale, turtle and shark). To explore the sensory bin, I gave her a small fishing net (a sieve) and a plastic scoop. She played for over an hour in this tub!!! She scooped the water beads and dumped them over and over. She tried using a rock to scoop the water beads up with, but found that this didn’t work. She fed the beads to her water creatures and said, “num num” while doing so. She loved squeezing the water beads between her fingers, the most!
a. Work on estimating with older kids. The clear beads are invisible in the water. Use the plastic scoop to scoop up water and water beads. Have the child make an estimate as to how many water beads s/he scooped up. Pour contents into sieve and have child count to see how close s/he was to his/her estimate. You will sure to be surprised how many water beads you have in fact scooped up once you can see the clear beads!
b. Discuss which sea creatures would live well together and why. Think about what things these creatures would need to survive in their under water habitat. Look up underwater habitats on the internet and then construct an aquarium with the child based on the research you have conducted together.