Week 4: Wacky Water Week Extension

For the grand finale of Wacky Water Week, we took to the tub. Who says that you can’t still have water fun inside when it’s raining outside? While the boys were putting their bathing suits on and filling up the big garden tub in the master bathroom, I gathered the materials we would need:

  • water marbles
  • Let’s Try It Out in the Water: Hands-On Early-Learning Science Activities by Seymour Simon and Nicole Fauteux
  • aluminum foil
  • a variety of small toys and items from around the house that can get wet
  • piece of paper taped to bathroom mirror (or wall) and a Sharpie
  • a few different sized containers or bottles (Rubbermaid or plastic food storage containers work well or empty recyclables)

Remember how the boys were begging me to let them take a bath with the water marbles? Well, I caved. Truth be told, I was a little desperate by this point in the week. The boys were both cranky, grouchy, and fighting while trying to both deal with nasty summer colds, I was exhausted and hadn’t put makeup on in two days which just makes ME cranky and grouchy, and we were supposed to be having friends over to our pool for dinner but the look of the sky wasn’t very pleasant. Did my give-in pay off? Yes and no. Yes in the sense that the boys had a blast sitting on, stirring up, squishing, and playing with the water marbles floating all around them. On the other hand, no because it took FOREVER to get them all out of the water. I tried a strainer, I made the boys get back in the water to start picking them out by hand…it was a mess. I thought that they would be easy to scoop out once all the water had drained out of the tub, but a bunch of them got lodged in the drain and clogged the tub which resulted in me getting in the tub with my clothes on and frantically digging them out with a pair of small scissors. I did get them all out, but it took about 45 minutes for the boys and I to retrieve them all, at which point I was soaking wet, the boys were getting slap-happy, and my bathroom floor was flooded. Yikes.

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But back to the FUN part… I had found the book mentioned above at the library and purposely held on to it in case we did have a rainy day because I knew that we could do all of the activities in the tub if needed, although I think that the best way probably would be in a small baby pool outside. I basically read through the book from start to finish while the boys listened from the tub (can’t say I’ve ever done a read-aloud to people in a bathtub before!), and we would pause whenever the book would walk through an activity. All of the activities are really basic and focus on concepts like capacity (which we had been doing earlier in the first Wacky Water Week–love when things connect like that!), floating and sinking, and estimation.

The boys enjoyed the floating and sinking guessing activity. We made predictions on what each item would do before the boys would drop it into the water. I recorded our predictions and the results on the white paper that I taped to the bathroom mirror:

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Probably the most fascinating thing to Luke was that some of the sinkers suddenly floated when placed on an aluminum foil boat. He could not believe that the items wouldn’t make the boat sink. The book does a good job talking about how the aluminum foil helps to spread out the weight which changes whether the item sinks or floats.

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After a little bit of playtime with the boat, I gave the boys a large glass Pyrex bowl that I had been storing the water marbles in all week. The boys were surprised that the bowl floated because it was so much heavier than all of the other objects they had been trying out. We did a little estimating of how many cups of water we would have to pour into the bowl before it would sink to the bottom of the tub then tried it out. The boys loved seeing the bowl suddenly reaching its capacity and just seemingly slamming down to the bottom. They repeated that for a while pretending that the bowl was a submarine taking its time submerging into the water with all of its sailors (ie–Spider Man, a variety of superhero Squinkies, a rubber frog, etc.).

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Although this required a lot of cleanup AND TOWELS when we were finished, it was worth it to hear the boys squeal with delight and tell me over and over, “That was so fun! Can we do that again sometime?” I reminded them that they have regular bath nights, but that didn’t seem to be the same thing to them…

We sure have had a lot of fun experimenting and playing with water for two weeks, but looking at the “battle remnants” in the tub and the one inch of standing water all over my bathroom floor solidified that it was time to move on to a new theme!

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I think I may have promised a book list in a previous post, but I had to return all of our library books yesterday before I had a chance to type up the list. Sorry about that! The good news is that there are TONS of fiction and even more nonfiction books that you can check out at your local library that really get into the science and fun behind water. Even Mommy learned a lot these two weeks!

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