Sometimes the simplest things can capture children’s interest and lead to extended play and lots of new learning. This was the case recently when I gave Max and Amelie some chunky pavement chalks, a bucket of water and some paintbrushes.
They started with just the chalks, but pretty quickly started to use the paintbrushes to paint water onto their chalky drawings. They have had lots of experience with painting with water and brushes, so they knew exactly what they could do with them. They loved watching their scribblings change as they added the water, blending it with the chalk and creating paints with it.
They continued to chalk on the (now wet) patio and the chalks themselves started to get wet. The texture of the chalks changed entirely and they were able to apply thick layers of wet, sticky chalk to the patio. They also dipped the chalks in the bucket of water and commented that the colour of the water in the bucket had changed because of the chalks.
They repeated all the stages of their explorations over and over again. Next, Max decided to throw scoops of water over the chalky patio and shouted, “Look, I made sunshines!” He was fascinated by the splash marks the water made as it hit the ground – which absolutely did look like the sun’s rays!
Max and Amelie have returned to this activity many times over several days – this has been helped by the fact that the chalks have stayed wet and sticky, and therefore satisfyingly easy to make strong marks with. I’ve found little chalky drawings all over the paths, on the walls and on stones too. They’ve even decorated the barbecue!!