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A Provocation for Exploring Our Senses

How Do We Use Our Senses in Play?


Upon arriving to the classroom one morning the children were presented with a provocation;

A tray filled with empty glass jars, a jug of water, coloured food dyes and metal spoons

What should we do with this?

Can I pour water in?

Whaooaa …. Look!!! Whoosshhh!!

More, more, more … now it’s your turn (to pour.)

The children began by pouring water from the jug into the jars. It was exciting to change the amount of water in each jar, they observed the rise of the water levels with their sense of sight. The children took turns to pour more and more water into each jar. When adding water to the jars, the sense of hearing was active as we listened to the water gurgle as it was poured in, mix and drops splash out.

P1030112P1030149Next we added some coloured food dye to the water in the jars. With our sense of sight we watched the drops of the coloured liquid mix and swirl to slowly spread through all of the water in each jar. The children used the metal spoons to stir the water.

The children concentrated intently, spending much time and effort to transfer the water, teaspoon by teaspoon, between the jars. This action required that the children’s sense of sight and sense of touch to work in combination together. The children observed the changing colours as they added and mixed in water from the different jars. Observing the changes in the colours and level of the water required the use of the sense of sight.P1030125P1030154

The children used their sense of hearing when stirring and tapping the jars with the metal spoons. We discovered that we could make music together by knocking the jars as they each made a different.

Throughout the play episode the teachers asked the children to identify which senses they were using.

Click this link to view a short movie of us in action exploring and experimenting by using our senses with these materials.

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