Saturday, May 2, 2015

Rainy Day Rainsticks

I'm working on part 2 of my fairy tale series, but I had to take a break. The next one's going to be good.

 In the meantime, I thought I'd ask the question, "What to do with one-year-olds when it rains?" The answer, of course, is to make rainsticks!

This project took us all day and it was so rewarding for the kids as they completed it.

I impressed one parent, who said, "I don't think I made these until I was in third grade!" It's amazing what little ones can do when they're challenged.

Now, on to the project!

First, we gathered some tubes and painted them. The toddlers did a fantastic job holding their cardboard tubes while they painted them. Some of them painted the table and rolled the tube around in it, others fingerpainted. The older children modeled how to dip paintbrushes in paint and put it on their tubes and some of them were very selective about which paint they used.

We let those dry while we finished our morning routine.  During naptime, I made a wonderful discovery: the bottoms of our plastic cups were the perfect size for most of our tubes! I started cutting and soon had the caps attached to one end with clear tape.

The bottoms of the cups, all ready to go.

Since I was by myself today, I put out some foil and let the children explore it while I washed the tables after snack. They loved tearing it and attempting to put some into their (and each other's!) tubes.

After we were done, I crinkled up the foil and let them put it in the tubes.

Finally, we added some sand/rice mixture from our sand table.
It turns out that the cut cups made a fantastic funnel.

There were so many domains and skills involved! The children used fine motor to tear up the foil and put it into our tubes. They used Cognitive to figure out the best way to turn the cup in order to dump the sand in. Creative art as they explored the paint and made their rainsticks their own. Color mixing and recognition. Use of writing and drawing tools. Scientific exploration as they asked questions and answered them by shaking it.

I wish I could have taken pictures of the children enjoying their rainsticks, so you'll have to try it in your classroom and see for yourself!

Which rainy day activities do you enjoy? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Teaching!

Amy Latta


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