Provide a safe place for tamariki to play with things that float and sink in water.
Why do it?
So that tamariki can:
- enjoy a play and learning activity indoors or outside
- have an opportunity to predict and test ideas
- experience the fun and soothing effects of water play
- strengthen expressive language by building their vocabulary of terms related to floating, sinking and water play.
How to do it
- Make sure the situation is safe for your tamaiti. Water play needs close supervision at all times.
- You’ll need some water in a container — for example, a bath, basin, bowl, bucket, puddle or rock pool.
- You’ll need things to test — ask your tamaiti to help collect some nearby things that are okay to get wet.
- Items from home could be a wooden block, a plastic lid, a peg, a cork, a sock, a metal spoon, a flower or some leaves.
- At the beach you could collect small stones, shells, sticks, feathers, pumice, some seaweed or leaves.
- Have them hold each thing one at a time and ask them what they think will happen when they put it into the water.
- Ask them, ‘Why do you think that happened?’
- Try all the things you collected to see what floats and what sinks — you could help them to group the items.
- If your tamaiti is still interested, you can think and talk about what the things that float or sink have in common with each other.
- If you’re playing in a bucket, bowl or a bath, explore what happens to the water level when something big sinks to the bottom. If you can make a mark on the bucket before and after, you can measure the difference the sinking object makes to the water level. This is called ‘water displacement’.
- In the bath, notice what happens to the water level when someone gets in (and out) of the water.
- Share picture books such as, Who Sank the Boat?, Mr Archimedes’ Bath and Alexander’s Outing, all by Pamela Allen.
Using more reo Māori
|Te reo Māori||English|
|Ka taea e te [...] te tere?||Will the […] float ?|
|E kore te [...] e tere?||The […] won’t float|
|Ka taea te [...] te totohu?||Will the […] sink ?|
|E kore te [...] e totohu||The […] won’t sink|
|Tāpu tāpu Bathtub, bath, tub, vat. Maori | Noun||Bath|
|Pākete pākete Bucket Maori | Noun||Bucket|
|Tōhihi tōhihi Puddle of water Maori | Noun||Puddle|
|Peihana peihana Basin, bowl, pan, vessel Maori | Noun||Basin|
|Kumete kumete Bowl, trough, wooden bowl, serving bowl Maori | Noun||Bowl|
|Papawai papawai Paddling pool Maori | Noun||Paddling pool|
|Kōhatu kōhatu Stone, rock Maori | Noun||Stone|
|Angaanga angaanga Shell Maori | Noun||Shell|
|Rākau rākau Tree, stick, timber, wood, plant Maori | Noun||Stick|
|Awe awe White feathers, feather plume, plume (of an albatross or heron), cloud Maori | Noun||Feather|
|Rimurimu rimurimu Seaweed - a general term Maori | Noun||Seaweed|
|Rau rau Leaf, frond, plume, spray, feather. Maori | Noun||Leaf|
|Rākau mataono||Wooden cube|
|Kirihou taupoki||Plastic lid|
|Tīmau kirihou||Plastic peg|
|Tīmau rākau||Wooden peg|
|Takawiri takawiri To twist, screw, wring Maori | Verb||Cork|
|Pune pune Spoon (cutlery) Maori | Noun||Spoon|
|Ka taea e te awe te tere||The feather can float|
|E kore te awe e totohu||The feather won’t sink|
|Ka totohu te kōhatu||The stone will sink|
|E kore te kōhatu e tere||The stone won’t float|