Most of our summer days are spent outside in our mud pit of a backyard. Our frequent weekend getaways and the blazing heat that this summer has brought has left us with a less than green yard. Composed of more weeds than grass and an equal amounts of rocks and dust we make do and tend to have a delightfully dirty time playing each day. The addition of water on these ever-too-often 90 degree days is a must and when the water hits that dust we get some serious mud! This is okay because I am rather partial to mud. So our hose is running more than my husband would like to know (wait until we get that water bill!) and since our play-space is riddled with buckets and pools and other things to fill up that’s what we do. The other day the boys were taking the hose around and filling whatever they could find. They filled 3 red metal buckets and let them sit for a while. When we had finally soaked our yard to my content I turned off the hose and they kids started to look for something new to occupy their attention. The buckets were there in a line, waiting, glistening in the sun, ready for dumping. At least that’s what I expected the kids to do with them given their track record. Much to my surprise one of the older boys found a pinecone and dropped it in.
“It floats!!” he screamed.
This drew in a crowd.
“What else floats?” I heard my son asking.
“Nope that goes to the bottom, it sinks.”
This dialogue carried on for quite sometime, each child taking turns guessing, gathering, testing. After the buckets were good and full they decided to sort the items per bucket, one for floating things, one for sinkers, and one for stuff that starts out floating and then ends up sinking. I love to watch them explore and discover in such a natural way. I had no hand in this activity. My role was to merely document and observe! Science happens everyday in the life of a child, we must merely foster that curiosity and set the environment so they can explore!