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Early childhood education has been my life for over 40 years. I have taught all age groups from infants to 5-year-olds. I was a director for five years in the 1980s, but I returned to the classroom 22 years ago. My passion is watching the ways children explore and discover their world. In the classroom, everything starts with the reciprocal relationships between adults and children and between the children themselves. With that in mind, I plan and set up activities. But that is just the beginning. What actually happens is a flow that includes my efforts to invite, respond and support children's interface with those activities and with others in the room. Oh yeh, and along the way, the children change the activities to suit their own inventiveness and creativity. Now the processes become reciprocal with the children doing the inviting, responding and supporting. Young children are the best learners and teachers. I am truly fortunate to be a part of their journey.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Milk carton cascade

I dove back into my archives of pictures I took over 20 years ago.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a milk carton cascade for the water table that I had completely forgotten about.  The setup below consisted of two clear toddler water tables.  I removed the legs of one of the tables so its tub rested on the floor.  I taped six milk cartons together in a cascade formation and then taped the structure to both the top water table and the bottom water table.

I cut a panel out of the top of each milk carton.  Children could then pour water into any milk carton of their choosing.  Water emptied out of each carton into the next through each of their original spouts.
Once the water reached the bottom, the water exited the bottom milk carton into the tub on the floor.

Axiom #6 on the right hand column of this blog asserts that children will stop or redirect the flow of any medium in the table.  In the picture below, the child nicely illustrates this axiom because he blocked the flow of water from the cascade with his hand.  In addition, he poured enough water into the bottom milk carton to make it overflow. 
Why would he do that?  My guess is that he plugged the cascade so the cartons would fill up.  When he removed his hand, he actually increased the rate of flow through the cascade.  

I have seen in early childhood catalogues that cascades are for sale.  They are durable, they are beautiful and they are guaranteed for life.  They are usually advertised as outdoor equipment with outdoor water tables.  The good ones are almost $2000.  And that is just the cascade piece.  

Can you guess how much this milk carton cascade cost?  

1 comment:

  1. I love this idea and I'm building one right now for my dayhome!
    I'll also be stealing a cardboard tubes idea as I've collected a bunch of them! Keep up inspiring people, your ideas are genius!
    Bianca M.