MATH GAMES FOR ADULT AND CHILD
ACTIVITIES IN BATHTUBS:
FILLING AND EMPTYING,
COUNTING BACKWARDS TO ZERO
TOPIC and LEVEL: Counting: Intermediate; Geometry: Basic, Advanced
PLAY AFTER: COUNTING TILL YOU GET THERE
PLAY WITH: COUNTING BACKWARDS and others
Young children are fascinated by their ability to fill and empty. Give a child a large empty cardboard box or laundry basket and it will be filled with toys, carried around, emptied, filled with toys, emptied, filled with child, and emptied.
A bathtub at home, or a watertable in school, provides the environment for more filling and emptying activities.
Given two cups of the same size and a tub of water, many young children will quite happily fill and empty the cups pouring water from one cup to the other or into the tub. A somewhat older child still enjoys filling and emptying but not if the cups hold the same amount. Play should now be with cups and containers of various sizes and shapes.
It's fun to watch water from a large cup overflow when poured into a smaller cup. It's necessary to use more than one small cup of water to fill the larger cup. This play is beginning experiments with volume.
To many people, container A looks smaller than container B. In fact, they have the same capacity. Container C contains three times that of container D. Container E contains three times that of F.
Adults have learned to question the capacity of containers; many children haven't had the experiences to do this. Leave different size and shape containers in with bathtub toys, just so a that child may make volume experiments and discoveries. Provide the tools, not the instruction.
Bathtub Launch Pads
The bathtub also provides a great launch pad for COUNTING BACKWARDS. If a container of trapped air is submerged in water and then released, it will pop to the surface. (The deeper it is submerged, the more likely it is to shoot out of the water.) To play COUNTING BACKWARDS, a small container is submerged and a countdown is conducted till the object's released. For example:
ADULT: "Captain Megan, all systems are go. We're ready for a countdown."
CHILD: "Roger. I'll do the countdown. Three, two, one...."
ADULT AND CHILD: "Blastoff!!!!!!!" (Megan, age three releases her submerged "space shuttle".)
CHILD: "Play with me again. Play with me again."
ADULT: "Captain Megan, all systems are go. Ready for the countdown."
CHILD: "Three, two, one..."
ADULT and CHILD: "Blastoff!!!!!"
CHILD: "Again, again, but bigger. Make it bigger!"
ADULT: "Do you want a longer count down???!!"
CHILD: "Yes, longer."
ADULT: "O.K., I'll do the countdown. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one..."
ADULT and CHILD: "Blastoff"
ADULT: "Ten, nine, eight, seven,....., one...."
ADULT and CHILD: "Blastoff!!!!!!"
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