In the Classroom: The Wild Things

Science with young toddlers

Sensory is science! 

With sensory learning there is always more than what meets the eye. Children use their senses to play, to engage, and to explore with the unknowing intent to make sense of the world around them.
Sensory learning is crucial to brain development and a natural occurrence for infants and young toddlers. One morning our sensory table invitation turned science experiment was a complete success. What was supposed to be just baking soda with water turned into one of those awesome volcanos you created in elementary school experimenting with ingredients to make your creation erupt. 
The Wild Things first explored the texture of baking soda by using spoons and cups to scoop and dump. We eventually created a bubbling effect within the sensory table by adding cups of vinegar to the baking soda. The only thing missing was the volcano!
The Wild Things watched in amazement as they poured small cups of vinegar into the sensory table. We continued adding liquids until he sensory table was covered with a smooth moist coating, adding another texture for the children to explore.
The goals of this early morning invitation were to give the Wild Things a sensory learning experience supporting brain development, and to get their little fingers and minds going for the day. What better way than with science? 
Science is all around us. Very young children learn science through first hand and investigative experiences. The baking soda experience was a way to engage our little people to elements in their environment by both mentally and physically investigating and manipulating those elements.