We are kicking off I-Week with one of the of the most identifiable I-words in our kids’ vocabularies: ice! Peter filled the sensory bin with water and ice cubes during free play and the children quickly decided that it was way too cold to play with! After waiting a bit and returning to check the water, our resident I-student, Isa, noticed that the ice cubes were all gone! We talked about what it means to melt and the children saw firsthand how ice really is made up of nothing more than water. They stuck their hands in the water and found that although the ice had melted, the water temperature was still very cold! I think we’ll save the thermal conduction conversation for later in the week.
During project time, we did more experiments with ice: ice painting! As usual, each child was given a letter of the week to decorate, and today we decorated our Is with ice. Peter and the children filled an ice cube tray with water, then carefully added drops of liquid watercolor to each cube of the tray. We put those in the freezer so that the Tugboats could use their very own ice paints later this week. For today’s project, Kristy and Sienna made us a beautiful set of frozen watercolors that they made over the weekend. With popsicle sticks as “brush handles,” each child was able to select his or her preferred colors and use them to paint their Is.
This project amazes me every week because even when given the same set of materials, the children still manage to create such unique and individualized works of art. When the ice paints are fresh from the tray, they create marks similar to crayons, with areas of color and non-color. As they melt, they mark much more like watercolor paints typically do. Some children painted their Is quickly so as to have colorful, striated letters. Others waited until the paints were more melted and filled in every space on their letters. Others still used the melted watercolors to create puddles of color, leaving pockets of white. It’s such a great opportunity for them to continue to cultivate their individual styles and expressions, while also observing and learning from one another.