This past summer a parent gave me a bag of brand new petri dishes. I love getting things that have endless possibilities, are reusable, and something I cannot find at the dollar store or my junk drawer. As I sit here and write I'm still thinking of what else I could do with them... (Future blog post!?)
Because we live in Canada and because it's winter we have a little thing called ice. The children have been particularly interested in it in our toddler room, and let us know whenever they see it. Petri dishes.... ice.. petri dishes.. ice.. aha!
I grabbed some pine needles from outside, a bag of cranberries, and an orange we had in the fridge and sliced them up very thin. Next, put them in the petri dishes, filled them with water, and stuck them in the freezer.
A couple hours later they were frozen and time to play with. I placed them all in the sink and ran the hot water over them so they would come out easily.
I was quite surprised to find the aromas were quite strong, which was an added bonus.
I put the ice disks in a sensory bin and threw in some regular ice cubes and cranberries with it. I knew once the children started playing with it the ice would melt and give some water in there as well.
The children got their hands right in there despite it being cold. (They told me right away, "Cold Leslie...cold..") They held the disks up to their noses and told me what they smelt, they stacked the ice into towers, and they even tried to break them to get the stuff in the middle out. They weren't sure what the cranberries were so we investigated them a little further. Some of them ate them and were not impressed.
Because they continue talking about the ice we are currently providing icy invitations for them.
We froze a bunch of different size containers and balloons and set them outside to freeze. We added colors to the balloons to make them a little more fun.
Because ice melts or floor had lots of puddles on it. Everyone got a paper towel and helped us clean up.
They took their job very seriously, not missing any water.....