Sandbox

Making a Wall

Belgium, 3 year olds

In the sand corner the teacher had placed materials to build with, including real bricks and other specialist tools to help with the building process such as plaster, trowels and spirit levels, as well as the familiar buckets and spades.

The activity presented the children with several problems. They were given space and time to generate their own solutions. There were opportunities for collaboration between children as they played and watched what each other did. They made decisions based on observations and evaluation of evidence of the impact of their actions demonstrating creativity in making connections and in their reasoning skills. First the two children worked separately to make their own walls. However after some time they started working together to build one wall, sharing the tasks required to prepare their materials.

One child was pouring out the water to mix with the sand when she noticed that the sand was not mixing enough with such a large amount of water and so she poured some of the water out of her bucket. Her action suggested creativity in modifying her approach based on her observations. The other child observed this effect and only put a little bit of water on the sand in his bucket, indicating that he had used the evidence from his partner’s mixture to make decisions about his own mixture. 

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