Piles and Piles of Fun!

A couple weeks ago I had to clean out my classroom. Quite the ordeal since I had basically lived in that room for 2 years. I had decorated with self-made curtains to shade the windows, printed shelf liner adorned my cabinets and tabletops, canvases painted by Punky and me were all over the walls, matching baskets and bins stored all the goodies I had purchased for students and I to use. So many markers, clips, sticky notes, notebooks, and pens galore! So I packed it all up, brought my hubby to load it all in the truck, and toted it back to the house. Hubby cried, “oh no no no” all the way home!

Boxes, crates, and bins of school stuff piled up in my living room just waiting for a good use!  To be honest, most of that stuff is still piled up in my living room just waiting for a good use, or permanent home.  Hey, I’ve been busy!  Cut me some slack!  Anyway, the kiddos are as good (or better) at this discovery learning as me.  They went plundering, as most kids would, and found some magnetic clips and dots I used to pin papers and drawings to the whiteboard and the metal sides of my desk and file cabinets.  I thought about fussing at them for messing with things that don’t belong to them without asking, but they just looked so excited and proud of themselves for the cool things they had found.  So instead, we played and we learned!

I sent the kiddos on a mission to see what the magnets would stick to around the house.  I showed them a few things they would and would not stick to and sent them on their way.  After a few minutes, Punky and I talked about what kinds of things it would stick to and how they were different from the not-sticky things.  All on her own, she noticed that the magnets would stick to almost anything metal, but not wood, glass, plastic, or fabric.  So off she went looking for more metal items to stick the magnets to.  Her brother mostly followed her around, but he found some objects around the house that were unexpectedly magnetic like the washing machine.  He also had lots of fun attempting to put the magnets on the cabinets and watching them fall down, “Uh-oh! Fell down!”

It took a while for the fun to wear off, which was an attention span miracle.  Punky loved announcing her discovery of every magnetic object she found.  Then she and I got to have a little chat about the polarity of magnets when one of the magnet disks fell out of the clip and she discovered it would stick to some of the other magnets one way and to others on the flip side.  She was amazed that one side repelled and the other stuck.  It was leading into a little discussion on the poles of the Earth but I think it might have been over her head because she suddenly got bored.  Go figure!

Overall, I’d say it was a win.  The kiddos were occupied for at least half an hour and Punky got a little science lesson to go with it.  I guess I’ve got to go clean up that big pile of junk learning materials soon…or I could leave it and let it become a scavenger hunt!

Have your littles ever discovered a fun way to learn out of a mess or junk pile?  Tell me about it in the comment section below.  I look forward to hearing from you!

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