I've been using the tuff spot challenge as a way to step outside our normal tuff spot play an try something new, and today's activity was in keeping with that idea. As we got our tuff spot last autumn we haven't had much chance to play out in the sun or splash around with water so I really wanted to change that as Isabelle loves playing with water.
I decided that our first tuff spot water activity would be water mixing. Isabelle is generally pretty good with her colours, although yellow is always tricky, and so I am trying to incorporate as much colour as possible into our play. I know she is far too little to truly understand the process of mixing two colours to create a new one, but what I was hoping with this activity is that it would simply introduce the idea that colours aren't static - they can change, and that change can happen when they get added together. I wasn't expecting us to come away with her chirping "Red and blue make purple!", just with the seed planted that colours mix and change.
As it was a beautiful sunny day, I decided to set the tuff spot up outside. I used some of the tyres we've been collecting as a stand for the tuff spot which worked really well as it allowed Isabelle to move about easily and reach across the tuff spot.
I set out 3 plastic trays with coloured water - one blue, one red and one yellow, along with two empty plastic containers. The water was coloured with normal food colouring which gave a good deep colour in each container and took less than 2 minutes to set up. I had wanted to use the giant eyedroppers I had ordered, but sadly they didn't arrive in time, so instead we used a trusty scoop and spoon which worked perfectly. We started by identifying the three colours of water which we had available, and I showed her the scoop and empty containers too.
I tried not to guide Isabelle too much, just let her do her own thing. She immediately started scooping the water from the yellow tub into an empty container, but decided that she would rather scoop it into the red almost immediately. I showed her how that made the colours change and from then on, we referred to that as orange water. Then, some of the yellow water made its way into the blue which of course gave us green water. I was pretty impressed with how quickly the water colour changed, but Isabelle seemed happy enough just scooping rather than being too worried about the colours.
All the water then ended up in the blue container, which of course made it overflow. It was great doing this activity on the tuff spot as all the water was easily contained. Clean up was so simple too - I just poured all the water off into the grass!
Isabelle asked for her watering can, and we spent the rest of the play time filling the can up with coloured water which she poured into one or more of the other containers. When much of the water was sloshed onto the tuff spot we filled the watering can up with "normal" water instead. She also enjoyed sticking her hands straight in and splashing about!
Isabelle had a great time scooping and pouring the water about, and it was a lovely activity to do out in the sunshine in the space before dinner time. It would be a perfect activity for older children who are learning about the colour wheel and how to make secondary colours. It's also just a bit of fun for a splash around, especially as it comes in to summer and the temperature starts to heat up.