Logically the next question quickly followed the first, "What is erosion?"
I first found this neat idea on Art Club Blog and I thought it looked like a great project for introducing kids to concepts of weather, change and decay, and of course erosion.
To get the kids engaged in our project we started out talking about weather.
- What kinds of weather are there?
- What happens to things that are outside when it rains?
- When it snows and freezes?
We had a light-hearted chat about this; about how things change and wear away, or erode, when they are exposed to weather.
To give the kiddos a tangible hands on example of erosion and the effects of weather, we made our own "rain puddle".
I put warm water in a glass bowl in the center of our table. Then we started adding things to it. We started with paper. I gave each kid a scrap of paper to rip up and add to the water. We stirred them around for a bit and then pulled the paper out. The kids were surprised by the change, it was floppy and really easy to tear! I asked them if they would be able to write on the paper now.
That was the start of our fun experiment. Then we added other things like hibiscus flowers which changed the color of the water. And we added these starchy noodle shaped things that dissolve in water. I got them long ago at Hobby Lobby and can't remember what they are called, ah well... The kids did really enjoy watching these dissolve and squeezing the noodle things as they changed shape. We watched and stirred and exclaimed as our puddle eroded away all the things we had put in it, this experiment was a huge hit with the kids.
Next we went outside and created our erosion bundle. I spread a cloth spread in the center of our circle and had each child add one unique thing to the center of the cloth. We added rocks, paper streamers, paper cards and broken crocs jibits among other things.
Then we wrapped it all up inside a mesh corn bag and buried it in the ground. We plan to unearth it in the spring to discover what Mother Nature has done to the objects within.