It's been so terribly hot over here in Delhi past one month that outdoor play is near impossible. At times I feel helpless that Pari is holed up inside while the holidays are going to get over in another 2 weeks. Having said that, the unbearable summer here for these 3 months – encourages us to travel to cooler locales outside Delhi and explore new places.
And when we are not traveling, we are exploring newer ways to play indoors and beat the heat simultaneously.
Recently, Pari had 'gallons' (literally) of fun playing water racing inside the house with her friend. Weird as it may sound – "water race in the house" – we are excited to discover this unique way to learn and play with water and learn some fun facts about science in the bargain.
I found this idea on this wonderful website put together by Arvind Gupta – "an engineer, a teacher, a toy-maker, a book-lover, a translator" who advocates making science fun for children . This website contains hundreds of ideas for making toys from waste and toys that are based on scientific principles. Kids will LOVE exploring these playful ways to learn about science. Pari is hooked to this resource. Every once in a while she comes to me asking to show her the long list of ideas mentioned. She then chooses any one that she wants to do that day.
We took two empty soda/mineral water bottles and I made two holes each on the bottle caps. The holes should be able to hold straws tightly when inserted.
Pari cut 4 straws to insert. Two smaller straws of same length – for each bottle. And, two longer straws – one smaller than the other.
She then filled the bottles with coloured water (used red food colour for this). This is Pari's favourite activity. She loves mixing food colours in water and watching them turn transparent to colourful.
Now the bottles were ready for the race.
The two girls turned the bottles upside down at the same time, into a bucket.
It was thrilling to watch the water gush out from the two bottles with varied intensity and speed. The eagerly awaited curiosity was – "which bottle will empty first"!
The bottle with the longer straw emtied first because pressure depends on height (depth). More the height, greater the pressure. This also explains why water towers are tall.
The girls played this game over and over again – filling and emptying and refilling.
They also tried another variation by keeping the longer straws in equal length and shorter straws in diffrent length. But, the result was the same as in the first setting.
Before winding up the water racing game, the colourful water was emptied into the indoor fountain and the straws were stuck into the mouth of the tortoises to see how far the tortoise would spit water!
I have kept the bottles intact with the straws so that they can play more often. This was so much fun not just for them but for me as a spectator!
What sort of water games do your kids love playing?
I would love to hear more ideas from you as water play is the most cherished game out here.
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