I love games that combine nature play and fresh air with a little sneaky STEM thrown in, and this idea from Hands on as We Grow fits the bill!
To start, I sent Veronika hunting around the yard to find treasures. With some mommy help, we then sorted these into the compartments of a large muffin tin, including flowers, grass, leaves, wood chips, and dirt. We also left one compartment empty.
I then handed over Veronika’s watering can and encouraged her to water her items!
It immediately becomes clear that the effect of the water is not the same on all the nature items. Some, like the grass and flowers, are soon just sitting in puddles of water.
But for others (spoiler alert: wood chips and dirt), the water wasn’t there for her to see any more. It was time to introduce new vocabulary: the dirt had absorbed the water! The flowers and grass had not.
Of course the STEM lesson is advanced for my two year old, but half the fun here was just in pouring the water from the can, stirring items around, and enjoying a warm morning on the patio!