If you want to keep a group or even one child engaged in an activity then pull out the water table or water tub and get ready to get all pumped up for water play!
Why we Chose this Experience
Before telling you about this water play experience, let me first share with you why we chose this water play experience. The connection is important to my story. Over the past few weeks, my students have developed a huge interest in all the animal tracks they keep seeing out in the snow.
The children’s interests in the animal tracks gave me the perfect opportunity to read them the story “Moose Tracks” by Karma Wilson. This book is a wonderfully illustrated book about animal tracks left all over the bed, walls, tables, and more inside someone’s house but the “story teller” doesn’t know who left the tracks. The end of the book does reveal who left the tracks which happens to be a moose. Also at the very end of this book, there is a picture of a bottle of soap that says “Moose Track Soap” on it for cleaning up all those tracks left by the Moose.
Making Moose Track Soup
After reading the book, I asked the children if they would like to make moose track soap and of course they all said “yes!” You should know that we didn’t get right on it. I still had to gather up some empty soap dispensers and then bring them in on another day. I had been saving the soap dispensers from home and in the classroom for a few months but finally just bought a few empty soap dispensers. About a week later, one of my students began asking when they were going to get to make “Moose Track Soap” and since I now had enough dispensers for all the children to join in we were ready to get started.
To make moose track soap you will want to not make the same mistakes I did so be sure to make note…
- Pour a good squeeze of liquid soap (can be almost any kind but we used dawn dish soap) into the bottom of your empty soap dispenser.
- Add a small amount of water (not a lot of water).
- Add liquid food color to make the water different colors.
- Now shake the bottle really good so you get lots of soapy foam.
- Set the foam filled bottle out for the children to pump away.
The reason you don’t want to add a lot of water (like you see I did in some of these photos) is because the children will pump through the water super fast and you will have to keep refilling the bottles. If you add only a little bit of water and then encourage the children to keep shaking the solution before and during play, it will keep it sudsy in the bottle and the children will be able to pump out lots of foam which will make one bottle of moose track soap last much longer and the colorful soap foam is fun to see and explore.
My prek kids were certainly capable of making their own moose track soap mixture once we figured out the best approach but even if too much water was added, that’s why we used the water tub for pumping out the soap.
So now that you have the scoop on how to make “moose track soap” keep in mind that this experience doesn’t have to go with the book. The experience of pumping soap through a soap dispenser was like magic to my students. They stayed with this process for a very long time and loved it.
And after preschool, my two year old (almost three now) grandson came to the classroom and spent a long time exploring the pump soap dispensers too.
Pumping the soap out into the water tub gave the children an incredible work out for their arm, wrist, and hand strength…
The children had to work on keeping the bottles from slipping in the water tub as they pumped out the soap which led to quite a bit of concentration, self-correcting, balancing, and focusing the movement of their bodies and arms and hands. All of which are important life long skills for developing strength for writing as well as using a soap dispenser when it time to wash hands.
And of course, there was also the component of color and color mixing as well as a little bit of soapy science as the children realized that making lots of soapy bubbles required shaking the water and soap mixture rather than adding more water.
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