Play with coloured water and plastic bottles and learn about simple capacity and measuring maths concepts at the same time!
Welcome to another activity in our Playful Maths series, which we are co-hosting with Learn with Play at Home. We focus on making maths playful, fun and totally hands-on and worksheet free! Each activity uses recycled materials and easy to obtain items from around the home, making them simple enough to set up quickly and cheaply. For these next two weeks we are using plastic bottles in our activities.
Onto the bottles I drew very simple markings, different on each one to show a range of potential measuring scales. On one I demarcated by writing “quarter, half, three quarters and full”, on another I wrote the same scale but numerically instead “1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1” and on the last I roughly marked it into 10 equal portions, numbering them from 1-10 and marking off the half way point. The idea behind this was to give a large a range as possible and introduce lots of learning and vocabulary possibilities.
Then they were simply invited to play, play, play! And as water play is one of their absolute favourites they dived right in (not literally) and set about scooping, pouring, filling and emptying. We talked about the half way mark on each bottle and what it represents, then they had the challenge of filling the bottles with water to meet the line exactly which was harder than it seemed and a real test of co-ordination and control when pouring. They pointed to the numbers on the numerically scaled bottle and were able to read them off.
[Click the photo to see the whole series!]