Puddle Scientist

6 ways to complete an in-depth puddle investigation-

  1. How deep is the puddle?
  • March right in and measure with your feet/legs/boots
  • Use a nature measuring stick (learn how to easily make your own)
  • Use conventional measurement tools like rulers, metric sticks
  • Record your results
  1. How big is the puddle?
  • Use a ruler, yard stick or metric stick to measure the length of your puddle
  • Use a long string to form an outline of the puddle and then measure it to find the circumference of your puddle
  • Record you results.
    It is fun to track the differences in the puddle stats over time so keep a record of daily or hourly changes.
  1. What shape is the puddle?
  • If your puddle is on a hard surface like a sidewalk or driveway you can draw around the puddle with chalk, but if your puddle is in dirt or mud, use a stick to draw around the shape of the puddle
  • Look at your puddle from above, from beside and from inside the puddle
  • Draw the shape of your puddle in your journal
  • Use words to describe your puddle’s shape
    Keep checking & drawing your puddle shape. Does the shape change over time? What does it look like when water is gone? Will a puddle form here again?
  1. Who uses the puddle?
  • Predict what critters might use your puddle
  • What would they use the puddle for? (drinking, bathing, splashing fun?)
  • Keep an observation guide to record which critters were in or near the puddle and how they were using the puddle
  1. Does the puddle have a current?
    Make a boat from bark, nuts & other natural materials, create a foil boat or make one from recycled plastic
  • Sail your boat in the puddle
  • Can you get it to sail from one side of the puddle to the other?
  • Observe the natural boat movements (without humans touching the sailboat)
  • What forces make the boat move?
  1. Problem Solving: How can you get water out of the puddle?
    Let learners brainstorm and figure out a way to get the water out of the puddle-
  • Have some materials handy in case learners need it for their plan (sponges, cups, pipettes & a variety of materials for exploration)
  • Rubber boots and stomping is a really fun way to get the water out!

Nature-based Stick Rulers

  1. Find a nice straight stick (a straight stick is best for measuring)
  2. Line up your stick next to your ruler and use clippers to cut the stick 12 inches long
  3. Add lines at each of the inch (and if you would like half inch) marks with a permanent marker or by carving notches into it using a ruler as a guide

Get your child excited about measuring!

Take your child on a hike with their new ruler stick and let them stop and measure things along the way (build those math skills!). Perhaps even add some literacy to their hike by bringing a notebook and recording all their measurements.

Idéa taken from Puddle Scientist — Learning withOutdoors

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