Build a Dam Like a BeaverWe recycled a plastic table cloth to build a river in the yard. It turned out to be a fun engineering activity, river exploration, and a water play. We were able to explored the water flow hands-on: kids adjusted the "river" easily for different outcomes with this quick set up. They attempted to engineer a simple dam with supplies at hand - a great problem solving activity since the effectiveness of their structures was easy to see.
Our beaver craft can be found here: Happy Beaver Earth Day Craft for Kids from My Bright Firefly.
Beaver books we loved (Amazon affiliate links):
Little Beaver and the Echo
Turtle's Race with Beaver
Beaver Is Lost
Beavers Water PlayTo create a river, we rolled four pool noodles in a table cloth and secured with tape.
A small choice of toys and supplies was offered for explorations and building: plastic fish and ducks, rocks, sticks, soil with clay, three buckets of different sizes, two watering cans of different sizes and shapes, a gardening hose, portable toy water wheels.
Water wheels are optional for these activities. Amazon affiliate links:
Small World Toys Sand & Water - Water Wheel
American Plastic Toy Sand and Water Wheel
Engineering challenge: How to position the pool noodles to keep the water inside?
Engineering challenge: How to position the river for the fastest flow of water? For the slowest flow? For creating a lake with the water flow underground? (We tried different angles of river on the grassy slope.)
Engineering challenge: create a water flow for the ducks to go down the stream.
Engineering challenge: create a dam that can stop the flow of water and form a small "pond" for beavers.
It was an interesting process of attempting to stop the flow of water using rocks, sticks, leaves, and soil with clay. It is a process since building the dam is not an easy task. Two of the best solutions for the day were found:
- Position the river in a V shape to collect the water at the bottom of the "V".
- Place a bucket inside the river, place the ducks inside, and start filling the bucket with water until the overflow will send ducks down the river (or just dump the bucket: whichever comes first).
I call it a success for the day!
A to Z Animal SeriesFor the month of June, kid bloggers are working together to bring you A to Z Animal series. Some fun ideas for kids activities and crafts are coming!
Albatross, Beaver, Crab, Duck, Elephant, and so on. You can find all the links here: A to Z Animal Series from Teach Me Mommy.
The first article in the Animal series is The Bird with the Biggest Wingspan: Albatross Craft from Preschool Powol Packets.
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