21/5 Thursday Afternoon Squishy Friends
This afternoon, we made our very own squishy friends! We gathered our materials (balloons, string, scissors and a permanent marker) and begin to make our new little friends. First we needed to make play dough, so that our friends could be very squishy. We followed a simple recipe and divided the play dough evenly. We experimented with different ways to get the play dough inside the balloon, because it as a very difficult task. Eventually we settled on working as a team to help each other fill our balloons with play dough. Once we were finished stuffing our friends, we moved on to decoration. We used the permanent marker to draw a face on the balloon, and used the string, cut into small strands, to tie sections of hair to the top of the balloon.
This activity was approached like a science experiment in the beginning. We analysed the sample picture and hypothesised the best approach to recreating the end result. To begin, we realised we needed to make the play dough. As we combined and kneaded the ingredients, we discussed what it felt like (squishy, soft, watery), and the children gave suggestions to remedy this. They decided that if the mixture was too watery, they needed to add more flour to the mix and if it was too dry, a few drops of water would fix the consistency. We divided the play dough into equal parts, which promoted fairness and consideration for others working on the same task.
The next challenge was how we were going to get the play dough into the balloon. Suggestions ranged from breaking the play dough into tiny pieces and dropping them down the neck of the balloon to cutting off the end of the balloon and shoving sections of the dough inside. Through experimenting, the children decided that working as a team was the best way to get the dough into the balloon. One person stretched the balloon open while the other person quickly shoved the dough into the balloon. One child said "This is a bit too hard". The educators assisted with this section of the activity. The children, upon seeing the technique demonstrated, were able to work together and help each other complete their squishy friend.
Tying the hair pieces onto the neck posed its own challenge. Initially, we proposed gluing the hair to the top of the balloon, but decided that would be too messy and would take a while to dry fully. We decided to tie the string around the knot of the balloon. This was difficult for some children as they were not able to grasp the concept of tying knots. Assistance was required from peers and educators for them to complete this part of the activity.