Clubhouse Spray Bottles, Water Optional

We always have spray bottles available at the Clubhouse. 

On a hot day, they have been known to cool tiny toes.

On a particularly adventurous afternoon, a couple of Clubhouse Kids ran around on the hunt for thirsty lizards that could use their assistance. 
Between the running, jumping, and squirting, 
they tackled both fine and motor skills activities for the day.

Armed with "special green water", this concoction was mixed up to make the "tree" they created grow. This "tree" made up of everything they found around our outdoor space, was the center of dramatic play for quite a few days. 
Hence, that spray bottle was always ready with the special green water.

They have squirted, spritzed, refilled and done it all over again. The spray bottles are hardly ever not being used. Who would have thought something so simple could lead to so many different ideas and adventures?

So of course, since we are in full water bead mode.. we just had to fill up our bottles with water beads and see if they would squirt. I wish I had had the camera ready when they were filling the bottles, because they were definitely having fun getting the slippery little beads through the small bottle opening. Coordination and focus at it's finest, and a lot of laughing. 

Once the bottles were full, they observed closely. 

"Do you think it will squirt out a bead?"

"It squirts bead juice!"

I squirted a few times myself and noticed that the bottles filled with water beads required a little more effort to squirt. That didn't stop the kids though, they squirted, and squirted, and squirted...

"The bead juice is slimy."
"It's shiny too!"

I have a feeling they will be filling their bottles up with "bead juice" for some time to come now.

As water bead giveaway week continues, I definitely have to share how Train Up A Child used water beads. Adding plastic eggs and lights, she created a spectacular Easter sensory experience!! Looks like I know what I'll have in the sensory table next week. Thanks Allison!

Don't forget to keep the entries coming in for the water bead giveaway! If you aren't sure how to enter, check out the details on our Facebook page.

I wonder if Lizards like Bead Juice?
Ms. Liz


Clubhouse Science: Dehydration

"The marble is the same size as the beads!"

We put a handful of water beads out on some wax paper in the Sunshine, and added a few marbles to the mix. They were just about the same size, the beads looking very much like marbles at this point. Out came the Clubhouse Science Journal, as we started yet another experiment with water beads! We have seen them grow in water, now what happens when they have no water?

The Clubhouse Kids love experiments that involve observation over an extended period of time. From soaking eggs in jars full of varying substances over a period of a week, to observing different ice cubes melt throughout a day, we definitely have a lot of little Scientists over here who enjoy making predictions and observing changes.

"I think the beads will stay huge!"

"They will get smaller!"

"They will disappear!!"

Let the games begin.

After about an hour:
"The bead is shrinking!!!"

After about 3 hours:
"The Sunshine drank up all the water in the bead!"

Oh how I love when a child makes a comment that I can expand on, teaching a valuable lesson. The water beads were definitely shrinking, and this Clubhouse Kid presented me with the perfect intro to talk about how important it is for us to drink lots of water, because that Arizona Sunshine likes to drink up the water in our bodies too! Word of the day: Dehydration. Yes, water beads can even expand their vocabulary ;)

"They need waterrrr to grow, just like we do!"

"I don't want to shrink from deee-hyy-drayy-shunn!"

Back into the water they went with the rest of the beads and marbles, 
and soon enough:

"They're all huge again!"
"I like them better when they grow, not when they shrink!"
"Water is good!"

Growing versus shrinking, another look at opposites. Using water to stay hydrated, a bonus Health lesson. These little beads really do make for a lot of ways to learn!!

Take a look at how NurtureStore incorporated Space play with water beads, and how Play Create Explore used clear water beads and plastic diamonds to create a dazzling sensory table! Then be sure to check out Dirt and Boogers (don't you just love that name?) and how they mixed shaving cream with their water beads! We love doing that one around here!

For more water bead ideas go ahead and check out our water bead page here! If you're a blogger, feel free to link up your water bead posts as the fun continues.

Also, thanks to Rainbow Water Beads, we have more water beads to giveaway!! This time it's simple, if you "like" our Facebook page, you're already entered. As soon as we reach 300 likes, we will hold a random drawing and ship off a variety of colored water beads to someone new!! Just be sure to keep them in water ;)

Stay hydrated my friends,
Ms. Liz

Linked on: 
For the Kids FridayClassified: MomScience Sunday


Clubhouse Science: The Art of Melting

Today our fun with water beads continued. First, let's rewind to yesterday when we filled up a couple of ice cube trays to put into the freezer...

One with water,
and one with water beads.

We talked about what we thought might happen. Will they both freeze?

The kids all agreed they would.

"Water freezes when it's cold!"

Lo and behold, this morning they found out they were right:

"They both freezed!"

On to part two of this little experiment. 
Will they both melt?
Which one will melt faster?

Getting the ice out of the trays was a fun little activity in fine motor skills, bonus!

One Clubhouse Kid twisted the trays, poked at the cubes, and eventually got them out, one by one. 
Another twisted and turned the tray and then realized he could just dump the whole thing and get it over with. 
Time to fill the vases, and record our observations throughout the day in our Clubhouse Science Journal. 

"The regular ice will melt faster."
"The beady ice will!!"
"My blue icebergs will melt all the way!"

A little healthy Scientific debate was well underway, and the kids returned to the vases frequently to keep checking on the "blue icebergs".

I'll spare you a montage of photos, because trust me.. the kids wanted me to snap a picture about every 4 minutes to track the progress. The print outs will go into our journal, since they are absolutely certain every picture shows progress. For you, I will simply share the end result:

They both melted, and at about the same pace. Even the kids were able to agree that neither was faster. They moved them around, swished them, smelled them, touched them, everything we do around here for proper observation.

"This is perfect, cold water!"
"This is wet water!"

"This is MUSH!"
"This is cold and gross!!"
"This isn't water!"

Simple, fun, and another day of keen observations. Neither mixture was really colder, nor did either stay colder longer. The vases are still in the classroom, still full of their fully melted substances. Around here, that happens. We don't toss an experiment until the Clubhouse Kids are certain that they are done, and they decided they need to take another look at these tomorrow... ;)

So much can be done with water beads, check out how Here Comes The Sun and Child Central Station use them on their light tables! So beautiful, and what a great way to combine light and water play. Also, check out how Smiling like Sunshine adds a slide to her water bead sensory bin, and how The Imagination Tree creates a picture perfect seaside sensory tub. Last, but not least, many of you have asked if these could be used during bath time... Play at Home Mom did just that, check out the bath time fun!

For more ideas, visit our Adventures in Water Beads page here!

If it freezes.. it will melt,

Ms. Liz :)


Clubhouse Plunge... into Water Beads (and a Giveaway)!!

"These are just little tiny dots!"

...and thus began our newest Clubhouse sensory/science adventure.

Reading all over the internet about these little "water beads" I have started to feel like if I didn't get them into our sensory table soon, I would be denying the Clubhouse Kids a magical sensory experience like no other. Then the other day while in the floral section of a local department store I spotted them. Tiny little beads, in tiny little bags. Immediately I decided it was time to take the plunge, and see what all the fuss was about.

We got out our Clubhouse Science Journal and started by recording our observations of the beads before they had a chance to soak in the water.  We also discussed what we thought would happen to them after being in water. 

"They're so tiny."

"They are dark."

"They are hard!"

"I bet they will sink in the water!"

I decided to take this sensory adventure to the outside table simply because it was a beautiful day, and our inside table was still covered in exploded Ivory soap ;)

They scooped and poured, watching a very s-l-o-w process. This particular sensory/science project was definitely not going to give us results in 2 minutes, but the always optimistic Clubhouse Kids were already excited.

"Look, they are getting bigger.. for sure!"

Did I ever mention they were going to get bigger? I'm positive I had not. I never give away surprise endings! These are just keen little observers we've got here, and observe they did.

As they played, the beads continued to grow. As they grew, the kids continued to play. This was a nice little cycle.

"Look, I have green dots on my hands!"

During lunch and classroom activities, one question remained consistent.

"Can we go outside and check on our beads?"

Since the beads were still submerged in water, they decided to start sifting them out using the strainer/colander. After draining all of the water, they poured them back into the big white bowl and started to really explore the beads. This is when I got our science journal out again, to record our observations after the beads had been in water for almost 3 hours.
"These are HUGE!"

"They are light green now!"

"They're soft and squishy!"

By looking at our journal entry from earlier that day, I noticed that this was a perfect time to talk about opposites! Tiny/Huge, Dark/Light, Hard/Soft. After discussing opposites, one little sensory Scientist declared,

"The water made it opposite what it was!"

Keen observers, yes indeed.

"When we put them in the red bowl they turn purple!"

"These are AWESOME!"

"HOLY COW!!" (I heard that one a lot!)

I added marbles since at this point they were the same size yet, of course, felt completely different. They immediately started their marble searching.

"It's right there, you can get it!"

"I got it!!"

"I got TWO!"

"The ones in the water on the table look like shadows!!"

On and on they went, moving the beads from one container to another. Having a variety of different size and different color containers definitely added to the experience. Allowing them to explore the beads through the entire process also added to the magic of these little sensory wonders. I think now I should have added marbles at the beginning when the beads were still tiny, so the comparisons between the two could have been made from the start.

Not to worry though, we are definitely not done with water beads at the Clubhouse. At the end of our day we added more water and left the beads out all night.. this morning, "THEY'RE EVEN HUGER, They keep GROWING!!.

Today we measured the "huger" beads and then set them aside to dry out in the Sunshine. Tomorrow we will measure them again and see if they shrink. Then, we will put them back in water to see if they grow again!

We also put an ice cube tray full of them into the freezer, along with one full of plain water. Will they freeze? Will freezing them cause them to shrink? We will find out tomorrow. We will also see how long it takes them to melt. Do they melt faster/slower than the regular ice cubes?

All of our questions, answers, and observations will be recorded in our science journal, of course!

I have already ordered, in bulk, a variety of water beads for the month of April. So I guess you can officially say we are on the water bead bandwagon! :)

Next month, we will start some gardening experiments with them. 

We will also soak them in a variety of different liquids and observe/record their growth, or lack thereof. 

Not just for observation, we do also plan on some "squishing science". Our toes.. purple grapes, purple beads.. will they feel the same? 

Last, but not least, we will soak the clear ones in tonic water and then have some fun with a blacklight! 

Can you tell how excited I am? The only thing that makes me even more excited is that you should all join us!! Let me start the fun with a giveaway...

How about a dozen packets of water beads in fabulous Spring colors? That's over 1,400 beads varying from Light Purple, Aqua Blue, Bright Yellow and, for tonic water purposes, Clear!

The giveaway is simple:

  • If you go ahead and "like" our Fit Kids Clubhouse Facebook page, you receive one entry. (If you have already done that, you already have one entry!)
  • Comment on our Facebook page. On our wall, a photo, a post, anything... and receive another entry! (One entry no matter how comments you leave. We love comments, but we have to be fair here!)
  • Leave a comment on this blog post telling us what you plan on doing with the water beads, there's another entry!
  • PIN IT! Pin this post, another entry.
  • If you choose to, or already, "like" the Facebook page.. you will see a different way to enter posted tomorrow ;)

That's a lot of ways to enter! Do one, or do them all, it's up to you.

All entries will be compiled and our winner will be randomly selected and announced on Thursday, April 5th.

Looking forward to lots of fun, exploration and observation 
with these little round wonders.

We may be late to this party, but we definitely plan on catching up ;)

Ms. Liz

Linked up to:
Family-Friendly Giveaway LinkyTeach Me Tuesday at Preschool Powol Packets
Link and Learn

Clubhouse Problem Solving

"Look! I found a hole in the water table!"

"We gotta fix this or we will lose all our water!!!"

"I fixed it!!! It's all better now!!"

I wonder how long he'll stay there? ;)

Ms. Liz 

Clubhouse SURPRISE!!

A few weeks ago I set up the Clubhouse Creation Station: DIY Sensory Bags. The kids were able to create their own sensory bags from a wide variety of materials. For more details on the fun we had with our creation station, read about it here.

This post is in some ways a follow up, but mostly it's just a pleasant surprise.

Many of the sensory bags we created are still in the Clubhouse Classroom, and still being enjoyed by little hands (and feet). They are all in a basket, readily available to be explored.

So, remember this one?

He poured some dirt into a bag.

He threw in a few seeds,
and then sprayed a little water in there.

He called it his "seed bag".

We sealed it up and added it to the basket of sensory bags.

 It has been squished, tossed and manhandled while kids played "find the seeds!!"

It was sometimes left at the bottom of the basket of sensory bags, covered by other baggies full of goop, marbles and dried pasta.

Often times it was completely forgotten about.
I mean come on, it was just dirt in a bag.

Until today...


Someone decided to go into the sensory baggie basket this morning and look for his "seed bag". Imagine his surprise, and my own, when the seed bag had now become "a garden bag!!!!" 

We counted the sprouts, examined the very visible roots, discussed how they grew.
Honestly, I was slightly boggled by this discovery.  
I have planted seeds before. 
Given them the prescribed amount of sunshine, 
measured out just the right amounts of water...
Never saw a sprout.

Yet here we were. Without being properly watered, without being kept in just the right location for light and sunshine, these seeds sprouted.
His theory was simple,
"...the Sunshine still got to it, and remember, 
I put in a little water when I made it?!"

He was so incredibly proud of his new found "garden bag", and I was resisting the urge to run off and Google how this could have happened. Successful germination of seeds without consistent light and just the right amounts of watering. Interesting.

Then, as I watched his excitement grow while he talked about his garden, I had another enlightening moment as a Preschool teacher/ Mother. Sometimes, as a teacher and/or parent, we try so hard to do everything "right". We try to make sure we're on top of the latest and greatest discovery on how to properly parent, teach, and grow little people. Even though we work so hard at doing it all "the right way", we still struggle. We don't always see any growth. 
We wonder if anything we do is even working. 

When we just let go, have fun, stop over thinking the process, 
and just play with them... 

growth occurs.
"All of the plant came out of this tiny seed Momma, 
because this seed just had to grow..."

Yes son, it sure did :)

So, I wish I really could tell you how to successfully grow a garden in a bag. I wish I could provide you with a step by step guide, photos included, and promise you pretty little green sprouts in the end. All I can really say though is, throw some dirt in a bag, add a little water and some seeds, seal it up... and then keep playing with your kids. 

Growth is always happening when you're busy playing,

Ms. Liz

Linked up with: It's Playtime

Clubhouse Science: A lot Can Happen in 2 Minutes!

We had a fun filled morning of predicting, testing, and drawing conclusions with our sink or float escapades. That was just the beginning of our Science adventures with soap though, we still had some exploding, oh.. um, I mean, exploring, to do ;)

I have seen this soap experiment all over YouTube, and scattered throughout a variety of blogs. When it came time to plan to do it with the kids though, I got all of my information from Steve Spangler Science. I wanted to be completely sure I didn't ruin any kitchen appliances in the name of Science. I'm sure in the future we may lose a blender or a toaster when the kids decide to test a few theories. Today though, I was trying to avoid any kitchen disasters. My in-laws arrive this week, I'd prefer my home in tact. After reading enough about this, I felt comfortable proceeding... with fingers crossed, of course.

First, we started with observation of the soap that floats, or as the kids deemed it, "the soap filled with treasure air."

"It's white!"

"It's a rectangle!"

"It has letters on it. I-V-O-R-Y.."

"It smells good."

Once I had written down all of their observations I explained what we were going to do next.

You should have seen their little faces.

"WHAT?!? We're going to put SOAP in the MICROWAVE?!?"

Sure, and what do you think will happen to it?

"It's gonna get melted."

"The microwave gets hot, it will cook it. Do we eat it?"

Probably not a good idea. It will still be soap, and we don't really eat soap now do we?

As I was putting the soap into the microwave I had one child literally squeal,

"Ahhhhh, I don't know if we should do this?!?!?"

After explaining that this science experiment may seem a little scary but Ms. Liz has it all under control, don't try this at home, etc. etc.. the kids were ready, and excited. Science is a scary thing sometimes ya know.

I put the soap into the microwave and we set it for 2 minutes. The kids watched the action, up close. Can you see what's happening in there? They sure could!
"It's getting big, big, bigger!!!!"


"It's like a Volcano in there!!"

Time to open the door and see what we had created...

"A lot can happen in 2 minutes!!"
"It feels like a giant pancake!!"

"We blew it up so big!"

"The treasure air inside of it got hot 
and made it explode!!"

I'm going to send Ivory a letter with that little nugget. 
I'm sure they didn't even know about treasure air.

All in all, the microwave made it through unscathed, 
the kitchen smelled like a very clean bathroom, and the kids were thrilled with their newest science discovery.

I would highly recommend everyone give this one a go. All you need is a bar of Ivory, a microwave, and two minutes... and you get to see a face like this:

Now THAT is definitely worth the overwhelming smell of soap.

We went on to play with the new stuff. Shape it, squish it, run trucks through it. Although ultimately it becomes a very fine powder, they were having fun seeing what they could do with it.
That's when the paintbrushes and watercolors came out.
Carefully, color met soap.

"Rainbow Soap!"

There is still a table full of this new concoction in the Clubhouse Classroom. We'll see what we decide to do with it next.

Maybe we'll put it in the guest bathroom for my mother-in-law.

Don't tell her I said that,

Ms. Liz

Linked on:
Science Sunday