We All Live in a Yellow Submarine- Water Transportation Lesson for Toddlers

We concluded our transportation series this week with water transportation.  I probably should have done an additional week of non-motorized transportation, but I am too excited about the Olympics and want to do a two part series for that, concluding on opening ceremonies night.  So anywho…

Water transportation.  This is going to be another quick post. Hubby got called in to work, so not much free time today.  But I use this as a way to capture lesson plan ideas, so I want to make sure to complete the write up even if its not the best.

1.  Put another twist on our parachute activity by using it for both “Motor Boat” and “Row Row Row Your Boat.”  Had the kids bounce the parachute slow and fast per the lines in the traditional Motor Boat rhyme.  Placed a small toy row boat in the middle of the parachute, and had the kids bounce it slowly for the traditional Row Your Boat song, and then faster for a variation:

Row Row Row Your Boat

As fast as it will go

The more you row

the faster you row

the further you will go.

2.  Sink/Float experiment.  We talked about how some boats float on the water and other items sink in the water.  We explained how floating means the item stays on top of the water, and sinking means it goes below.  We then talked about the word experiment- saying it slowly together.  I said that an experiment is a test to see what is going to happen when you don’t know what is going to happen.  We then began our experiment to see what items float and what items sink.

I gave each child a bag containing a small rubber bath toy, a q-tip, a domino, a wooden block, a small rock, and a piece of foil.  I also gave them a piece of paper to record their results on.  Each of the items was listed by word and with a picture.  I created a chart also showing the words float and sink with corresponding pictures.  The child would place his items one at a time in a bin of water, and then make a mark on the sheet as to whether it floated or sank.

The charts served a few purposes.  First, it builds a correlation between the item and a picture of the item- one is a representation of the other.  Even if the child does not understand what they are checking, they are getting the idea that their marks mean something and are building the muscles for future writing.  A lot of the kids actually did understand what they were marking and why.


3.  We read the book “The Shape of Things,” which creates illustrations using common shapes.  I then gave each child an envelope of shapes and a paper to put the shapes on.  Later, Kellen told me this was his favorite part of the day.  During the session, we just gave the kids the shapes and let them work with them however they wanted to.  Some of the kids seemed to either not want to make pictures or did not understand what to do.  Working one on one with Kellen, I noticed I got better results when I started the picture and had him add to it- saying something like “this square is my house.  Can you add a window? Can you add a door? A roof?”  When I did it like that, he played for a very long time.

Parents could also have additional conversations while playing with the shapes- color, size, how many, etc.

4.  We moved on to submarines and made oceans in a bag.  We talked about how submarines go under the water.  Before the kids came, I made submarines out of pony beads and plastic toothpicks.  I clipped the toothpicks to the appropriate size, placed glue on them and put the beads on to create a sub shape.

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We used hair gel to create our ocean.  Each child squeezed some gel into their bag- I could guess maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup.  We added glitter, other beads to serve as fish, and of course our subs.  I made a sample prior to the lesson, and determined the gel to dissolve the glue on the subs.  I placed clear tape around the subs to seal them and keep them together.

The kids could use their fingers to drive the subs around, or could squish them or do whatever they liked.  They seemed to enjoy putting them on their faces and looking through.

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And that is your toddler lesson for the week!

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