Rice Play at Kinross Playgroup!

Kinross Rice Play

They are just playing …… but wait, there is more!

At Kinross Playgroup recently children were engrossed in play with this fantastic homemade contraption which has been cleverly engineered by a parent to promote learning through play.  When children are engaging in the play pictured here you might be surprised to hear that they are learning a lot of mathematical concepts.   While they are filling their cups with rice they are learning about measurement.  For young children measurement is not about using standardized tools like rulers and centimeters, it is about developing concepts of measurement, in this case about volume and capacity by tipping and pouring and comparing the cups and amounts they have in them, can scoop from the bottom, and how much the containers hold.  When playing with children and this resource, the children are intrinsically motivated (they want to do it, nobody has to make them) to drive their own learning through play.  What we can do as adults in their environment is to provide them the bridge between the play and the associated words.

In this example parents can talk to children as they play using words to describe their observations like:  full, empty, half-full, more, less, little, lots, big, small, same.  If we talk about how fast the rice is flowing through the tubes and funnels, we are introducing another aspect of measurement – speed.

In the early years children need us to provide them with the language associated with mathematical concepts.  Children are haptic learners, they learn by doing, and need to be able to see how their actions have reactions and the learning linked in context as they play. Playing alongside them during playgroup is a great way to do this.  Parents can share the load as they take turns to play with children in small groups like in this example.