I have tons of science activities on my blog, and a corn run is always a favourite here with the hooligans.
I set our corn run with funnels and hoses set up in the backyard play space about a week ago, and it’s provided hours of entertainment.
It all seems so magical to a 2 or 3 year old. You pour something in way up high, and it comes pouring out far down below, but they’re figuring it out. Gravity is at work.
If you’ve been following along with us, you know how we spent a whole lot of time, earlier this month, picking kernels of corn off the cob to make our our corn and chestnut sensory bin.
That, in itself, was a super activity that kept the Hooligans busy off and on for days on end, and they have thoroughly enjoyed playing with the bin, scooping and pouring into assorted bowls and muffin tins.
Last week, I put a new spin on the bin, and I rigged some plastic hoses up to our chain-link fence. This fence surrounds our pool when we have it set up in the summer. When the pool comes down in the fall, I move a lot of the “loose” daycare toys and equipment into that area. The hooligans love it because they suddenly have their own little gated playground in one small corner of our yard. We still spend the bulk of our time in the open yard, especially in the very back at the playhouse and sandbox, but this little nook is a favourite place to visit through-out the day.
Anyway – back to the hoses! These are pool hoses. The long one doesn’t work with our pool, and the short one, I cut from a piece of old, damaged hose. I pushed the ends of the hoses through a hole in the chain-link, and for the larger hose, I used a few zip-ties to hold in place. I also cut the tops off a couple of plastic energy drink bottles to serve as funnels at the top of each hose. I taped the funnels in place.
Next I set up a couple of “stools”. One for the children to stand on, to reach the top of the highest hose, and one to hold a big bowl of our corn and chesnuts.
A bin on the other side of the fence, catches the corn and chestnuts that come flying through the corn run.
The Hooligans have had a great time pouring the corn into the hoses and catching it at the other end. I’ve truly been surprised by how much time they’ve spent at the corn run this week, and how long it holds their attention for.
They all take turns pouring and catching. There’s lots of concentration involved, climbing up and down from their stool, and lifting small cups and scoops, filled with corn, up high to dump into the hoses.
On the other side of the fence we have children catching the corn in scoops or small bowls or in their hands. They like to pretend that the child pouring is “feeding the elephants at the zoo”.
Often a chestnut gets stuck in the long hose, jamming everything up, and they all work together to shake the hose and the fence to dis-lodge it and get the corn running again.
Such a simple activity has provided such fun, and so many opportunities for learning!