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.
The kids are co-operating and collaborating, exercising those muscles as the climb, reach and stretch, and they’re learning about gravity!
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 that we’ve been using corn and chestnuts for sensory play this fall. Earlier this month, the kids spent hours picking kernels of corn off the cob and we’ve used them for all kinds of activities.
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 them in sensory bins, 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. 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!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
Rebekah @ The Golden Gleam
I KNOW that my kids would love this! Off to scour the garage for tubing and figure out how I can rig this up in our backyard. Your ideas rock, Jackie!
I’ll be the did, Rebekah! I think cardboard tubes would work as well. Good luck with yours!
Wish I was a kid again in your daycare..you are amazing!!
Aw, thanks, Teresa. My own boys sometimes say they wish they were in my daycare again. lol
Looks like a lot of fun and learning! 🙂
Thanks, Karen! I have a feeling they’ll be playing with this until the snow flies. lol
LOVE this post! My son, as well as my preschool students, loved using a water wall during the summer. Need to bring it back out and use it with corn, seeds, etc. Thanks so much for sharing this idea.!!
Good thinking, pulling the waterwall out for this one! I love multi-purpose play materials!