School-age 1

Simple Machines
November 2019


Over the course of several days some of the children were observed exploring the concept of simple machines. One group of children had created a lever system using two pieces of wood. Leo set up a few Duplo blocks on one end of the boards and then jumped on the other end to see how high the blocks would go, here he was exploring the idea of cause and effect. He would then reset the blocks and let the next peer in line go. Sebastian, Fred and Ethan all took turns to see who could make their blocks go the highest. During this activity the children could be seen using their social skills and coming up with solutions to any problems they encountered.


Ariana was also observed exploring the concept of simple machines using a large cone shaped object. She would sit in the cone and move her body so that the movements mimicked that of a screw turning around and around. As she was doing this she was also experimenting with the concept of gravity. As her body spun the cone, her centre of gravity would change. She was able to use a higher order of thinking to figure out how to make the spinning motions possible. Ariana also needed to use her gross motor skills to create these big body movements.


Child inside giant cone


A few days later this concept was seen again as Alice, Isabelle R., Isabelle K., Ellie and Maya experimented with ramps. They propped a piece of wood against the doll house, creating a slide for them to use. In order for them to get to the top of the slide they stacked milk crates together to create a staircase. When they were done building they took turns climbing the stairs and going down the slide.


Across the playground Piper, Oliver, Hadley and Leo had created a lever system of their own. They experimented with measurement and weight, guessing how much weight was needed for the lever to hit the ground. They also used it as a jumping board, taking turns jumping on one end causing the other end come up. Hadley was able to use her problem solving skills by holding onto the board, as it kept falling off of its base.


As the children explored and experimented with the concept of simple machines many different skills were used. Social skills were further developed and relationships became stronger. Problem solving skills were enhanced as the children were able to independently come up with their own solutions and gross motor skills were strengthened as they jumped, climbed and created big body movements. The four foundations were also seen throughout these various activities. All children were able to express their thoughts and ideas and contribute to the play they were involved in. Each child was made to feel welcome in the activity and be fully engaged within the play.





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portrait of shannon

Shannon Bell, RECE

portrait of Deb

Deb Wintrip, RECE
Assistant Supervisor