Another of their creations. A joint one this time. Here they got to put their water beads experiment to good use.


  • Water beads
  • Pebbles
  • Pink vase fillers
  • Fish tank plants


Before hydrating the beads, they had already decided who was responsible for which area. Finn had the volcano, Ioan the grass and water. They separated their areas with pebbles.

Finn lined up his vase fillers along the edge of the pebbles in his volcano section, he told me this was where the lava was cooling and turning hard. It was nice to see he’d recalled our research on volcanoes.

Ioan added a mirror to his water area, so the dinosaurs could see their reflection while drinking.

Then they added the plants and dinosaur to their tray, working happily alongside each other and discussing their decisions.

This was their finished tray.

They played with this tray every day for over a week!

After a week the beads started to dehydrate and Ioan made the following observation:

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Communication and language

ELG 01 – Listening and attention:

Children give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.

ELG 03 – Speaking:

Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.

Personal, social and emotional development

ELG 06 – Self-confidence and self-awareness:

Children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.

ELG 08 – Making relationships:

Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

ELG 17 – Being imaginative:

Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, role-play and stories.