Monday, October 29, 2012

Discover Challenge: River

Have you ever looked at a riverbed from an airplane, an ariel photo, or a map? Rivers are complex places that curve, stop, shift directions and cut themselves off all based on the flow of water and the type of land the water passes through.  Even though rivers develop their shape over thousands of years, you can explore how rivers form in just a short time in your own backyard.

Materials: a piece of wood (you can use a cookie sheet, or a piece of plastic over something hard, but a simple board works best), sand, water, something to pour with, rocks and sticks (optional).

Prepare this discovery by laying out your board and placing a layer of sand over the surface.  Pat the sand down.  Put the board on a gentle angle.  Pose the questions: "How does a river form?"  "Can you make a river?"  Let them discover. 

As a follow up to this activity, find rivers on maps and look at their shape and come up with a list of things you notice and wonder. 

Our Discovery...

This was a fabulous discovery.  Sure, we've dug and played with water in the sand box, at the beach, and and in the yard, but doing the activity with the focus on rivers made a few aha moments.  They watched the water form rivers, than formed some rivers and dams of their own.  We talked briefly about why the water only flows downhill, but left it at that.  The only thing I wished we changed was having an even bigger board, or a board for each kid.

I shared at The Sunday Showcase, Friday Nature Table, The Imagination Tree, Seasons of Joy, Look What We Did, Hip Homeschool Hop, All Year Blog Carnival

Are you new here? Do you like what I have to share? Follow me to see more. 

Follow Me on PinterestFollow MeFollow Me on twitter


  1. Awesome! That looks like a fun activity. I think I'd even enjoy it haha. Might have to do this with my nephew next time he comes out!

    1. That' why I love these challenges - I get to play.

  2. NIce activity. I've seen a variation of that lab done in college classes....

  3. I've done this with a 5th grade class once upon a time. It's one of those you can apply to so many ages.

  4. Such a wonderful idea! We are definitely going to have to try this one of these days.

  5. Definitely a must try! I would love for you to add this, and any other of your awesome ideas, to my Mom's Library weekly round-up.

    Thanks and be blessed,

  6. What a wonderful hands-on nature exploration!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...