"STEAM"ing Through The Water Ramp

Preschool 1

In our natural playground, the preschoolers have been collecting the water from mud puddles and water spouts throughout the winter and spring seasons. Then, they would pour the water into the ball drop where they could roll down the balls. I thought it would be great to provide plenty of water to support their interests in playing with the ramp with water(motion). The water was provided in a big container, and the water table was set up on the other side of the playground. Objects such as gutters, pipes, containers, milk crates, cars, and balls were provided around the water table.

In order to explore the water with the water table, the preschoolers needed to carry the water from the container to the water table.
Arvin and Brayson used a pot, Theo used a plastic sand castle builder, and Gavin used a bucket to carry the water to the water table. When the water table was half full, the children started to throw balls and cars into the water table.

Ellis put a gutter leaning against the water table but the gutter fell to the ground. She then picked it up again and tried to find the perfect angle so that the gutter was standing still. As soon as the gutter was on, they poured the water to the gutter, and the water flowed down to the ground from the pathway.

Geumhwa: “We don’t have a lot of water. If the water drips down to the ground, it will be gone soon. What can we do to save the water and reuse it?” After discussing what they could put at the end of the ramp, they decided to put the bucket and bin to collect the water.

Next, the preschoolers gathered around the water table and began to pour the water, cars, and balls on the ramp. They also used several pipes to make different slides. Theo: “Beep, Beep. I’m coming through.” To let his peers be careful with the pipe while carrying it to the water table. Kayden, Brayson, and Gavin were so busy transferring the water from the bucket at the end of the slides up to the water table, so they could continuously test the ramp.

During play, it seemed Lawrence was interested in the colourful balls, and tried to collect as many balls as he could. Theo recognized Lawrence’s frustration, and shared the balls he had with Lawrence.

On the other side of the playground, William, Arvin, and Thomas were taking the water out of the container and pouring it on the ground. Thomas: “We’re making a river.” I noticed that they were observing the water flowing down to the drain.

This full body water ramp experiment would strengthen the preschoolers’ fine motor and gross motor skills. Besides that, it was amazing to see that the children were enhancing their social emotional skills by showing kindness to their peers to help them feel better. The children integrated science, engineering, and math skills in their play by balancing and building the structures and counting the materials they used. They also used their creative imaginations to expand the play to be more fun.

To expand the preschooler's interests in making a river, we can implement a dramatic play in the sandpit in the playground by providing materials such as construction hats and uniforms, aluminum foil, tree sticks, animal and human figures, etc.


Some preschoolers are holding colourful balls as another preschooler pours water into a pipe to fill their container.

Preschoolers are standing infront of their containers and pipes they are using to fill them with water.


Some preschoolers are pouring water into pipes and collecting the water in bins.


A preschooler is carrying an arm full of colourful balls.