Thursday, August 16, 2012

Waterwheels and Water Play Table

The first day of the unit was Sebby's actual birthday, and his birthday present was this waterwheel play table. I deliberated about it for quite awhile, because the target age for the table is much younger than Seb, but I just had a feeling he'd like it anyway. He is always wanting to play with various toys in the sink (send his cars down "waterslide" ramps etc.), so I thought he'd appreciate having a dedicated place to do such play (without me always saying "Don't play with the water!"). I decided even when he got tired of it, the little ones would still have fun playing in it.
It has a waterwheel on it, which they find all sorts of uses for.

And, so far, Seb's not tired of it! Even Abe still has fun playing in the water and they ask to go out there all the time. They make up all sorts of games and swim their little animals around in it and so forth.
Anyway, if you want to study water power, you can find lots of resources online for making mini-waterwheels. We tried a couple variations (here and here), and even got one to lift a bag of rocks for us. Fun!

That night we visited this waterwheel at Gardner Village (which used to be a mill run by my great-great-great-great [?] uncle, Archibald Gardner). It's fun to see a real waterwheel at work, though it can't quite compare with the one we saw actually turning a millstone at Benson Grist Mill.

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