Wheelock Student Observations at Boston Children’s Museum: The Wheels are Spinning

Peep 1This post is part of our series of articles by Wheelock College students documenting their observations of the many different kinds of learning and adult-child interactions taking place at Boston Children’s Museum every day.  This post was written by Wheelock Student Researchers Samantha Marrocchio, Tatiana Medina-Barreto, Gaby Boivin and Mallory Johnson.

Our observations took place in the Peep’s World exhibit at Boston Children’s Museum. We were seeking to investigate questions we had regarding child development and play, including:

  • How do children in different stages of development use modeling as a technique when playing?
  • How do boys and girls play differently when playing?
  • How does parent/adult involvement affect children’s play?

We observed a seven year-old girl named Susie (pictured above).  She worked tirelessly at the water table.  She then decided to use a measuring cup to pour water on to a spinning water toy.  As she watched the water filter through the toy, she screamed in excitement “Look at the toy spinning!”

Peep 2Alice, who was playing in another area of Peep’s World, stopped her play and began watching Susie play with the spinning water toy.  She was mesmerized, watching Susie’s every move, and she exclaimed “Wow! Look at the water!” After a few minutes of playing with the spinning wheel toy, Susie walked away and let the toy fall into the water. Alice then stopped her play again, and walked over to the area where Susie was.  Susie picked up the spinning toy, grabbed the measuring cup, and began mimicking Susie.

Look What I Can Do!

Peep 3Later on, an eight-year-old boy named Dylan approached the water table and picked up a ladle. Dylan used the ladle to fill the skinniest tube at the water table. When the tube was full, he dropped the ladle and forcefully pushed the tube. The tube spun in a circle and the water sprayed out of the tube in a circler motion. Laughing, Dylan watched the water spray. “It’s going everywhere!”, he said.

Peep 4Alex, a six-year-old boy, was playing next to Dylan. When Dylan sent the water into the spiral, it splashed Alex and he looked up. Excited, Alex grabbed a measuring cup and started filling up the skinny tube in front of him. When he was done, he pushed the tube and watched as the water sprayed, saying “Mom! Look what I did!”

The Water In New Jersey

Peep 5Sisters Arianna, age 9, and Ally, age 6, eagerly worked at the water table, filling different containers and blocking the flow of water with plastic blockades. Ally suggested to her sister, “Arianna, we have to contain all the water in New Jersey.”

“Why is that?” asked Arianna.

“Because the faucets stopped working!”, Ally replied.

Peep 8Arianna then explained that “the people in New Jersey would get their water”, and “no one would be thirsty”.  Once they had contained all the water using the funnels and buckets, their mother coaxed the girls to finally leave.

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