Wednesday, 14 May 2014


Children Use Everyday Language

These words are so ambiguous! Do they want us to talk about volume? Is it as simple as full and empty? Do they want use to ask the children to say which has the larger capacity?

Obviously, water play in the summer is a fantastic time to cover capacity, but to what extent?

I have been doing a few Google searches and I’ve found a few worksheets. I’m not a fan of worksheets but I think they do have their place in independent work, to allow children to consolidate their learning.


We tend to save the capacity topic until the summer as it’s best done in the water tray and it’s rather cold to play in water in the colder months.

In the Development Matters, in Positive Relationships: what adults can do it says, ‘use descriptive words like ‘big’ and ‘little’ in everyday play situations and through books and stories. Be consistent in your use of vocabulary for weight and mass.’

It is important to use words like ‘full’ and ‘empty’ when explaining capacity and ask questions like ‘which container holds more/less water?’

The children really enjoy learning in the water and it’s a fantastic environment to hear some wonderful language. Children may also talk about objects sinking and floating, a wonderful opportunity to compare objects and capture some magic moments!

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