Throwing, dropping and rolling a ball covered in paint may sound like fun, messy play but for the babies it’s a prime opportunity for them to explore ‘schemas’, or patterns of play.
In this activity, mainly trajectory and rotation schemas are at work. When the children throw the paint-covered ball through the air, or roll it between their hands and across the paper, they’re studying it’s movement and questioning it: “What happens if I lift it higher? What happens if I throw it harder? Where will it stop? How are can I throw it? Why doesn’t it come back? Will it smash? Why does it leave a paint splash where it lands?”. They may not have the language to vocalise these thoughts yet, but rest assured their brain is working very hard indeed behind the scenes to consider, study, evaluate, process, understand and learn how things work as they explore.
So whether they’re throwing paint-covered balls across the table, rolling a car down a ramp or even launching their spaghetti across the kitchen floor from the highchair, your child is engaged in important scientific exploration through a wonderful trajectory schema!
In addition to exploring movement, the activity was a great opportunity to make lots of different patterns and marks. We also felt the texture of the balls, some were spikey, bumpy and smooth and we studied the different patterns, marks and trails left behind on the paper.