Strengthen fine motor skills while practicing number sense with this Panning for Gold Activity. This dramatic play experience is the perfect addition to your list of STEAM activities for your next desert preschool theme. You’re definitely not going to want to miss it!
I’m so excited to share this adorable gold panning Activity with you today. My kiddos were all kinds of excited to try out this engaging and hands-on “Make & Play.”
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A huge thanks to Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) for providing us with their Experience Preschool curriculum for free in exchange for sharing our honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. It’s been such a huge blessing to us! As always, my opinions on awesome stuff for little kids are 100% my own.
Each week, our Teacher Guide includes lots of wonderful ideas, and today’s Panning for Gold Activity was definitely no exception.
The Mojave Desert is located in the southwest United States. Its landscapes include trees, sand dunes, canyons, and streams.
Both the little guy and baby girl had lots of fun helping me prep this activity. Baby girl painted the gravel gold while the little guy got our clear bin and filled it with sand and water.
Panning for Gold Activity
What you’ll need
- Mini Pie Tin
- Gold Paint
- Tub of Water
Here’s how to do it
- What could you find in water? Explain that people have panned for gold in the Mojave for hundreds of years.
- Invite each child to paint some of the gravel gold. Allow to dry.
- Put sand and the painted and unpainted gravel in the tub of water. Invite each child to dip a pan in the water and scoop up gravel.
- Use a swirling motion to separate the gravel from the sand then pick out and count the gold pieces.
- Does the child use her fingers to find and pick up the gold? Does she control her wrists and swirl the water in the pan?
Getting started the next morning was quick and easy because we already had everything prepared. All we needed to do was add the painted gravel.
Open-ended sensory activities like this one are perfect for practicing so many important early learning skills.
Don’t forget to check back if you’re interested in seeing what we’re up to next week with our desert preschool theme from Experience Preschool!