'We've made a windmill when what we need is a weather vane.' What a wonderful observation from a 7 year old - just look at the working out going on here. Adaptations were then explored to make the vane turn independently from its stick and the pegs were placed to act as the now needed counterweight - triumphant effectiveness over elegance
Montessori environments shy away from using plastic as a rule. This gift from the US was sent to us because our English saying of 'when pigs fly' caused such mirth. It has earned its keep in class. We have been studying the science behind the weather - looking at air pressure and then making our own barometer; studying the water cycle and recreating this with experiments and demonstrations; observing cloud formations and using these to inspire some art activities. We adapted our gift of the 'Perfect Pink Plastic Pig' to be a wind vane. The children found magnetic north to help orientate it, but we need to adapt our design so that it actually works!