Your cart is empty

🎁Free UK shipping on orders over £30🎁
Day 11 - Conservation

Day 11 - Conservation

Alexis Ralphs Sep 19 • 7 min read

Jump in the bath or get the water table out for this one.

You'll need containers of various heights and widths. Beakers, yoghurt pots or empty shampoo bottles will all do.

Take two identical bottles. Fill them to the same height. Do they contain the same amount of water? Your preschooler should say yes. Now pour the contents of one of those bottles into a third, wider container. The water level will be lower in this one, of course. Do they still contain the same amount of water? Of course they do, but your preschooler will say no. They do not yet understand conservation.

To a preschooler, the tall, thin bottle looks like it contains more water than the short, fat one. They think that some of the water disappears on its way to the wider vessel. The water is not conserved.

Other fun ways to test for conservation:

- Take two balls of play dough. Stretch one. Do they both still contain the same amount of dough?
- Arrange two identical lines of coins in parallel. Now stretch out one line so that it's longer than the other. A preschooler believes that there are now more coins in the first line.

So what's the answer? How do children eventually understand conservation?


Lots of it. Lots of free experimentation with sand and water, play-dough and loose parts.

Why do we insist on teaching our children maths and science before they have had the chance to get a sense of what these concepts really mean? Once you have a feel for number, learning arithmetic at school is easy.

Here's the rest of the series:


Day 1 - Theories of Development

Day 2 - Stages of Play

Day 3 - Play is Multisensory

Day 4 - Gender-Neutral Toys

Day 5 - The Zone of Proximal Development

Day 6 - Heuristic Play

Day 7 - Spot the Difference

Day 8 - Sorting

Day 9 - Schemas

Day 10 - Ask good questions

Day 11 - Conservation

Day 12 - Seriation

Day 13 - Observation

Day 14 - Set a good example

Day 15 - Fewer toys = more focus

Day 16 - The Hundred Languages of Children

Day 17 - Plan-do-review

Day 18 - Practical life

Day 19 - Free-flow play

Day 20 - Executive functions

Day 21 - Spaced repetition

Day 22 - Independent play

Day 23 - Project-based Learning

Day 24 - The Environment As The Third Teacher

Day 25 - Start With The Child

Day 26 - Symbolic Play

Day 27 - Learning To Write

Day 28 - Blocks: the indispensable toy

Day 29 - Outdoor Learning

Day 30 - Play

Have your say

Keep Learning

Related products