Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


Clicker Crab Hourglass Sifter & Funnel

Here are the results for another toy test that was done in France's home daycare.

The Clicker Crab Hourglass Sifter & Funnel is available on the educatall online store:


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Presentation of the toy
Clicker Crab Hourglass Sifter & Funnel
Manufacturer: Melissa & Doug
Price: $10.95
Manufacturer's recommended age: 2 years old or older


Description of the toy
It is a container that is made of thick, clear, light blue plastic. It comes with two red lids that represent crabs. Both ends can be removed. The container is 10 ½ (27 cm) inches high.


The goal of the game
It is an hourglass through which children can see sand or water flow from top to bottom. It is simple to use. Children open one end, pour water or sand inside, put the lid back on, watch the water or sand flow to the bottom, and overturn the hourglass to repeat as often as they wish.


Does it work?
Yes, it works quite well, as long as the sand isn't moist or wet. If the sand is perfectly dry, it easily travels from the top section to the lower section.


If, on the other hand, you pour water in the hourglass, it gushes from the top section to the lower section quite rapidly (approximately 15 seconds). Since the action is short-lived, children remain interested and repeatedly overturn the hourglass to witness it over and over again.

Appropriate for which age group?
The manufacturer recommends this toy for children who are 2 years old or older. We feel this toy could also be enjoyed by younger children who will have fun watching the sand or water flow within the hourglass.


Interest expressed by children and our appreciation


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Children were definitely interested in this toy.

We liked its durability and attractiveness. The lids are somewhat difficult to position and children may require adult assistance. When using the toy with water, it is important that the lids are securely in place to guarantee watertightness. The toy's colors are bright and durable. I also have this toy at home and the red lids have kept their color, even after a few years of use.


Other ways to explore the hourglass (scientific experiment)
The manufacturer suggests using the hourglass with sand or water. Many other items that you have on hand can however be used with the toy. This led me to use the hourglass for a simple scientific experiment.


Material required
Gather several tiny objects that can easily slide through the centre part of the hourglass such as pebbles or couscous as well as other objects that are too big to pass through like cotton balls, larger rocks, and feathers. Optional: You may also choose to have pictures of the corresponding items on hand as well as a large piece of cardboard to record the results of your experiment.


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Arrange the items in a tray and observe them with your group. Encourage children to guess if each item will pass from the upper to the lower section of the hourglass. Put each one to the test afterwards.


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A poster
I divided a piece of cardboard into two equal sections: one side for the objects that passed through the hourglass and one side for the objects that remained stuck in the upper portion of the hourglass. I printed two hourglass pictures and drew an X through one of them to illustrate both possibilities. Children associated the picture corresponding to each item to the correct section on the poster.


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At the end of the activity, children seemed interested in pursuing the experiment. France, the group's early childhood educator, invited them to suggest other items available within the daycare that they could test in the hourglass. For example, one child suggested dry pasta.


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This is how children discovered that some items require a little help to pass from the upper to the lower section of the hourglass. It didn't take them very long to understand how shaking the hourglass when it is filled with cereal helps the cereal descend into the bottom section of the hourglass.


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Thank you

Educatall graciously gave the Clicker Crab Hourglass Sifter & Funnel to France Lacombe and her group to thank them for having welcomed me into their daycare.

Chantal Millette
Early childhood educator


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