It was interesting to hear the children compare the two kinds of sponges. This was an opportunity for rich oral language as we described attributes and I introduced new vocabulary. Their engagement lead to the wonderful question of where real sponges come from. We spent some time researching this online before playing with both kinds of sponges in the tub!
Although both sponges appeared to work in the same way, we noticed that the natural sponges were easier to smear and lightly dab on the paper when they had less paint on them.
The sponges are now a regular feature in our bathroom and the children can use them during water play or art creation. This inquiry lasted a few days and I'm now on the lookout for more interesting mystery objects to use as provocations for wonder and excitement in the house!