Sensory Play

Shaving Cream Shapes- $1 Sensory Activity

We all know toddlers learn through play, language, and different sensory experiences. Shaving cream shapes is an easy fun way to keep your toddler engaged while also working on shapes or letters. This activity only cost a dollar and for any of your into extreme couponing, you may even have some already in your stockpile! I remember doing this in elementary school at my desk. It was fun as a kid and it’s still fun as an adult!

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Babs can identify her shapes and we are working on drawing them. She can draw a circle and tries really hard to draw a triangle but it still needs some work 😉 It doesn’t matter where you child isWP_20151009_09_13_42_Pro they can still do this activity! If they already know their shapes, work on letters. If they are working on identify shapes then you draw the shapes and have them “erase the circle” (wipe it away with giant globs of shaving cream) etc. Before I started adding in the shapes to this sensory project I just gave Babs some time to explore and play with the shaving cream. She is curious and if she didn’t get it out of her system then she would never be interested in drawing shapes. You can see in the pictures that in the beginning the shaving cream is on a cookie sheet. I also purchased this from the Dollar Tree. I often use an average size cookie sheet as an art tray. During art projects it keeps the materials from rolling off the table. There are also times when, let’s be honest, I just don’t want the huge mess! We are all human and I know my limitations. Some days I just don’t have time for the mess. Today I didn’t care so I let her shaving cream the counter too! FYI-I hand wash the cookie sheet to keep it from becoming disfigured in the dishwasher. So bust out the Barbasol and have fun!WP_20151009_09_20_07_Pro

Materials Needed

shaving cream

cookie sheet (optional)

Flat hard surface such as a counter or table

Gross Motor, One dollar, Rainy Day

Balloon Bonanza

Rainy days in the summer are great because it’s warm enough to at least play in the rain and splash in the puddles. However, rainy days in the fall really bum me out.  😦  It’s just not warm enough to play in the rain so, we are WP_20151009_10_28_57_Prostuck inside all day. Babs LOVES being outside! I mean she might even be obsessed (which is not a bad thing in my book). Today when she woke up she looked out the window and said, “Oh no! Rainy!”, then she got those big crocodile tears pooling in her eyes. I was determined to make this rainy day one to remember. Didn’t realize I was going to be able to do that by only spending TWO DOLLARS!!!! You will all soon realize that I am a frequent shopper at the Dollar Tree. There are just so many arts and crafts supplies there for….you guessed it…..one whole dollar!

One of the activities I did today is called Balloon Bonanza. It is a great way to get some energy out and work on those gross motor skills. We are extremely fortunate to have a large basement where we have an indoor play area for Babs, however, this activity can also be done in your living room or hallway. We like playing with the balloons in the WP_20151009_10_28_26_Prohallway because then they bounce right back at her when she kicks them. All you need for this great activity is a package of balloons from the Dollar Tree or any dollar store near you. We still have half the bag left for other activities. Find a safe space in your house for your child to run and kick, blow up as many balloons as you want, and have fun! Keep in mind this activity should always be supervised to keep those kiddos safe. One thing Babs really enjoyed was running around to music. We like to”jam out”, as she says, old school to some Chuck Berry, The Mamas and the Papas, Bobby Darin, and many other classic rock ‘n’ roll one hit wonders. Pandora will work just as well!         WP_20151009_10_26_50_Pro

Arts and Crats

Solo Cup Robots and Aliens

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Left: Babs did this one independently Middle: worked on this one together Right: My example

I originally bought a package of Solo Cups for something different to build with and it turned out to be a great activity. Since them I have used them for many different activities. Solo cup robots or aliens made a great addition to our Halloween decorations. When doing art projects like this I always make an example that is not to elaborate. This give Babs an idea of what we are working on. Not making it to elaborate leaves room for her imagination to be included. I poked a hole in the letter O on each side of the cup. An adult can do this with a knife or you can help your child do it with a single hole punch. Then they are able to thread the pipe cleaners through the cup for the arms. We used colored pom poms for the hair and nose and different size eyes. Regular Elmer’s School Glue worked perfect to get everything to stick.

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After making our robots/aliens we still had some materials so we decided to make a spaceship out of paper plates.WP_20150930_11_29_16_ProMaterials Needed

Solo Cups

Colored Pom Poms

Pipe Cleaners

Eyes

Markers

Glue

Hole punch

Hint: All of these materials can be purchased at the Dollar Store. To make our art materials last longer I only put out a little bit of each material. Then when they are gone we are done creating. 🙂 It also creates an easy stopping point because Babs would do arts and crafts all day!

Uncategorized

Fall Themed Story Time Activities

Below I have included some simple activities that we have been doing to go along with our Fall Themed Story Time. Hope you enjoy!

Let It Fall by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

This book is all about different Fall activities and is a great way to introduce what Fall is all about. We like to visWP_20150928_17_50_58_Proit the pumpkin patch and cider mill every year and we read this book before we go. One of the activities we do at home is collecting some different colored leaves before they get raked up. 🙂 We call this our Fall Sensory Bucket. Hang onto those leave because we will be using them for an art project later. Being outside collecting leaves give us the chance to talk about the different colors, the wind and how it blows leaves off the trees. We try to go out on a windy day so Babs can actually see this happen. We also talk about what it feels like outside in the fall. It sounds simple but she had a blast talking and collecting different colored leaves.

Materials Needed

Book: Let It Fall by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Clear container with lid

A place to collect leaves (backyard or park)

The Leaves are Falling One by One by Steven Metzger Illustrated by Miriam Sagasti

We sing this book to the tune of The Ants Go Marching. You can find it on YouTube if you are unsure of the tune. 🙂 I cut out 10 leaves from Fall colored construction paper. As we sing the book/song I have her put one more leaf in a bucket and I dump them on her during the “leaves are falling” part. We also created our own motions for the words; falling, flying, and hurrah. This helps get Babs involved because it is a long book.

Materials Needed

Book: The Leaves are Falling One by One by Steven Metzger Illustrated by Miriam Sagasti

Construction paper leaves (made ahead of time)

small bucket or container

One Windy Day by Tammi Salzano Illustrated by Hannah Wood

This book is not specifically about Fall (but there are some pretty fall leaves in the book). It is a simple book that works on language concepts that are often difficult for toddlers to understand such as; over, under, near, far, high, low, etc. It is about a mailman and how the wind blows all the mail in different directions. When we read this book I give Babs and envelope and she moves the envelope in the different directions as we read it. When we first started I also imitated the actions with an envelope so she could learn and understand them. I also turned one of our box fans on to mimic the wind in the book. She loves the wind in her face and thinks this part if extremely funny!

Materials Needed

Book: One Windy Day by Tammi Salzano Illustrated by Hannah Wood

envelope

box fan (optional)