Uncategorized

Flax Seed Goo

Lately we have been playing with our everyday sensory materials…play dough, floam, and kinetic sand. We decided to try something new last week with a recipe you can find in the book 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids by  the creator of Fun at Home with Kids. It is an amazing book! All you need if Flax seed (got ours at the Dollar Tree) and water.

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It was messy but totally worth it. We kept ours all week in a plastic ziploc bag in the fridge. Make sure to check for spoilage each day before you child uses it.

Flax Seed Goo was a very different experience for Babs. She is always very unsure of new sensory projects. Here are some tips and tricks to help your child experience new messy sensory play.

Tips for Sensory Play:

Allow your child to explore at their own pace. Never force them to touch the new sensory item. Give them a spoon and bowl to allow them to explore the properties of the Goo or slime before they touch it.

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Play with them! Your child is more likely to engage in sensory play if they see you doing it. So don’t be afraid ringer your hands dirty.

Make sure they are in clothes neither of you care gets dirty. If your child is wearing their favorite shirt they will be mire worried about getting it dirty then experiencing the sensory play.

Give your child multiple days to play and experience the project .

Last but not least…..HAVE FUN! ūüôā

Arts and Crats, Uncategorized

Heart Shaped Sun Catchers

Babs has been in love with hearts lately. It is so close to Valentine’s day we thought these would look great hanging in the windows!

All you need are some left over sheets of tissues paper from Christmas and contact paper. We used red, pink, and white to go with Valentine’s Day. However, you can use any colors you would like.IMAG0855

First cut out the contact paper hearts and tape then down onto a table or flat surface with the sticky side facing up. Then take some of the tissue paper and either cut or tip it into tiny pieces.

Then just let you little one stick them on the contact paper.

When they are finished place another sheet of contact paper over the hearts, sticky sides together. Trim them up and hang them on your windows!

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Materials Needed

Contact paper

colored tissue paper

 

Arts and Crats, fine motor

Pinch and Pull Bracelets

Pinch and Pull Bracelets are a great way to work on those fine motor skills, as well as make some great dress up jewelry! All you need are pipe cleaners and beads. Babs is wears her bracelets all the time. The first thing you have to do is make a loop on one end of the pipe cleaner. This will keep the beads from falling off and give you an easy way to size it later. After that WP_20151025_18_35_23_Proyour little one is reading to start threading beads. I showed Babs how to thread the bead onto the pipe cleaner. Now, the tricky part for us was making sure the bead didn’t just fall right off. This is where the pinch and pull part comes in. After they put the bead onto the pipe cleaner have them use their thumb and index finger to pinch the end of the pipe cleaner, then show them how to use their other hand to pull the bead down….pinch and pull! This became easier and easier the more we threaded beads and eventually Babs only needed the verbal reminder, “pinch and pull”.

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After they have finished threading the beads you will need to close up the bracelet. To do this bring the loop and opposite end together. Thread the straight end through the loop. Pull as tight as you need for it to be the correct size. Once you have the correct size wrap the extra pipe cleaner around the loop to close it. Make sure to tuck the pointed ends under to prevent the kids from getting scratched.

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Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!WP_20151025_18_25_08_Pro

Materials Needed

pipe cleaners

beads

Adult supervision is required fort his activity because the beads are a choking hazard to little ones.

Arts and Crats

Toilet Paper Tube Mummies

Alright, let’s bust out those toilet paper tubes I told you to save last week and make some Toilet Paper Tube Mummies! This was a very simple and fun activity. Babs is only two so this was more about the process than the product. FiIMAG0016
ne motor skills it takes to squeeze the glue, the sensory experience of glue and cotton ball fuzz stuck to your fingers, etc. So don’t be to upset if they don’t turn out perfect. Plus mummies are supposed to look like they are falling apart anyway! The only items you will need for this project are cotton balls, googly eyes, toilet paper tubes, a cookie sheet (or as we call it our art tray), and glue.

The next step is important if you really want it to look like a mummy. Babs needed help with this one. You need to unravel each cotton ball. I do this by pinching the side and then having Babs pinch the middle of IMAG0025the cotton ball and pull. The result will be a long strand of cotton. If you let you littles ones just go for it you will end up with fuzzy mummies and that’s okay. Like I said its more about the process than the product.

After unraveling all of the cotton balls, have the kiddos squeeze some glue onto the cookie sheet. They should then take the toilet paper tube and roll it the glue until the surface is covered. Last the can take the long strands of cotton balls and wrap them around the tube. Add the eyes and you are finished!

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Then comes the clean up…..as you can see Babs is thrilled. ūüėȬ† IMAG0036

Materials Needed

Toilet paper tubes

cotton balls

glue

googly eyes

art tray

 

Kids Cook

Mini Pumpkins

Okay so I know I have been slacking on the kids cooks ideas, but let’s face it, sometimes life just gets in the wayWP_20151017_11_33_31_Pro.¬†ūüėČ ¬†Lately I have just been letting Babs help me cook our breakfast. We did make super cute mini pumpkins for a Halloween party we went to last weekend. I saw a picture of them online and I wish the website would have been listed so I could give them credit for the idea. The first thing we did was peel the oranges. This really tests those fine motor skills. I start one for Babs like the picture to the right. However, if you have smaller child¬†that would like to help you could also do most of the peeling and let them just pull the peels off like the picture below.

WP_20151017_11_35_05_ProAfter we peeled the oranges I made a small hole in the top middle part of the orange. This is where the kiddos will put the celery which acts as the stem for the pumpkin. I cut each celery stick into 4 pieces. So how much celery you will need will depend on how many pumpkins you plan on making. It’s as easy as that! You have your mini pumpkins!WP_20151017_11_46_03_Pro

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We also made banana ghost to go with them. I used the celery and grapes to keep them standing upright. They were a huge hit at the party!

Here is the recipe page for Mini Pumpkins!

Materials Needed

celery

small oranges

one eager and hungry kiddo ūüôā

 

Arts and Crats

Water Bottle Ghosts

This art project was so simple and Babs ended up loving it so much more than I though she would. All you need for water bottle ghosts is an empty water or pop bottle with the label peeled off, a bag of cotton balls, and some black construction paper (googly eyes are optional).WP_20151019_11_33_16_Pro

I gave Babs the water bottle and dumped out the cotton balls and let her go to town. I did one as well so she could follow my example. All she had to do was fill the water bottle will the cotton balls.

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This project was a simple way to slip in some fine motor work. ūüôā I cut out construction paper ovals for the eyes and mouth¬†and we attached them with masking tape. We also decided to add some googly eyes to some of the ghosts but I actually think they look better without. Great to add to your end tables¬†for Halloween decorations! Babs loves seeing all her art work displayed.

Materials Needed

Water or pop bottle with label peeled offWP_20151019_11_55_18_Pro

Bag of cotton balls

Black construction paper

Googly eyes (optional)

Sensory Play

Lumpy Bumpy Sludge

Our sensory project this week¬†is Lumpy Bumpy Sludge, or Eyeball sludge in honor of Halloween. ūüôā To do this sensory project you will need corn starch, canola oil, water, a package of Jello, flour, and mini marshmallows. I call this project sludge instead of slime because the Jello gives it more of a gritty feeling.¬†It will also¬†give this sensory¬†project a good color and smell. I used tropical fusion Jello so it smelled¬†wonderful!¬†Babs even kept saying,¬†“Yum Strawberries!”¬†because it smelled so good!

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Some tips and tricks for those of you who have kids like mine that are hesitant to touch any of these gooey concoctions.  I usually give Babs some spoons and scoops to use while she explores for the first few minutes. After about five minutes I start to encourage her to touch the sludge with her hands. It helps her if I touch it too.

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I have included the recipe for Lumpy Bumpy Sludge below. I have the measurement of marshmallows that we used, however, you can add as many or as little of the mini marshmallows as you would like. It all depends on how lumpy and bumpy you want your sludge to be. You can even pull in some fine motor skills into this sensory play project by encouraging your child to use their thumb and index finger to pinch and pick up the marshmallows. The sludge makes them slippery so it is more of a challenge.WP_20151019_10_18_36_Pro

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Materials Needed

Mix the following ingredients in together in a bowl. Add the flour slowly and the marshmallows last.

Corn starch 1/4 cup

Water- 1 1/2 cups

Canola Oil- 1/3 cup

Flour- 1 1/3 cup

Mini Marshmallows- 3/4 cup

Jello- 3oz package

Arts and Crats

Leaf Man Art Project

Let’s put those leave we collected to good use! We used our leaf collection from a couple of week ago and created our own Leaf Man based on the book. This was a great way to talk about placement of body parts. I don’t know about you, but when Babs and I are drawing pictures, her people often have arms floating randomly off to the side or legs where arms should be….lol! This project gave us some different materials to work with and held her attention really well.

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We did have to collect a few new leaves so we could have some different colors in there. Our previously collected leaves had already turned brown. I first made an example so she could see what we were going to make. I also kept the book close by so she could look at the picture. The example is pictured to the right. After that we worked on one together. During this time I encourage her to be as independent as possible. After we have made one together, I give her the materials to make one on her own. I give her some verbal prompts like, “remember where the arms go.” and I may help her squeeze the glue if she needs it. The one we did together and the one she did on her own are pictured below. I will let you guess which one she did on her own (hint: it still has a floating arm ūüôā )

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Side note: If you are a teacher in lower elementary or just have an older child you would like to do some activities at home with, Scholastic has some great interactive lessons on Venn Diagrams to go along with the Leaf Man book! Click the link below!

Scholastic Lesson Plan: Leaf Man

Materials Needed

Leaves of different colors

glue

craft eyeballs

construction paper

markers to label pictures (optional)

art tray/cookie sheet

Story TIme

New Fall Themed Story Time Book!

After our recent trip to the library we have started reading Leaf Man written by Lois Ehlert. It is a wonderful story about a leaf man who is blown away by an Autumn breeze. While caught in this breeze he flies over many other leaf plants and animals.

WP_20151014_10_08_24_ProSince this is not a particularly long book we just sit and read it a few times. I did not see the need to create any movement activities with this book. Babs loved the book! As we read I point out all the different leaf creatures on each page. Now when we are outside she spends most of her time looking for Leaf Man…lol! It’s actually pretty cool to see her make the connection. ūüôā Gone are the days of looking for cloud animals during summer picnics….sigh, an on to finding the many leaf creations a Fall breeze can create! Art project post is soon to follow!