Easy No-Sew Felt Christmas Cookies **25 Days of Christmas Play**

Day 2 of 25 Days of Christmas Play

This was the play invitation I had set up for Big Sister today.  It was so easy to make these No-Sew Felt cookies…15 minutes tops.  And, with an hour+ of imaginative play time, I think it was a good investment!
Christmas Cookie Pretend Play No Sew Felt Food. By Sugar Aunts
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I had the felt here at the house, but I’ve seen packs of multi-colored felt sheets
at the dollar store.  You could make a bunch of these little cookies for less than a buck.
Christmas Cookie Pretend Play No Sew Felt Food. By Sugar Aunts
I don’t have any pictures of the process of making the cookies, because it seriously was so easy to make…
1. Trace the cookie cutters
on felt.
2. Cut the shape just inside of your pen mark.
3. Trace another of the same shape on the “icing” color.
4. Cut the “icing” color about 1/2 inch smaller than your pen mark.
Done!
Add some of your whisk, spatula, cookie sheet, oven mitt, and get ready for some cheers in your house 🙂
Mixing up a little gingerbread dough with the whisk requires bilateral hand coordination to hold the bowl and stir the whisk.
After mixing, you cut out the shapes with the cookie cutters.
Then, spread on the icing!
These cookies were perfect for pretend play, multi-step direction following, child-led play, bilateral hand coordination, and imagination.
Big Sister had so much fun making cookies for Baby Girl and me…adding sprinkles, matching the icing shape to the cookie shape.  It’s a new addition to the play kitchen food.  I’m ready for lots of yummy fuzzy cookies 😉
Colleen

Looking for more Christmas-themed play? Try scented snowman playdoh!

UPDATE to this post: We’ve been playing with these felt cookies all year long and they are still staples in the kitche pretend play.  We’ve been enjoying fuzzy cookies all year long!

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Scented Snowman Playdoh **25 days of Christmas Play**

DAY 1 of 25 Days of Christmas Play!


This is the first post in a series of Christmas-themed play ideas.  It’s a season of rushing, big family meals, travel, shopping, wrapping…It’s easy to forget the real reason for this season.  

Seeing my kid’s excitement for Christmas this year is so much fun! So contagious!
We wanted to come up with a gift for our readers for Christmas, and thought it would be appropriate to present you with loads of fun play ideas.  One for each of the days leading up to Christmas…so you can slow down, enjoy this precious time with your children, and play!
This first Christmas play idea was a simple recipe for making homemade playdoh with a twist.

Scented Snowman Playdoh!
Take your basic ingredients, but instead of water, use scented TEA.  I used Comfort time tea to promote the relaxing and soothing scent of chamomile. 
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
2 Tbsp oil
1 cup of hot tea (any scent)–or you could use water instead of tea
Mix the dry ingredients together in a saucepan.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir over medium heat.  Keep stirring until the mixture pulls together. Add more flour if it seems too gummy.  When it forms a ball (like playdoh consistency), dump it out onto a cutting board or other clean surface.  Let the dough cool, and then knead for a few minutes.

At this point, I mixed in glitter to make our snow playdoh.  Little Guy loved helping with this part.  

 This is the play invitation that I set up for Big Sister and Little Guy…
snow playdoh, snowman cookie cutters, glass gems, black beads, brown pipe cleaners, orange plastic lacing cord cut into little bits, and white fuzz balls.

Of course the construction vehicles had to move some snow.


 It was a Successful Day!
Enjoy Today!
~Colleen

Update on this post: We were featured!
Featured at Tuesday Tots on Rainy Day Mum

Magnet Play: Apple theme

This was a play invitation I set up one day for Big Sister and Little Guy.

Paper clips, magnets, tissue paper, and the corn bin.
((The Babies were sleeping…tooooo many hazards with this one!))

The Big Kids had fun exploring with the magnets.

We tore the tissue paper into small squares (Tearing paper into little bits works on those small muscles in the hands).  Put a couple of paper clips into the tissue paper.
And crumble it up into a ball 
We were calling them “apples”. 
Only requiring a small stretch of the imagination 🙂

Big Sister and Little Guy went on an Apple Hunt, raking the magnets through the corn to grab up the apples.

It felt pretty neat on the hands to rake through the corn…a great sensory play activity!
We had a hunt for paper clips too…

Enjoy Today!
~Colleen

Paint Baggie: Letter Formation and Seek and Find

This was a fun activity we did before Thanksgiving.  I wanted to get this posted before the holiday, but never got the chance.  I love this play idea because not only does it address so many areas

(letter formation, fine motor skills, visual scanning, color learning…),

 but it can be done any time of year…

Just use different stickers!
Start by sticking stickers to the inside of a plastic, seal-able bag.
I used a sandwich bag, but you could definitely go with a larger size to engage bigger muscle groups when drawing the in the paint.

Squirt paint into the bag and seal shut with as little air pockets as possible in the bag.
This is the play set up that I had waiting for the kids.
They mixed the colors together using their whole hand.  
“Smash it like a pancake, Mom!”
A child pushing weight through their hand is really working their shoulder stabilization.  Shoulder stabilization exercises work on the stability and strength of the shoulder girdle.. Strengthening the shoulder girdle is necessary for performing small motor activities of all kinds.  
When a child has poor strength of the large muscles of the shoulder joint, they are unable to control the small movements needed for things like handwriting, coloring, cutting, shoe tying, threading beads…
This is a good exercise to wake up the muscles in the whole arm.  Have them push the paint around…
smashing it like a pancake…
smearing it around
 (mess free)
We talked about the colors. Red and Yellow make Orange.  Little Guy is getting pretty good at telling me what color combinations make.

After the paint is good and mixed, you can have the kiddos try to find the stickers.  Pushing the paint aside is great isolation of the index finger, it separates the two sides of the hand, and strengthens those little muscles in their hands.
Babies move all of their fingers together at the same time.  Then, as they develop their fine motor skills, they are able to move their fingers one at a time with better accuracy.  Isolating the movements of individual fingers is needed for typing on the keyboard, shoe tying…

Playing peek a boo with the Pilgrims and Native Americans…
Scanning with the eyes to seek and find the stickers.

Big Sister loved this whole activity.  She loved making letters in the paint and showing Little Guy all the letters in his name.  

Little Guy traced some letters. Check out the other hand stabilizing the baggie…  
(Just like holding the paper with the non-dominant hand when writing!)
This one was so much fun for all ages…the 5 year old beginner hand-writer, the 3 year old pre-writer, and the one year old who loves touching all things squishy 🙂
We will definitely be doing this one again.  Got some Christmas stickers all ready to go!
~Colleen

Indoor Play: 3D Drip Paint

This is an easy activity that will keep the kids busy indoors during the cold weather. We were trying to make watercolor paints with a bit of a twist. We added some salt to make it sparkle and added a little more vinegar and baking soda to make it drip.

The starting ingredients are:
3T baking soda
3T corn starch
3 T vinegar
a few teaspoons of salt (not in the picture above)
food coloring
You can adjust the ingredients to your liking…adding more corn starch makes it thicker…adding more vinegar will make it thinner…not sure what adding more baking soda does…just makes it fun to watch it bubble!
It was like a science experiment…my daughter found it a little stinky!


 

Mix all the ingredients together. We used 4 separate containers to make red, yellow, green, and blue.  My daughter had fun mixing the colors and watching them turn from one color into another.  On the paper we made orange, purple and brown. 

Make sure you line your table with plastic.
At first the paint was a little runny so we added a little more corn starch.  Then we decided to add a little salt.  Just be careful that no one eats it and keep it away from the animals.
It turned into a beautiful mess!
The paint was perfect for dripping onto paper and making 3D art.
Once dry, the kids had fun peeling the paint off of the paper.  We hung the picture on the window and it turned into a really neat sun catcher.
Even the little guy got in on this one.
He found the drips to be pretty amazing!
This was a fun activity that we will do again.  Once you let the paint sit for a little while in the containers, they harden and can be used again and again…just add a little vinegar to the paint and it will thin out again. 
This was the final product- 3D drip art!
~Leanne

Indoor play: baby edition…spoons and cups

Indoor Play Ideas

This was a simple invitation to play that I set up for the babies one day after breakfast was finished. 

They loved the idea!  Putting spoons in the cup, taking them out of the cups…
Banging the cups off of the table…

Hearing the loud sound when they rattled the spoons around in the cups.

They turned the cups over and started playing drums with the spoons.
Little Guy loves any thing drums, so this was too good to pass up!


This easy play activity entertained for a long time!
Looking for other indoor play ideas??? Try these:
~Colleen

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Dream Catcher

This is a fun project that I helped my daughter create. She has been having some dreams that wake her up crying in the middle of the night. One night she told me she had a dream that she was in a pet store and a penguin picked her up, then an alligator chomped her arm! 
We thought a “dream catcher” would help catch those dreams before they get to her and she can dream about the things she wants to…like flying unicorns with sparkle princess’. 

We started out with an empty toilet paper roll, add some fun colors with paint, add a little sparkle with puffy paint and glitter…

Cut some yarn at different sizes…

Line them up from biggest to smallest (this was a fun challenge)…
Glue the yarn to a Popsicle stick…

String some beads and glue on some buttons…add a feather or two…

Add a little crepe paper and  TA-DA!   We have a dream catcher!  I loved listening to my daughter explain how the dreams come down.  She said they come from God through the toilet paper hole and sprinkle around with the beads and buttons and come out the other end and into her brain.

The final product.

Even Steeler Teddy thought it was pretty cool!
Gotta love a 4 year old imagination!
Let’s hope for some happy dreams…she used it last night and woke up exclaiming, “It worked Mom, it really worked!”
~Leanne