Home Made Play dough…and a fine motor activity

 We made a batch of play dough recently,
and used a basic recipe…
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cup salt
3 1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp cream of tartar
food coloring
Mix the dry ingredients in a pot.  Add the wet ingredients and cook for 3-4 minutes until the dough forms.  Plop onto a clean surface and knead for a few minutes.  Separate into portions and add food coloring.  Keep in covered containers/sealed plastic bags.  Dough does not need to be refrigerated.

Vivid Colors in Homemade Play Dough

Want the secret to really bold and vivid colors?  Use Wilton’s gel food coloring.  I have a bunch of these that I use for my cookies, and Big Sister had fun picking out the colors she wanted to mix up.
A lot of times, you can find these color sets on clearance (plus add coupons) for a Great discount!

Little Guy had SO MUCH FUN playing with little straw pieces in the red play dough.
What a great

Fine Motor Activity for a three year old!


 He played with this one for a long time…hiding the straw bits in the dough, poking circles, bending the bendable part of the straw… So much fun! 

Enjoy today!
Colleen


DIY Light Box

This DIY Light Box was something I’ve seen around Pinterest and have wanted to try for a while…Once we had our Christmas lights outside, I thought we would definitely be doing this project after we pulled all of the lights back in.  So, after we brought the Christmas lights in from the outside bushes, this was easy to put together for a cold evening’s play!

I put all of the (already bundled-up) strands of Christmas lights
…seriously, this does not get much easier :)…
into an under-the-bed storage bin,
connected the strands,
and plugged in!

Once you put the top on, it is perfect for tracing pictures!

This is so great for new (or seasoned) hand-writers.  They are working on pencil control, line awareness, hand-eye coordination…and end up with a super cool horse picture they can be proud of!
 
 Big Sister LOOOOVED doing this!  And, I have to say, that she was doing the tracing thing for so long, that we had to turn the lights off because the bin was getting warm. 
Please: if you do make one of these light boxes, keep an adult eye on it, as the box did warm up…not to burning warmth, but I would worry about the lights becoming over heated.  This is NOT something that kids should play with unsupervised!
We went around the house looking for cool things to place on top of the bin.  Magnetic letters looked really neat with the light glowing through…Baby Girl had a lot of fun playing with this.
What a great learning tool…Shapes:
Letter Identification, spelling words:

 Color and sensory discrimination:
…All in a new and fun manner!  We had a lot of fun with this, but have since put our Christmas lights back up into the attic.  We will be sure to do this one again next year, once the lights come back out again 🙂

Colleen

Share it Saturday #4

 Share it Saturday #4

It is hard to believe January is coming to an end.  It seems like time just goes by at lightening speed, especially when you have little preschoolers/toddlers to keep up with.  Sometimes (most times) it is pure exhaustion, but we wouldn’t change it for the world.  Here is a week in review of some of our craziness!!!

We had some dance parties, a fun day at the science center, tickle
time, a little basketball, a much needed sister night out, and a trip to the dentist!

You never know what next week will bring.  Due to the cooold temps, we are currently working on some really fun indoor play posts.

AND…New for this week, We have created a
Share It Saturday Pinterest Board

All Share It Saturday Participants are welcome to pin to the board.  Would you like to be a collaborator on this Group Board?  Just let us know!  Leave a message below or comment on one of the co-hosts pins on the Pinterest Board.  So easy and you will gain so many great ideas from this board.
Here’s the link…
Share It Saturday Group Pinterest Board
Stop by and join us!!  Be sure to follow the board so you don’t miss a thing!

What a great group of link-ups that were posted last week.  Thank you to everyone who took time to link-up and please do so again.  We love seeing all of the creative ideas!

Here are some of our featured favorites from last week:

Homemade bathtub crayons by Moms Have Questions Too
M is for Marshmallow Letter Recognition Activities by Fantastic Fun and Learning
Practicing our ABC’s Outside by Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes
Crystallized Snow Flakes by Gift of Curiosity

document.write(‘

Textured Shaving Cream Sensory Play

 There is something about kids and a pile of shaving cream…They Looooove to play in it!
We added some old sprinkles from last Easter to give this Indoor Play Idea a different twist.  They loved feeling the texture of the sprinkles on their hands while they played.  It probably has a great exfoliating factor too 🙂

Get both hands involved for crossing midline and engaging both sides of the brain while using the large muscles of the arms and shoulder girdle…
Draw letters and stars in it…
See what happens when you draw with a plastic ball…

Take a break for a dance party…

 And draw a little more!

Such a fun time!!

Definitely try adding textures to shaving cream for fun sensory play.

Colleen

Polar Bear Science and a craft

We had some fun with Science and Polar Bears today…
Did you know Polar Bears don’t have white skin?  They actually have black skin and white, hollow fur.  The hairs of their fur are hollow to absorb the sun’s light and keep the Polar Bear warm in those freezing arctic temps.  When light from the sun hits the white hairs, it is reflected and gives the Polar Bear his white appearance we all think about when we think ‘Polar Bears’.
We were talking about these Polar Bear facts after Googl-ing around and looking for pictures of Polar Bears…Here are a couple of great links for Polar Bear facts for preschoolers…

So our project today was a little Polar Bear Science Experiment

We started out by cutting straws into little bits.  They loved this!!
We used black play dough to be our Polar Bear’s skin and poked the straws into the lump of dough for polar bear “fur”.
(Tripod Grasp on those little straw pieces!)
Once we had all of the “fur” on our little Polar Bear lumps, We pulled out the flash light to be our “sun”.  Check out how the white straws reflect the light and really make the play dough Polar Bear look more white!
Cool, huh??
Little Guy thought this was so much fun!!
Then he made his Polar Bear into a shooter. 
Of course.
Our craft was a fun one…a little bit of this and that…
pulled together into an arctic/polar bear scene!
They did this Process Centered Art project…no specific goal in sight.
They love this kind of project.
(the wax paper looking stuff is actually a cereal box liner (Re-purposed!!)
It looks like a Polar Bear, right 🙂
I love it…and especially love the heart birds that Big Sister put on hers!
We have been having Polar Bear fun allll week!
Colleen

Polar Bear Theme: Gross Motor and Sensory Play!

We are continuing with our Polar Bear Theme with all kinds of play ideas.  It works out perfectly with Little Guy’s preschool calendar…today he made Polar Bear Paw Print painting (using a sock to paint paw prints! So cute!!)
Today we did a little

Polar Bear Gross Motor

and

Polar Bear Sensory Play!


The Gross Motor portion was an obstacle course-type of thing in our living room, using masking tape.
NOTE: Please try the tape in an inconspicuous place first (behind a couch or something) to make sure it doesn’t damage your carpeting…AKA don’t email me when you have masking tape stuck to the carpet 🙂
It should peel right up…but you never know 🙂
We had some zig zags going across the living room for bear crawls, toe walking, walking backwards, and knee walking.  I put a couple of pillows at the end to make a “snow pile” for the polar bears.  We put some cotton batting along the path…Little Guy maaaaay have started a “snowball fight” with his sisters.  Typical Boy 🙂
They had such a great time with this…lots of fun silliness!

A balance beam is so great for gross motor skills including coordination and balance.  You can start with normal toe to heel steps, and then increase the balance and coordination needed by asking your child to take bigger steps, side steps, backward steps, tip toe, go fast/slow…They can hold an object, try to catch/toss a ball, navigate turns, curves, hop…There is so much you can do with the balance beam!

Our Polar Bear Sensory bin was cotton batting, tinsel, a stuffed polar bear, and a seal toy.  Little Guy glued some waxed paper to blue construction paper to make an ocean covered with ice.  We had a striped Christmas pencil for our “North Pole”.  

They had fun just imagining stories for the Big Giant Polar Bear and the poor seal who was trying to escape into the ocean…Imagination play!

Baby Girl did NOT like the tinsel. It got stuck to her hands and she would try to pull it off…The seal is another story.  She carried that thing around all day 🙂
Looking for more Polar Bear play ideas??  We had fun with our first Polar Bear Theme play day!
We should have more ideas up tomorrow to go along with the Polar Bear theme.  I have something in mind for a fun science project and a couple of cute crafts…So Be Sure to stop back 🙂
Colleen

Polar Bear Play Theme

We borrowed a bunch of Polar Bear books from the library last week and had so much fun with them, that we decided to do a bunch of


Polar Bear activities!


Polar Bear Imagination Play, Polar Bear learning, Polar Bear craft, and Polar Bear snack!


{Note: This post contains affiliate links.}
We’ve been reading these books all weekend, and they are SO much fun!  The kids especially love Ice Cream Larry, which is such a silly, fun story!  Baby Girl is such a fan of books…And I love when she brings a book to me and curls up in my lap to (flip pages like a maniac) read a fun book!
Some of our favorite Polar Bear Books for Kids:

 Ice Cream Larry by Daniel Manus Pinkwater



Touch the Sky, My Little Bear
by David Bedford





God Gave Us the World
by Lisa Tawn Bergren




Mama, Why?
by Karma Wilson




That’s Not My Polar Bear
by Fiona Watt

I put together a bin with a bunch of craft supplies so we are ready to do all kinds of Polar Bear activities.  We had a stay-at-home day today and did a few fun things while it was frigidly cold outside…
We checked out the areas where Polar Bears live and found the Arctic Ocean, Alaska, Canada, Denmark, Greenland, and Russia. 
We talked about how the mama bear finds a big mound of snow and paws a shelter to protect her and her baby cubs during winter.  Then the mama and baby come out in the spring.

polar bear quiet page for imagination and pretend play with felt

This felt board was quick to snip up while the kids were eating breakfast this morning.  So fun for imagination play!  Big Sister pretended to be the mama bear and dug out the snow mound for a little home so the baby could stay inside.

We made this big snow mound using blankets over a table.  All of the kids played in here for a long time! Little Guy kept saying “Humans are coming! Humans are coming!” and crawling in and out of the opening.  Baby Girl LOOOOVED all of the action and just got really excited to be part of it 🙂

polar bear craft

 Big Sister did a cutting and gluing craft to make a Polar Bear.  She thought Mr. Bear needed some buttons on his belly 🙂




We finished up with a little kiddie cooking activity for snack time.  Raisins, bananas, apple slices, and marshmallows made some cute little Polar Bears. 

I thought Little Guy’s Polar Bear snack was pretty cute 🙂
 We have more ideas in store for the rest of the week, so be sure to stop back to see what we are up to!  Have you done any cute Polar Bear themed activities? Link them up in the comments, I would love to check them out!!

 Looking for more Polar Bear Activities? Try these:
Polar Bear Science and a craft
Polar Bear Gross Motor and Sensory Bin

Be sure to follow along on Facebook, Google+ Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram so you don’t miss a post! 

Valentine Door Banner

With Valentines Day approaching, we decided to make a cute little banner out of some empty tissue boxes.  We had two pretty cute boxes that I thought would be perfect for a project like this. 

 My daughter pulled the boxes apart and I helped her cut out hearts of different sizes.  Cutting through the cardboard provided a different texture of cutting than just regular paper.  I could really see my daughter concentrating on this one (and required a little help from mom).

 With some of the hearts being small, I looked around for something we could use to poke holes in them.  I found a screw, this ended up being perfect.  We assembled all the parts…the hearts, ribbon, a screw, and scissors.
 We used the screw to poke holes in the hearts.  This was a great activity, working the fine motor skills, stability, and bilateral hand coordination.

We cut some ribbon into little pieces and measured out just enough.
 We arranged a pattern and strung the ribbon through the holes in the hearts.

 The kiddos took a little break playing with playdough while I hung the banner on the door.

 The sun was shining so bright!  I think the door looks ready for Valentines Day:)
~Leanne