Sensory Paint Play

When you get a package in the mail that has bubble wrap, it’s a special day!  After some jumping and a little popping, we used the bubble wrap in a fun sensory play activity.
Finger paint, and a handful of beads, and glass gems made this extra special.

This was SO much fun!  Perfect outdoor play for a hot day.
Don’t you just want to get messy and play with this???
It was such a neat sensory experience…and very BLUE.  After we were done playing, we squirted the kids off with the hose.  I left the blue bubble wrap, beads, and everything right in the bin until the next day.  I had plans…
*stop back tomorrow to see what we did the next day after the whole mess dried!*
UPDATE: Here is the post for the next part of this two-day sensory play activity…PERFECT for a hot, sunny, outdoor messy play day! Fine Motor/Sensory/Water Play (Part 2)
We did use a little of that wet blue paint for some face painting.  Big Sister gave me a nice smiley face on my foot 🙂

Fine Motor Table-top Play

This fine motor activity is a great way to build many small motor skills.  From neat pincer grasp to hand strength and arch development, this indoor play activity is one that builds many skills in a fun way!

So, one morning, we had four kids in the house (Big Sister, Little Guy, Baby Girl, and Nephew).  They play well together. Most times.  And then other times.. they argue, fight, agitate, and do all of the normal brother/sister/cousin-who-is-around-often-enough-to-be-like-a-sibling…things! This morning, they were in a mood.  A we. need. to. get. outside. and. RUN. mood. 
and since half of the kids were still in pajamas and there were still breakfast remnants all over the dining room table…we played a little game.
We have a couple of rolls of masking tape hanging around and this mama/aunt thought they would love to do a little picking on the tape.
instead of picking on each other!
They loved it! Picking at the edges of the tape is perfect for little hand’s fine motor dexterity.  They are working the neat pincer grasp (tip-to-tip pinch of the thumb and index finger…think of the way you would pick up a very small bead or pin from a table-top)
It was sort-of like a puzzle, figuring out which piece of tape needed to pull up first.  And then, when they pulled up an intersecting piece of tape, again working the fine motor skills to pull that piece up.
When all of the pieces of tape were pulled up, Big Sister played a word spelling game.  She tore the tape into bits  (…tripod grasp, working on small motor strength of the hand arches, and separating the two sides of the hand in a small motor task…)
I told her how to spell the word ‘CAT’ and then gave her words that rhyme with ‘CAT’.  She wrote the letter and put it in place of the ‘C’.
Agitating/arguing/sibling crisis averted.  We put on play clothes and went outside!

Playing With Color: Cotton Swab Painting

Use a cotton swab and paint to create a pretty bird craft while working on the fine motor skills needed for a functional and dynamic pencil grasp.

This was a fun painting craft we did recently.  We’ve been doing a lot of blue activities lately:
Big Sister and Little Guy went dot crazy on these bird pictures.

…using that tripod grasp to paint away with the cotton swab.

We finished up our blue play with a little Fruit Loop lacing on pipe cleaners.
 In blue of course 🙂

…more tripod grasp play!

Share It Saturday #21 and our Week-In-Review

Wow, you guys are awesome!  It was SO HARD to choose our featured posts this week.  There were so many amazing links posted up.  We are truly inspired by you guys! Thank you for joining us in sharing your posts. You are what makes our party so much fun!
Our Week-In-Review:
This week went by in a flash! One of the Aunts had a house that was hit with sickness.  We ALL passed it from one to the other.  Another Aunt is finishing up the teaching school year and READY for summer break 🙂 Another Aunt is celebrating family and blessings with a vacation get-away.  With all of that craziness going on, we didn’t get many extra pictures taken.  Check out our Instagram feed for a few shots from this week.  
We did a little twig loading outside one beautiful morning.
And sowed some seeds in egg cartons.  We’re watching every day for little sprouts!

Our most popular post this week was our Textured Paint Sensory Play post.

Share It Saturday:

We join our friends  at Teach Beside Me and Golden Grasses as co-hosts in our weekly link up party.
 Our Featured Posts:
We’re featuring Spring flower crafts and activities/books this week.  We love how each of these activities involves the senses in some way…all while learning and exploring.  Check out our featured posts, friends.  You will be inspired to get outside and play!

The Good Life Mum: Garden Print Painting
Look What Mom Found: Making A Forever Flower
KC Edventures: Gardening Books and Activities for Kids
“Just What I Need” Books: Happiness in the Secret Garden


Create a Wishing Well

wishing well made from five gallon bucket
One day recently, Big Sister came up to me and said,
“Mom, I reeeeeeeally want to make a Wishing Well.”
So, a Wishing Well we made.
supplies needed to create a wishing well
Our supplies were easy to find around the house and in the garage:
5 gallon bucket
crafting paper
clear tape
plastic pot
plastic grocery bag (our “water”)
two pieces of wood and a paint stirrer
We taped the crafting paper around the bucket and taped it into place.
craft paper wrapped and taped around five gallon bucket
Big Sister drew “bricks” on the paper.
draw bricks on craft paper
Tape the wood pieces to the inside of the bucket and tape the paint stirrer across the top.
We cut the bottom third off of a brown paper bag and slid it over the paint stirrer.
Tie the rope to the bucket.
And haul in some water.

Pirate Party Details

This is the last birthday post (and picture overload) about my little buddy’s 2nd birthday.  I can NOT believe he is 2!! When did this happen?

We celebrated in a Pirate-y way and had a blast preparing for this party.  LOVE the details that go into our little one’s birthdays!
So, if you are planning a Pirate Birthday for your special little one, these details will hopefully inspire you!
We shared the DIY details to make your own Treasure Chest and treat bags

Pirate Birthday Party details!

Some more party details…

Yummy sugar cookies loaded with Pirate-talk.
My favorite is the “Ya Scullywag!”
The play space where the party was held was perfect for a Pirate-themed party…down to the Pirate ship climbing feature.

Cupcakes were bought from a local grocery store and I added the Pirate toppers.  I found them in a cupcake kit from Joanne’s.


Cheese balls were perfect for our kid-friendly “Cannon Balls”.

This was a last minute project (aka easy):
Slice a watermelon, stab with a pretzel rod, and slide on a slice of Swiss cheese. 
Instant ship.

We also shared how we made these DIY Pirate Telescopes.

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Textured Paint Sensory Play

Outdoor Sensory Play

This was a fun outdoor play activity that we did this week.  It didn’t turn out like I was thinking in my mind, but it was pretty cool to explore and we did have (messy) fun with it!
We started with washable finger paints in little cups and added some sand from the sand box.
((Using a little traffic cone to pour the sand is completely optional, but according to Baby Girl, definitely necessary…we roll with it around here!))

Mix the sand into the paints until you get a nice crumbly texture.  This is a great task for bilateral hand coordination.  The kids use their non-dominant hand to hold the cup and their dominant hand to stir.
We poured the crumbly textured paint onto cardboard and played.  This was so neat to press, roll, squeeze into a lump, squash, and crumble up again.   We played with this for a long time.
So, here’s where my idea derailed…I was thinking we would let the sand dry and it would crumble up into colored sand.  It did dry when we left the sand out overnight…but it was not sandy and fine.  The dried mixture was sort of lumpy and hard.  Still fun and neat to mix in with plain sand, but not what I had in mind. 
That was when we went back to the drawing board and came up with this idea to make colored sand…it worked much better to get the sandy texture we were hoping for!

Playing With Color: Toddler Play

We’ve been on a BLUE kick around here these days.
This was a fun little play activity for the Toddlers.  Nephew (19 months) was with us one day and LOVED doing this.  
I put the blue inner tube and a little basketful of balls out on the dining room floor.  I put one ball into the center of the inner tube and he was INTO it!  Little nephew went crazy putting the balls in the center, taking them out, putting them back into the basket.  This was FUN!

This little (and EASY…seriously, it does not get much easier than this…) game will be coming out again.  This Aunt can clean up the breakfast mess when something like this is going on!
What are we learning with this activity?

Toddler Eye-Hand Coordination

Toddler Visual-motor skills

Cause and effect

(if I throw this ball into the center, it might bounce out…)

Learning colors

Gross Motor Skills (throwing, rolling, bouncing)