Water Bin Series: Pool Noodle Sensory Play

We’ve joined Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails in our Play The Summer Away: Water Bins for Kids series. Stop back each Monday in July to see the themed water bins that we and Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails have created. 
This week’s theme was so much fun and EASY to throw together.  We had a couple of pool noodles purchased from the Dollar Store that we used for our family reunion games (keep an eye out for the post on this!)  These pool noodles were just asking to be played with!

I cut up two pool noodles and added a couple of big serving spoons, slotted spoons, and a ladle for scooping fun.  Baby Girl loved this.  And of course got right in there in the water bin!
 I added Big Sister’s jump rope for an extra large beading activity.
This was a great activity for large motor movements of both arms.  With that huge string, and sliding the pool noodle “beads” down the rope, this really got the arms going in whole body motions. This gross motor body motion and repetitive movements in a novel manner help brains develop new neural connections and long term learning abilities.  Not only that, threading the “beads” onto the jump rope was great for fine motor manipulation and bilateral hand control.  We did a nice pattern and had to grab the correct color as it floated along in the water bin.  (Eye-hand coordination!) So much  learning and SO much fun!
 Big Sister thought her super-sized necklace was pretty cool!
This water bin was perfect for a hot and muggy afternoon.  Have you been doing any fun water play this summer?

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Summer Kick-Off Playdate party details

We had a Summer Kick-Off Play Date last month
(this post is just a little delayed, haha!)
…and we wanted to share the party details and fun!
We invited some friends over for a play date and instructed the moms to dress the kids in their bathing suits, and bring towels.  What else says “summer” like the sprinkler??
A summer kick-off party also needs a bucket of chalk, popsicles, and a big bin of lawn toys.
I made the sunny straw toppers one morning while sitting and watching my kiddos take their swimming lessons.  Big Sister drew a bunch of suns on yellow cardstock and I cut them out.  Easy and cute!
I put out a bowl of bubbles and added sunny little details like yellow bowls, napkins, and plates. 
The Oreo dirt dessert was a hit!  And very easy to make:
Crush a package of Oreo cookies.
Make a package of pudding (I used vanilla but chocolate would be good, too).
Pop open a container of Cool-Whip.
Layer pudding/Cool-Whip/Oreos.
Our summer kick-off play date was a great way to connect with some friends we haven’t seen for a while and a FUN way to get excited about summer!