Color Matching Water Bin with Letters

This was our last water bin in our Water Bins for Kids series with Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails.  This was definitely the most fun water bin for us this summer!  We ended the series with a splash! 
(Yes, had to go there!!)

Letter Water Bin

This week’s theme was Color Matching!
Two of us sisters got together one day this week and had SO much fun with the kids on a hot and sunny afternoon.
We started with a colorful plastic bin and filled it with water.  We threw in our bin of colorful magnetic letters (see another fun letter sensory bin here), and egg dying cups in lots of colors.
We started by scooping the letters into the floating cups and trying to catch the matching letter.  We asked the kiddos what letter they found, the color, and if the letter color matched the cup. 
This activity is a good one for bilateral hand coordination, eye-hand coordination, and fine motor skills.  They had to use both hands together in a coordinated manner, while visually tracking the letters as they flowed around in the water.  Then, with both hands on the cups, scoop up the letters.  How fun!
Of course, when these cousins get together, there is sure to be silliness.  The two younger ones were the instigators in the splash down.
We pulled out a metal curtain rod and stuck a magnet to one end.  It stuck to the curtain rod and was able to attract the magnets of the letters.  Little Guy LOVED this!
We pulled all of the colored cups out of the water and had the kids “fish” for the letters and put them into the matching cups.
Little Guy could have done this for an hour, I think…if it were not for his fun-loving little Sister and cousin dumping water on everyone.
                                                        
 There was a LOT more of this…
…and watering of the plants!
This whole series has been so much fun!  

Learning with Dyed Alphabet Pasta

This easy dyed pasta activity combines learning with fine motor development.  From the scooping to the neat pincer grasp activity, this is a great way to build many skills!  Younger children can use scoops and spoons to develop coordination needed to scoop and pour while gaining exposure to letters.  What a fun way to build so many areas!

This was such a fun activity!  I found a bag of alphabet pasta at a local grocery store on sale for a dollar and couldn’t pass it up!  We used a little from the bag and used the rest in wedding soup.  (Little Guy’s most often request and favorite meal!)  Because the only thing that makes wedding soup even more awesome is fun shaped noodles 🙂
We dyed the pasta in a baggie…added a few drops of red food coloring and 2 Tbsp of vinegar.  We dyed this batch back in May and the color is still going strong.  The vinegar doesn’t leave an odor when playing with the pasta, but helps the coloring to “stick” to the pasta.
Have the kids shake the bag (or use a lidded plastic container for a fun auditory component!) and get their wiggles out.
I put up a few strips of masking tape on our easel and put out the bowl of pasta.  Baby Girl had the job of scooping letters from the bowl onto a plate.  She loved using my measuring spoons to scoop.  Toddlers seem to love scooping any little bits…peas/beans/rice/sand…and it’s such a great fine motor task for them. 
Pinching those little letters was a fun fine motor exercise for working on their tripod grasp and pincer grasp.  I  positioned the tape strips high up on the easel to encourage an extended wrist.  This wrist position allows for efficient use of the fingers in such a small motor activity.  
Big Sister worked on locating letters as I told her how to spell words.
…Baby Girl couldn’t let her big sister do something and NOT get involved…
We also worked on a little reading/spelling activity: I stuck on the -AT letters and asked Big Sister to find the letter we needed to spell different rhyming words.  Fun!