Soap Shaving Bookmarks Craft and Our New Book!

Today we are incredibly excited to share this Soap Shavings Bookmark craft with you!  Not only is this craft fun and creative, it signifies our latest project:  Our latest book!  Today we are jumping with joy to share the collaborative book, “Pop! Squirt! Splash! Hands-on Activities for Kids Using Soap, Water, and Bubbles”.  Together with 11 other bloggers, we are sharing creative sensory, learning, crafty, and fun activities for kids (and the whole family) using soap, water, and bubbles.  This book is a masterpiece of creativity with gorgeous photography and amazingly simple and fun ideas.  And we’re not just saying that because we helped to author this book.  This is a book that you need to check out!



From the book, “Pop! Squirt! Splash!”:

Soap Shaving Bookmarks with peeled soap, part of the book, Pop! Squirt! Splash! book for kids with soap, water, and bubbles
Kids can get creative in their crafting using soap and a few materials from around the house.  We made these soap shaving bookmarks and had a blast creating!
Soap Shaving Bookmarks with peeled soap, part of the book, Pop! Squirt! Splash! book for kids with soap, water, and bubbles
This post contains affiliate links.
 


To make Soap Shaving Bookmarks:

You’ll need a few materials:
Bars of soap in several colors
vegetable peeler

Two sheets of Wax Paper

Iron
Dish Towel
Hole Punch

Ribbon
Soap Shaving Bookmarks with peeled soap, part of the book, Pop! Squirt! Splash! book for kids with soap, water, and bubbles

This soap craft is as beautiful as it is simple.  Kids will love to use a vegetable peeler on bars of soap to create soap shavings.  To make the bookmarks, lay a sheet of wax paper out on a hard surface like a cookie sheet or cutting board.  

Soap Shaving Bookmarks with peeled soap, part of the book, Pop! Squirt! Splash! book for kids with soap, water, and bubbles



Show your child how to grasp a bar of soap and using hand-over-hand guidance, help your child to slowly peel shavings from the bar of soap.  Encourage them to peel away from their body for safety. 
Peel long strips of soap and small shavings, mixing the colors of the different bars of soap on the wax paper.  Managing the vegetable peeler and the soap is a great way to encourage bilateral hand coordination (the use of two hands together in a coordinated manner).  


Children need bilateral hand coordination for functional skills like cutting with scissors, handwriting,  tying shoes, and managing clothing fasteners.  An activity like using a vegetable peeler on a soft bar of soap is a great way to work on using tow hands together effectively with a non-dominant assisting hand and a dominant hand with fluid and controlled motions.  


Arrange the soap peelings on the wax paper and place the second piece of wax paper on top.  Carefully move the wax paper to an ironing board.  Place a dishtowel over the wax paper and using an iron heated to medium, slowly press down.  The soap will slightly melt and flatten under the heat.  Check often to see if the wax paper is adhering.  You can remove the dish towel and carefully heat the edges of the wax paper.  Cut the wax paper into rectangular book marks.  Punch a hole near the top of the book marks using the hole puncher.  Tie a piece of ribbon in the hole.  This bookmark will smell great and would make a lovely gift!

Soap Shaving Bookmarks with peeled soap, part of the book, Pop! Squirt! Splash! book for kids with soap, water, and bubbles


*Note: This craft should be done under close supervision of an adult.  Be careful with the use of a vegetable peeler with small children.  For younger children, provide hand-over-hand assistance with the vegetable peeler.  Adults may want to complete the peeling portion of this soap craft.  Adults or responsible older children should manage the iron.  As always, use judgement when it comes to completing this and any activity with your kids.

Soap Shaving Bookmarks with peeled soap, part of the book, Pop! Squirt! Splash! book for kids with soap, water, and bubbles

Alternate activities:
Vary the scents and colors of your bookmarks with various soaps.
Add a personal message or quote to the bookmarks.
Add flower petals or scraps of paper to the soap shavings before ironing.
Arrange the soap shavings in a mosaic or mandala pattern.

 

Get your copy of Pop! Squirt! Splash! today.

Buy the Kindle version HERE
for $
8.99

Buy the Printed version HERE
for $$17.50



Each activity is simple and made up of easy to prepare activities that have been child-tested.  You’ll find alternate activities for each idea and ways to extend the play.  This book is authored by some of the most creative bloggers out there and will be a hit in your house!



There are so many learning opportunities to be had with just soap, water, or bubbles.  It doesn’t have to cost a lot to be a learning idea.


Check out our You Tube video where you can see the book in action!


You can see more water, soap, and bubbles ideas from our co-authors:

Soap Foam Dough from And Next Comes L

Water Play: Sorting Land & Water Animals from Still Playing School
Floating Soap Boats from Fireflies & Mudpies

Healthy Back-to-School Snack Ideas

This post is brought to you by Bolthouse Farms Kids™ and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

With four kids, mornings are a blur.  We’re rushing to get everyone fed, dressed, brushed, polished, and out the door without forgetting anything (or anyone!).  Inevitably there are forgotten homework sheets, a rush to find the baby doll that MUST go with us as we drive to preschool, a dash to find money needed for school, lost shoes, coats put on inside out…There are a lot of points that can derail the morning’s schedule and cause the whole family to be late for each place they are going.  There are a few things that you can do to make the morning less of a blur.  We like to be prepared by talking through our morning schedule and using our back-to-school morning routine story stones.  It helps to plan ahead when kids are involved and back-to-school routines require so many parts.  Preparing the backpack and lunch the night before is key in a large family (or any family that needs to be out the door by a certain time.)  One thing that helps us with the morning rush is packaging up the backpack and all needed items the night before and packing a healthy lunch before going to bed.  Pop the lunch boxes into the fridge for the night and they are grab and go in the morning.


Healthy lunch ideas to avoid the back-to-school morning rush.



Healthy Lunch Ideas that are Grab and Go:

Easy lunch ideas and healthy snacks are a must for this busy mama. If you’re following us on Instagram, you know that I love to serve my kids healthy options that include real fruits and veggies.
The snacks from Bolthouse Farms Kids™  are perfect for overcoming the rush of busy mornings while maintaining healthy foods without preservatives.


Healthy lunch ideas to avoid the back-to-school morning rush.



We received a package from Bolthouse Farms Kids™ in the mail recently, and when we pulled out the goodies, the kids were immediately oohing and aaaahing over this happy mail.


These healthy foods were a huge hit with all four of the kids.  I love that the Bolthouse Farms Kids™ items contain no added preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors and my kids love all of the fun flavors.
Bolthouse Farms Kids™ is a refrigerated line of real fruit and vegetable snacks for kids. My kids are huge smoothie fans, so the individual serving “kid-size” bottles are perfect for them.  We packed a few up and took them with us on our 6 hour road trip to the beach.  The 6 oz bottles contain 1 ½ servings of fruit and no dairy and no added preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors.  These smoothies are perfect for on-the-go like a road trip with a bunch of excited kids.  The individual serving of “kid-sized” bottles are great for on-the-go occasions.  My kids loved the “Strawberry Meets Banana” flavor and can’t wait to try the ” Peach Meets Mango” smoothie.  At 80-90 calories per bottle, they are full of flavor and easy to pack into lunches.


We decided the smoothies are perfect for car rides like our road trip or for the inevitable “Oops. We-missed-the-bus-and-still-need-breakfast-so-eat-this-in-the-car”.


(It happens.  Often.)


Healthy lunch ideas to avoid the back-to-school morning rush.



I love to pack my kids full of veggies.  I’m lucky in that my kids usually love their vegetables, so when they saw the Veggie Snackers, they were pretty excited.  These convenient individual sized bags are perfectly sized to fit into princess and super hero lunchboxes. The two available varieties, “Carrot Meets Ranch” and “Carrot Meets Chili Lime”, have a super fun individual sized bag that you pull to unleash tremendous flavor with all-natural seasoning and just a pinch of salt.  These were a big hit with my kids. And me!  The package of baby carrots are only 25 calories and a perfect way to shake your way to snack time!


Healthy lunch ideas to avoid the back-to-school morning rush.





Fruit tubes are always a hit with my kids, but typically they are so loaded with sugar that I don’t buy them for my kids. The Fruit tubes from Bolthouse Farms Kids™ have no added sugar or preservatives and are just 30-40 calories.  The real fruit purees are a treat for lunch.  Even my one year old loved these!  We tried the “Mango Meets Banana & Pineapple” version, and can’t wait to try “Strawberry Meets Banana” and “Blueberry Meets Raspberry”.  How good would these be served frozen on a hot summer day?


Healthy lunch ideas to avoid the back-to-school morning rush.



More easy to pack lunch ideas that will make the morning rush a breeze:
peach
apple
grapes
banana
bottled water (Grab and go!)
string cheese
homemade trail mix
celery sticks
snap peas
avacado
kiwi
strawberries
blueberries
raspberries
grape tomatoes
orange slices
cucumber slices






The best news is that you can try all of these healthy snacks and treats from Bolthouse Farms Kids™, too!


Find them in the Produce Section at your local Giant Eagle.  AND, join in on the fun of the Bolthouse Farms Kids™ Snack Mob.  The Bolthouse Farms Kids™ Snack Mob trucks are coming to Pittsburgh this fall and helping kids go back to school in a healthy way!


Throughout six weeks in August and early September, the Snack Mob team will be stopping by select Giant Eagle stores and many community events throughout the region – sharing FREE samples of Bolthouse Farms Kids™ products with kids and parents. You can find the full list of events and contest rules here.  You can always find them in the produce department at Giant Eagle.


Some of the events where you can see the Snack Mob truck are:

Sunday evenings throughout August: Citiparks Cinema in the Park Movie Nights (time: dusk)
August 2: Snack Mob kickoff event at Settlers Ridge Market District (10am-2pm)
August 15: “Kindergarten … here I come!” at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (9am-10am)
August 30: First Responders Day at Kennywood Park (10:30am)

September 19: Junior Great Race at Point State Park (8am)


Follow along with us as we welcome Bolthouse Farms Kids™ to the neighborhood!


You can also enter to win in the #SnackMob #Contest, and have a Snack Mob truck crash your next party.  Win a visit from the Snack Mob by tweeting @BolthouseFarms for a chance to get the #SnackMob truck to deliver Bolthouse Farms Kids™  products for free at your next party.  Use the hashtags #SnackMob and #Contest in your tweet and include the date and type of event (e.g., soccer tournament, block party, etc.) in your entry.  Contest ends September 10, 2015 at 11:59 pm. You must be 18 years old to enter. Maximum of 100 people per event.

Stop by and visit Bolthouse Farms Kids™  on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Back to School Morning Routine Story Stones

These Back-to-school story stones are sure to help with the ease of getting back into routines of Fall and School.  Whether your child is going to Kindergarten for the first time, or returning to school this Fall (or returning to routines of homeschool!), these story stones will help with getting kids used to the steps needed in morning routines.  What are story stones?  Usually, they are stones with pictures painted on them to use in imaginative play.  We made story stones to depict the morning routine for preparation and ordering of tasks for back-to-school.

 
 
Back to school story stones for helping kids with the routines of Fall and school or homeschool mornings.

 

make Back-to-School routines easier:

 
This post contains affiliate links.
 
Back to school story stones for helping kids with the routines of Fall and school or homeschool mornings.
 
The morning rush and kids do not go together well.  Getting kids up, dressed,  brushed, polished, and out of the house without forgetting important items can be more than slightly difficult.   Add in more than one child and a routine that gets old after the first week, and you have kids that need prodding with each step.  Use these story stones to help kids understand, process, and order the steps of a morning routine.
 
We’ve used rocks in learning and play before, like in word building and sensory play so this was a fun way for us to play and learn about the coming routine’s of Back-to-School.
Back to school story stones for helping kids with the routines of Fall and school or homeschool mornings.

Back to school routines schedule

We started with a bunch of white river rocks
and a permanent marker.  Figure out the important tasks that your child must do each morning.  These can be jobs that they do on their own, or initiate with prompting.  We decided that the important steps of our morning are getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating breakfast, brushing hair, putting on shoes, coat, lunch/backpack, and going to the bus stop.  You can add any other important steps in your morning, like making the bed, feeding pets, packing a lunch, etc.  
Back to school story stones for helping kids with the routines of Fall and school or homeschool mornings.
Use the permanent marker to draw a representation of the tasks onto the river rocks.
Back to school story stones for helping kids with the routines of Fall and school or homeschool mornings.
Using acrylic paints, fill in the outlines of the shapes. You will need a fine point paint brush
for the small painting, or you can snip the bristles of a regular paint brush to stay in the lines.
 
Let the paint dry.  
 
Before the start of school, use the back to school story stones with your child to talk about the routines.  You can place the stones in order, move around the order, and talk about each step.  Invite your child to use the story stones in imaginative play by pretending to go through the morning’s routine. 
Back to school story stones for helping kids with the routines of Fall and school or homeschool mornings.
Hopefully this idea will help with the hectic mornings before school and Fall’s routines! 
 
 
Kids will love to create this Easy Shapes School Bus craft in preparation for Back-to-School, too.
Looking for more Back-to-School ideas?
 
Back to school activities for kids
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Back to School Process Art // Still Playing
School
Back to School Bingo // Playdough to
Plato
Back to School I Spy // The Pleasantest Thing
ABC Photo Book // Powerful Mothering
Patterns with Erasers // Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog
Tails
Flower Craftivity // Fairy Poppins
Free Alphabet Book // The Kindergarten Connection
Back to School Memory Game // Play and Learn
Everyday
DIY Name Stamps // Preschool Inspirations

Base Tens Operations with Paper Clips

In first grade math, base ten is a big part of learning the basics of adding.  Kids need to understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones.  This is a basis of more complex math problems.  So what is a base ten?  Base 10 refers to the position of a number.  There is a ones place value, a tens place value, and a one hundreds place value in a three digit number like 236.  Each number is 10 times the value to the right of it.  A ten is thought of as a bundle of ones.  Using base ten concepts, kids can decipher that a two digit number is made up of one or more tens and single numbers.  We made these base ten manipulatives using paper clips for comparing, adding, and counting.  The bonus to this activity is that it is a fine motor workout!  





Use paper clips to add, subtract, and discuss math concepts like base ten and adding two and three digit numbers.  This is great for Kindergarten, first grade, or second grade math  with kids.


Base Ten Activities for Kids:

This post contains affiliate links.
We used the paper clips
to first, count out ten.  We attached the ten paper clips to create a tens value.  We then built more and counted by ten.  Using the strand of tens paper clips, we were able to build 7 strands of tens. (Then we ran out of paper clips!)

  • Using strands of tens, sort them into piles.  You might have three strands of tens in one pile and 4 strands of tens in the other pile.  Ask your child to figure out which is more.
  • Compose numbers using strands of the ten paper clips and ones.  Write down numbers (You can even use our homemade worksheets to write out numbers.)  Then help your child build the numbers using the strands of tens and the individual paper clips.
  • Subtract multiples of 10 using the paper clips. Write out the problems and discuss the methods and reasoning.
  • Add multiples of 10 using the paper clips.  Write out the problems and discus methods and reasoning.
  • Tell your child a two digit number and ask them to mentally find 10 more or 10 less than the number.  Use the paper clips to figure out the answer if needed. 
  • Add within 100, including adding a two-digit number and a one-digit number, using the paper clips as a model.  Draw out pictures of the problem.  Write out the problem. 
  • Use the paper clips to add two-digit numbers, adding strands together and ones together.
  • Discuss how to use the paperclips to compose a ten.  See how we recently practiced composing numbers.
How many ways can you think of to use paper clips in math with base ten activities?  

Try more of our math activities:
We are posting this idea as part of our month-long Learning with Free Materials series where we provide 31 days of learning using free or almost free materials in homeschooling or school-based extension learning like homework.  This post is part of the 31 Days of Homeschooling Tips as we blog along with other bloggers with learning at home tips and tools.

Baking Soda Paints

The amazement of watching a child’s face light up when science and discovery happens is like watching a light turn on.  This baking soda and vinegar paint experiment is a creative and sensory way to explore science through painting.  My kids had so much fun exploring the chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar with our bright and bold homemade paints. We ended up with vivid paintings and had a great time creating.


Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.



Baking Soda and Vinegar Paints

This post contains affiliate links.  This post is part of our Learning with Free Materials series where we are sharing learning ideas for homeschoolers and school-extension activities using items that are free or mostly free (i.e. CHEAP or you already have in the home), and is part of the 31 Days of Homeschooling Tips as we blog along with other bloggers with learning at home tips and tools.

You’ll need just three ingredients to make these paints:
baking soda
Vinegar
Washable
Poster Paint (This is my favorite brand of paint!)



You’ll also need:
Mini Muffin Tin
(any containers will work, but you’ll want all of the paints near each other and enough compartments so that you can see the different shades made by slightly adjusting the amount of paint you add. 

Paper 
Water 
Paint Brushes
Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.


To make the Baking Soda Paints:

First, mix together baking soda and water to create a thick paste.  You want it to be stir-able and moist.  Scoop the paste into the sections of the muffin tin with a spoon.  Add drops, globs, and dabs of different colored poster paint.  Adjust the amounts in the different sections so that you get a nice variety of shades.  Stir the paint into the paste.

Next, pour off any excess water from the tops of the paste.  You want a nice, thick paste to remain.  Allow the muffin tin paints to sit overnight.  This will create a hard, tub of dried paint, almost like watercolors.  
Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.
The next day, pour vinegar into cups.  Use paint brushes to dab vinegar into the dried paints.  Watch the science reaction happen as you paint!

Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.

Adding more vinegar to the tubs of paint will give you a brighter hue as you paint.  You can get even more vivid colors by swiping chunks of moistened baking soda across the page.  And, what a textured piece of art this will be!

Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.

What is especially neat about these paints are that if you work quickly enough, you can see the bubbly reaction right on your art work.  Simply swipe the paint brush into the vinegar and then into the baking soda paints.  Quickly paint and your bubbles will dry onto the paper.

Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.
Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.
How gorgeous is this work of art?



Looking for more baking soda experiments?  These are a few of our favorites:


Oral Motor Sensory Breaks for Kids on a Road Trip

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TwizzlersSummer #CollectiveBias


Every year we trek 6 hours to the beach.  Four kids in a minivan for a six hour trip that in actuality takes 8 or more hours after bathroom breaks.  It can be nerve wracking for the kids and the parents.  Long road trips with the family are definitely fun.  They are certainly stressful and chaotic times with sibling love and revelry, but definitely memory-making.  Whether you have one child or 6, a road trip involves planning.  You prepare the books, the activities, the snacks, the music, or videos.  You can prep it all, but no matter what, there will be craziness that only kids can bring.  There are the potty emergencies that happen 20 minutes after you left the rest stop.  There are the drink spills that saturate the car seats.  There are spilled toys and fights that break out among sisters.  But through it all, you’re plowing 65 miles an hour to memories.  


But, when all of this chaos is happening, you can take mini-sensory breaks that will give the kids a chance to calm down the fidgets and the wiggles.  As an occupational therapist in the school-based setting, I often times made recommendations to parents and teachers for kids who needed to move during the span of a class or school-day.  Unfortunately, when you are travelling long distances in a car on a road trip, you can’t always stop and get out to move and stretch.  There are definitely times that a rest stop is needed and those are the perfect times for kids to get out of the car and run a bit.  But, when you are stuck in a van or car for a while, sometimes kids just need to have a sensory break.  This is true for typical kids or kids with sensory processing disorders (and parents, too)!


We made these snack bottles to help with calming sensory input using Twizzlers Twists.  Sensory Processing Disorder in children can present with many different sensory needs due to difficulties with modulating sensory input.  The long car ride of a family vacation can cause sensory overload or a lack of sensory input to kids who need help regulating input. Whether a child with sensory processing disorder is sensory seeking, under-responsive to sensory input, or sensory defensive, oral motor sensory integration activities like chewy Twizzlers Twists can help.  The repetition of chewing a licorice twist can help to calm and regulate sensory needs.  Not only are Twizzlers Twists the perfect car snack for sensory needs, they are easy to eat and Don’t Melt like chocolate snacks might!

Oral motor sensory input for kids with sensory processing disorder or typical kids who need a sensory break and proprioceptive input during long car rides.

Twizzlers Twists are a great way to organize a child’s sensory needs.  The proprioceptive input that oral motor sensory activities provide can help a child who is escalating in sensory needs and demonstrating indicators of sensory needs; chewing on their shirt or seat belt straps, wiggling, fidgeting, elevating outbursts, or other sensory indicators that children might exhibit.  Twizzlers Twists are a great texture and length to provide proprioceptive input to the molars.  I’ve recommended Twizzlers Twists to parents of my Occupational Therapy clients for years!


 To make a Road Trip Twizzlers Twists Snack holder:

With kids, a road trip almost guarantees a messy car with crumbs and spills.  We wanted to create a container that would hold our Twizzlers Twists and keep the mess on the lower end.  A cute container is bonus, so we pulled out the ribbons and glue gun.  These snack holders will keep our Twizzlers Twists ready for kids (and the parents) that need a quick sensory break during a long trip:


Oral motor sensory input for kids with sensory processing disorder or typical kids who need a sensory break and proprioceptive input during long car rides.

Gather a few tall plastic jars from the recycle bin.  We used recycled peanut jars and loved that the lids coordinated with our Twizzlers Twists!  Grab a strand of ribbon and the glue gun to make these jars something special.

Oral motor sensory input for kids with sensory processing disorder or typical kids who need a sensory break and proprioceptive input during long car rides.
Cut the ribbon to fit around the jar.  Using the hot glue gun, attach the ribbon.  You can layer on colors, or get the kids involved in decorating by using decorative tape or even permanent markers to decorate the snack containers.
Now you’ll need Twizzlers candy.  We grabbed our Twizzlers Twists and  Twizzlers Pull N Peels at Walmart along with all of the other must-haves for our vacation.
Oral motor sensory input for kids with sensory processing disorder or typical kids who need a sensory break and proprioceptive input during long car rides.
Fill the containers with Twizzlers Twists and Twizzlers Pull N Peels.  They are ready to grab and go on your next road trip with the family!

Oral motor sensory input for kids with sensory processing disorder or typical kids who need a sensory break and proprioceptive input during long car rides.

Oral motor sensory input for kids with sensory processing disorder or typical kids who need a sensory break and proprioceptive input during long car rides.

Other ideas for oral motor input during long car rides might include some of these ideas:


  •  Chew on a straw
  • Blow through a straw
  • Eat crunchy snacks
  • Drink a smoothie through a sippy cup with a straw-type top
  • Use a “crazy straw” in a cup.  The smaller opening is great for oral motor input.
  • Play “Simon Says” with mouth exercises: Suck cheeks in/puff cheeks out/Make a big “O” shape/Stretch out the tongue
  • Chew gum
  • Use a straw to suck and pick up pieces of paper.  Transfer them carefully to a cup using only the straw.

Celebrate a Twizzler Summer with a Road Trip Sensory Break!  You’ve seen how we’re handling a long road trip.  How do you manage sensory needs on your long car rides? Let us know in the comments below.




Are you looking for more information on Sensory Processing or any of the body’s sensory systems and how they affect functional skills and behavior?  This book, Sensory Processing 101, will explain it all.  Activities and Resources are included.  Get it today and never struggle to understand or explain Sensory Integration again.  Shop HERE.

Deep Blue Sea Sensory Bin

There are so many books out there that are just fun to read.  The Deep Blue Sea is one of those books.  Sure you learn colors and prepositions with this book, but the simple phrases and fun pictures make this book one that we read over and over again.  In this month’s Book Club Play Date series, we made a simple sensory bin to go along with the simple phrases and vivid images in the 
book, The Deep Blue Sea by Audrey Wood.


 
 
The Deep Blue Sea book sensory bin idea
 


The Deep Blue Sea Book Sensory Bin Activity

This post contains affiliate links. The Deep Blue Sea‘s bright colors were represented in our sensory bin.  We used a bin of water colored with 

a few squirts of blue paint. (This is my favorite paint for painting and it turns out, coloring water, too!) Swirl the paint around and you’ll get a bright and boldly colored blue water.

 
The Deep Blue Sea book sensory bin idea


 
Grab a rock from outside and place it right in the middle of the water bin.  This is a fun stage to stop and play, and you can start reading the book as you play.  ((You an definitely paint the rock red so it goes along better with the book, but we just left ours it’s plain old rocky color and pretended it was red.))
 
The Deep Blue Sea book sensory bin idea
 
Add a plastic palm tree.  As you read the book, you can add each part with the kids.  We used a small purple balloon with details drawn on.  For the orange butterfly, we used a foam sticker from our friends at www.craftprojectideas.com.  Draw a black dot on the butterfly with a marker.  


The Deep Blue Sea book sensory bin idea
 
We made fish using pipe cleaners in different colors.  These were fun because they sink in the water, so we had to search for the fish in the water.  
The kids loved playing in this sensory bin and reading through the book as we played.
 
The Deep Blue Sea book sensory bin idea
 
Looking for more The Deep Blue Sea book and play ideas for a Preschool Play Date?  See what the Book Club Play Dates team have created: 
Deep Blue Sea Craft from Fun-a-Day

We are posting this idea as part of our month-long Learning with Free Materials series where we provide 31 days of learning using free or almost free materials in homeschooling or school-based extension learning like homework.  



hands-on activities to explore social emotional development through children's books.

Love exploring books with hands-on play?  

Grab our NEW book, Exploring Books Through Play: 50 Activities based on Books About Friendship, Acceptance, and Empathy, that explores friendship, acceptance, and empathy through popular (and amazing) children’s books!  It’s 50 hands-on activities that use math, fine motor skills, movement, art, crafts, and creativity to support social emotional development.

Learning Ideas Using Rocks (Time Telling!)

It’s always nice to play and learn with the kids when the supplies are completely free.  Learn and play with rocks from your backyard or natures walks with a few fun ideas to Learn using Rocks!

You might have seen a few of our other learning with rocks ideas.  (We really have a lot, believe it or not!)
Learn with rocks, including teaching kids to tell time, math, literacy, fine motor, sensory.


Teach kids for free using rocks!

This post is part of our month-long Learning with Free Materials series where we are sharing learning ideas for homeschoolers and school-extension activities using items that are free or mostly free (i.e. CHEAP or you already have in the home)…and rocks are most certainly free!  This series is part of the 31 Days of Homeschooling Tips as we blog along with other bloggers with learning at home tips and tools.  We do have affiliate links in this post for your convenience.

Learn with rocks, including teaching kids to tell time, math, literacy, fine motor, sensory.
There are a ton of ways to learn at home, either through homeschooling, or as school-based enrichment activities using rocks from your own backyard. 

Math with Rocks:

  • Count rocks in a line.
  • Add and subtract with rocks.
  • Sort rocks by characteristic.
  • Arrange rocks and pebbles into patterns with AB, ABA, ABBA, ABAB, and more complex patterns.
  • Create charts on the ground using rock markers.
  • Write numbers on rocks as a manipulative in math problems.
  • Tell Time with rocks.

Learn with rocks, including teaching kids to tell time, math, literacy, fine motor, sensory.


Teach Time Telling with a Rock Clock

We used smooth rocks to create and build a clock.  Clock building and time telling is a fun and common activity for us recently, so building a clock with rocks was a challenge when the rocks didn’t have numbers written on them.  Teach kids to position the “3”, “6”, “9”, and ” 12″ rocks first then fill in the other “numbers”.  You could also write the numbers on the rocks using a paint marker.  Use twigs to create the minute and hour hands and work on time telling outdoors with nature.

Learn with rocks, including teaching kids to tell time, math, literacy, fine motor, sensory.

Engineering with Rocks

Rocks are a great material in STEM for kids:
  • Build towers.
  • Create bridges using rocks.
  • Explore balance.  How does one rock balance on another.  Will a different rock stay put in the same way?
  • Explore force and movement. How can rocks move items?

Learn with rocks, including teaching kids to tell time, math, literacy, fine motor, sensory.

Rocks in Literacy

  • Use that paint marker like we did here to build letter blends.
  • Use the rocks in a letter sensory bin.
  • Use rocks and pebbles in pretend play and story telling literacy activity by creating story-based small worlds.

More learning ideas using rocks:
Use rocks in sensory play,
and fine motor with play dough.