Color Mixing With A Toddler & Preschooler

Doing projects with your kids is supposed to be fun for everyone, but when your kids are far apart in age it can be challenging. This project is perfect for different ages! Since having my daughter last year one of the most common questions I get is ” How do you craft with both kids?” Some days I do just a baby project, some days just a big kid one but there are times that we can all work together despite the almost 4 year age gap. This color mixing activity was perfect . They each had their parts and we had a blast being color scientists although if you ask my son his sister was his lab assistant not a full scientist, that is only for big kids.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some good quality zip lock bags, shaving cream, some paper, crayons or markers, and food coloring.
  2. Start by making a simple chart showing the colors to mix , leaving the result blank. Make sure you have the correct color of marker or crayon available for the result.  We made 4 colors, adjust the number of colors based on the attention span of your “scientists”.
  3. Add shaving cream to the zip lock. My son helped me with this step- he was so excited. I love when simple things make his day!
  4. Add the food coloring. We added 2 of each color but then increased it to 5. Look now they are counting too , I love when projects span many subject areas.
  5. Zip it up , making sure to squeeze out some air so when your “lab assistant” squishes it that the bag doesn’t pop.
  6. Squish! Until the colors are all mixed.
  7. She loved squishing, just watch they do not put it in their mouth. Whenever you are working with toddlers or infants you must always be within arms reach. Label the colors, use descriptive words while they explore.
  8. Come back and record the results by finding the correct color and completing the chart.
  9. Talk about the results. Ask if any colors were surprising , which color do they like the best and why?

Crafting, teaching or just generally parenting is different with multiple abilities but with a little effort you can find activities that can be done at the same time for every child in your care. We had a blast and another real benefit of a cooperative project like this is that your kids are working together something that isn’t always so easy to achieve.

5 Senses – Ice Cream Taste Test

five senses taste test activity

Who said science can’t be yummy? Let your kids explore their senses with this blind taste and smell test using ice cream. Ice cream gets turned into a science experiment with this simple and oh so yummy experiment. Teaching about the five senses has always been one of my favorite themes and I guarantee your kids will love this science lesson too.  I have also done this with plain yogurt and natural food flavoring if ice cream isn’t an option. You can use a blindfold if your child will tolerate it, my son doesn’t like them and a simple ” If you peak the activity is over.” was enough to keep his eyes glued shut during the experiment.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need multiple flavors of ice cream, a sheet of paper, markers, peel off labels, cups to conceal the ice cream containers and one or more spoons. These tiny single serve Hagen-Daz were perfect for this and the left overs weren’t too plentiful.
  2. Number your cups.
  3. Make a basic graph, you could make it on the computer and print it out but there is no need for perfection, just fun and learning.
  4. Write the flavor on the chart and cover with labels. Your child will peel these off after all the tests and predictions are recorded.
  5. Place the ice cream in the cups with the correct number. Can you tell I had a little pre taste test taste of some ? Can you blame me?
  6. Invite your child to begin the test. Explain why you want them to have their eyes closed, not just because you want to keep it a secret from them, but because when you aren’t using one sense the others work harder.
  7. Smell the first and make a prediction.  My son inherited my accurate sniffer, he was like ” That is mango , I know it!”
  8. Taste.
  9. Repeat. I was fascinated by his ability to recognize smell and taste as well as his honest aversion to peanut butter. Seriously who doesn’t love peanut butter? My kid.
  10. Fill your graph in as you go.
  11. After all the tests – peel and reveal! He loved this part almost as much as tasting them. He was shocked that #2 was caramel not vanilla!
  12. Choose your favorite to have as an after experiment snack! Chocolate won out at our house.

Great 5 Senses Book!

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Look, Listen, Taste, Touch, and Smell: Learning About Your Five Sensesby Pamela Hill Nettleton is a really great find. The book doesn’t separate the senses, instead the author explains all the ways the senses work in specific situations. My son was intrigued by the ideas of smores and kept telling me “I want to smell and taste some smores Mommy, please!” I liked how it explained the connection between the areas of our bodies we associated with the senses ( mouth, eyes, nose, skin and ears) and the brain. The author succeeds in making it accessible for young kids but not boring for older ones. Good Find!!

Make Green Food For St.Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. You can’t have St. Patrick’s Day without eating something green and we know how easy that can be with little kids. One way to encourage healthy eating is to play with food, make up recipes and taste test!  So we made these super easy green popscicles that are all natural , no food coloring and we even  had fun playing test kitchen trying a few times to make the color green.

Attempt #1


Ingredients: We opened the fridge and looked for blue and yellow ingredients. We settled on blueberries and lemonade.  You and I both know that it won’t blend to green but as long as the waste isn’t too much let your kids experiment. As soon as my son poured in the lemonade he could see that this was not the mix we needed. It was super tasty though and I blended it and drank it!

Attempt #2


Ingredients : We went back to the fridge and grabbed the spinach. I suggested the yogurt ( vanilla or lemon would make it yummier) and we tried again.

Blended.

Strained the big spinach out.

Froze it

Taste test – he loved it! It tasted like watery lemon to me, if you are going for tasty – add a ripe banana and like mentioned above use vanilla or lemon yogurt. These green treats we made a few years ago were great.

The point of this activity was the process of  trial and error, color mixing and having fun with healthy food!

Mining For Shapes

by Kim

My daughter is learning her shapes and colors. She is doing fabulous, but I remember my son having trouble with certain shapes simply because we didn’t talk about them as much. Let’s face it diamonds, ovals, and octagons (other than stop signs) don’t really come up that often. So I came up with this sensory box as a fun way to practice these shapes.

You will need scissors, craft foam, cardboard, aluminum foil, and black beans.

I drew some shapes onto the craft foam and cardboard. Rectangles on green (for emeralds), octagons on red (for rubies), ovals on blue (for sapphires), and diamonds on the cardboard.

Cut the shapes out and wrap the diamond shapes with small pieces of foil.

Pour the black beans and shapes in the bowl. I chose black beans because I thought it would look more like coal. It really makes the colors stand out, too.

To make it a tad more authentic for mining, you can cut strips of construction paper and tape them together to fit around your child’s head. Then cut a 1 inch section off of a toilet paper roll and tape it to the headband. I thought we had yellow tissue paper (very cute for the headlamp, but we didn’t). He’s still cute, I think.

You can give your child tongs, sifter, strainer, colander, or measuring cups. Try anything to make it feel more like mining. It’s all about having fun.

Every time my daughter found a shape I would say “Wow, you found a blue oval. Great job!” or the corresponding shape and color. We had a blast mining. My son had to play along after he saw how much fun my daughter was having.

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Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.

Shamrock Shakers – Discovery Bottles

shamrock shakersI love including my son in making something fun and useful for his sister. This discovery bottle is a fun way of using a holiday theme and gives your infant something fun to play with too. Remember with infants all activities and projects are intended to be used only when directly supervised.  Also only you know what is safe for your child, if they aren’t ready for an activity bookmark it and try it when they are.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plastic bottles with lids a hot glue gun, a shamrock bead necklace, scissors and some rainbow ribbon. I also use tape on the bottles that run the risk of making huge messes if they open.  For the gel and sparkle bottle you will also need a funnel,  some gold sparkles and green shower gel or shampoo( got mine for a buck at the dollar store). For the rainbow shaker bottle some pom poms in rainbow colors.
  2. Start by drinking the water. 
  3. Next take off the label.
  4. Next cut the shamrock necklace into the bottle. This is awesome for fine motor development and takes a lot of patience. I was amazed my son was not only able to do this without help but how into it he was. They grow up so fast!
  5. Next add the sparkles.
  6. Next add the gel. 
  7. I used hot glue to glue the top on. Then more on the outside to seal it, and wrapped it in tape. Be careful some bottles are so thin that they will melt with hot glue on contact. If you are worried consider using crazy glue. Whether you are using hot or crazy glue should be done by adults only
  8. Cut a small piece of rainbow ribbon and glue it on.
  9. Let everything dry and cool completely .
  10. For the rainbow shaker Cut the necklace in.Pop in the pom poms. Glue the top and ribbon on as above.
  11. Play!  For the photos I had her in the crib so the bottle wouldn’t roll too far when I was trying to take a photo. I am not suggesting giving it to your infant for independent play, these discovery bottles are for closely supervised play only.

The rainbow one has lasted forever. 2 years later it’s still kicking!