Ice Fishing and Color Mixing !

To tell you the truth I didn’t plan this activity, I saw the fishing net , wanted to do something with it and didn’t have much for my son to catch so instead I made some ice.  To make it more fun we colored the ice, then to make it more educational we made them red and yellow to create orange ! It was a big hit and not as big a mess as I feared .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a bin or tub, a ice cube tray , food coloring , a fish net ( or soup ladle) and water. You will also need plain ice for the second part.
  2. Start by putting a few drops of food coloring in your ice tray – half one color, half the other. 
  3. Add water and freeze.
  4. Fill your tub with water – ours was too warm, the ice melted so quickly the color mixing was fast. When I do it again I will use cold water so it’s a slower mix.
  5. When ice firm, show it to your child and tell them you are going to put it in the water. Ask them to make a prediction about what will happen to the ice when it is in the water, what will happen to the water ?  Pop it in!
  6. Mix and catch with net.
  7. Pop in more plain ice to “fish” – my son had fun with the color mixing but the extension of the activity was the real fun.

Spooky Halloween Sensory Tub

This sensory tub was such a huge hit that I had to sneak it away after he went to bed.  He loved using the tongs to pick up all the skeletons and then dump them down. As an adult watching it was rather morbid but he was having a blast. If you use larger containers or smaller skeletons you can label the containers with the colors of the skeletons and add a sorting game to it too. I prefer to let him use his imagination with the sensory tubs , although some students I have had needed more direction so if your child is just kinda like ” Um now what? ” play with them and make up games to get them started.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a plastic tub or extra large pan, some black beans, some great northern beans, pumpkin containers, tongs and skeleton toys ( ours are the stretchy ones ).
  2. Pour your black beans in , my tub used 2 small packages.
  3. Pour in the great northern beans, I only put in about half the package.
  4. Pop in the skeletons and pumpkins.
  5. Invite your child to the table ( or if you are smart out to the porch or backyard) and play.
  6. My son adored making big morbid piles of skeletons, not sure if I should be concerned or not…

Last Year’s Halloween Sensory Tub

Last year we used orange lentils,pasta,  and black beans. Check it out.

DIY Eye Spy Bag

by Katy

Have you seen Eye Spy Pillows? They are these little pillows that have a clear window in them that allows you to see the stuffing. Inside, the pillow has all these tiny objects floating around inside the stuffing. They’re really great for younger kids who are still considered a choking risk because they can see the little pieces, but they can’t put them in their mouth.

Well, we do a lot of activities around here, so I didn’t want a special pillow for just one segment. Also, I’m cheap (you guys should know this by now), so I decided to make my own.

For this project you will need a zip lock bag, some small plastic items, duct tape, and bottle of clear body wash. For my plastic items I chose bugs because that’s what we were studying at the time. I found the clear body wash at Walmart.

So you fill your zip lock bag with the plastic items. Note: I chose slightly larger plastic items because my son has some vision issues. If your child doesn’t have vision issues, I’d encourage you to do many more small items.

Then you add a LOT of clear body wash.

Next, seal the zip lock.

Then, place the duct tape over the zip lock seal for extra protection (that sounds like a deodorant commercial).

Allow your child to explore bag and find all the different plastic items inside.

My son has some sensory sensitivity, so he found the bag especially disgusting. His mom is mean and made him play with it anyway.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Katy is a mom of one who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracle at Bird on the Street.

Sensory Puzzle

by Katy

Today’s sensory matching game is fun for all kids, but is really good for those with low vision or sensory issues. My son, Charlie, had an instructor who came to the house and she had a similar game, but I figured I could make one and save myself a little money.

To do this activity, you will need twelve small cups and six items with distinctive textures. To make my cups, I cut up an egg carton, but it could be done all sorts of ways. I got my textured items at the dollar store–I especially looked for things like the sponge because it had a different texture on each side.

So first I cut up my egg carton to make twelve individual cups.

Next, I took a textured item, cut it up, and then glued the texture to the bottom of two different cups. Do this with each texture until you have six pairs.

Now, for the matching! If your child is young, or this is their first attempt, start with just a few pairs. We used three for our first attempt.

Have your child try to match cups that have the same texture. Younger kids can check themselves easily by looking at the two cups to see if they look the same. Challenge older kids to match up the textures with their eyes closed. Even I had fun trying that!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Katy is a mom of one who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracle at Bird on the Street.

Sand Paper Cactus Craft

crafts for kids

I know I have already started getting ready for back to school but I am not ready to give up on the sun quite yet !  I was flirting with the idea of cleaning my art closet out while my son was at summer camp last week, and found a big piece of sand paper and this idea popped in my head.  Sand paper make such a perfect cactus and since you are finger painting this is a wonderful craft for multi-age groups too.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, sand paper, crayons or markers, scissors, glue and green paint.
  2. Start by drawing a cactus on your sand paper.
  3. Using the green paint finger paint your cactus. Talk about textures, how it feels, does your child like the way it feels?
  4. Let dry. While it’s drying draw a sun with crayons or markers on your paper.
  5. Cut the cactus out when dry.
  6. Add glue.
  7. Glue the cactus on!

Books About 5 Senses

my five senses

My Five Senses Big Book by Aliki is a great non fiction book about the 5 senses for toddlers and preschoolers. It’s simple but informative with clear pictures to help support the text . The author uses common things to help teach about the 5 senses like ice cream for taste, feeling a soft bunny for touch and hearing sirens. I like that is explains that sense can be used alone or all together and that the gift senses give us is awareness about the world around us.

five senses

Green Start: The Five Senses by IKids is a sweet book that focuses on the senses we use throughout our day as we explore our home and nature. Although the text covers all 5 senses it is not discussed overtly as ” And when you smell this you are using your sense of smell…” it’s a great little book to share with a toddler or young preschooler not ready for the more fact based non fiction books.

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!!