Simple Fun Outside!

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Today’s Guest Post is from Janna who blogs at  The Adventure of Motherhood , we met at a conference and immediately bonded over our love of activities and linking them to books.

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Mountains of toys, video games, movies, and computers were either non-existent in my childhood or almost non-existent. Three of my favorite toys really weren’t what most people would consider toys, but they gave me hundreds of hours of enjoyment.

Outside is where I wanted to be. I wanted to be in the dirt, playing with water, or up in a tree.

Dirt

  • looking for roly polys or “pill bugs”
  • making mud pies
  • squishing my toes in mud
  • digging a hole in an empty lot
  • burying things
  • riding my brother’s dirt bike

Suggested Book: Jeff Foxworthy’s book of poems Dirt on My Shirt.

Water

  • swimming
  • spraying the hose
  • the sprinkler
  • water guns and balloons
  • dancing in the rain
  • splashing in puddles
  • observing earth worms

Suggested Book: Mo Willems Are You Ready to Play Outside? (An Elephant and Piggie Book)

Trees

  • to hide
  • to rest
  • to enjoy the shade
  • to challenge
  • to swing from a branch
  • to pick some fruit
  • to dream big dreams

Suggested Book: Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree

When it comes to having fun outside, I still find myself in the dirt, spraying the hose, or attempting to climb a tree. These are three things I intend to share with my daughter, and joys I hope to never outgrow. What things will you never outgrow from your childhood?


If you have children’s books that you love and would like to share them with other moms, please consider linking up to my weekly meme called Feed Me Books Friday. It’s kind of like an online book club from moms, and a great way to compile a stellar library list.


If you’d like to learn about a project to record the stories of  YOUR youth join me at MommysPiggyTALES.com.

Sensory Alphabet Activities

by Katy
Sensory Alphabet Activity
One of the best ways to help a child learn is to have them use more than one sense at the same time.  I’m guessing that’s one of the reasons why Allie is so passionate about doing crafts with kids–all kinds of senses are engaged, which makes learning easier and also fun. It can be hard, though, when your child has issues that prevent them from participating in crafts.  Today I’m sharing three ways to do the alphabet with kids with limited motor skills although I think they would be fun for all kids.
Alphabet StampsSensory Alphabet Activity

I bought a pack of foam letters at Walmart for one dollar and turned them into two activities.  First, I used them as stamps and let Charlie stamp on a sheet of paper.  As we’re stamping out the letter, it’s good to name it and tell your child the sound it makes.
I then took the foam pieces and glued them to a piece of cardboard to make an alphabet puzzle.  Since Charlie’s aim is rough, I put all the letters in and then let him pull them out.  I let him decided which letter looked good and then I would again, name the letter he was touching and say it’s sound aloud.
Big LettersSensory Alphabet Activity
This activity is also great for improving fine motor skills–I don’t completely understand the relationship between big motions and improving fine motor, but multiple therapists have told me this, so I’m going to believe them.  Take a sheet of paper and put it up on your refrigerator. Give your child a crayon or marker and help them make BIG letters on the paper.  I found that Charlie was able to make some c-like motions, which is pretty impressive for him.  Children with poor neck control often do better when activities are propped up in front of them because it requires less head control.
Sugar Writing
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You can also use sand, but sugar is easier for me to find.  Pour about half a cup of sugar into a baking pan.  If you can find one with a dark finish, then that will work great.  Help your child form letters in the sugar with their fingers.  This was probably Charlie’s favorite activity of the bunch–probably because it was one of the few that he was allowed to taste!
As always, don’t be discouraged if you try and activity and your child doesn’t like it.  All children are picky and special needs kids can often be intimidated by new experiences.  Experiment with different ideas, try activities multiple times, and remember that not every activity is going to be a hit.
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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.