Jell-O Excavation | Sensory Play for Kids

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We had fun excavating Jello today... I placed little toy animals in a bundt pan full of Jello, and then refrigerated it overnight. This afternoon, it was open for investigation. Hmmmm, feels kind of funny. "How can I get the animals out?" "With a knife!" A butter knife, of course. Because the allure of plain ol' Jello would only go so far, we … [Read more...]

Defrosting Animals

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Although we live in mostly Sunny California, I've been inspired by all of the snow and ice activities I've been reading about in the blog world lately. Sensory activities always go over well in our house, and I had a feeling this would work out in my favor. Right after my daughter turned two, she was fascinated by all-things-ice. Here she on a plane, happily pouring ice … [Read more...]

Vinegar and Baking Soda

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Have you tried the baking soda and vinegar experiment with your kids yet?  Yesterday N skipped her nap and requested "gooey flour and water" for her quiet time activity.  Did you hear me sighing? I sort of had "read books" or "play with a puzzle" in mind, but I guess that would be too much to expect when we rarely sit down and work on puzzles during non-quiet times, … [Read more...]

How to Make Goop

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Homemade Goop is one of the best things I've learned how to make as a parent, and today I'm going to share this big secret on how to make goop. It's the easiest recipe, and full of so much fun for small children. Have you tried it? The recipe is simple and children are riveted by the magic of this weird substance. Fun History of Goop Goop, better known as Oobleck … [Read more...]

Squeezing Paint

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I set N up with some paint pots and a large sheet of paper -- our favorite way to paint big as of late. After smearing some paint around and taking a few stabs at mixing colors, she asked me for more purple paint. The paint pot wasn't empty, and the real story ended up being that she wanted to SQUEEZE more paint into the paint pot. Of course she did! Toddlers adore squeezing, … [Read more...]

If I had a Hammer

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My neighbor Liz is an incredible parent, and she's also a preschool teacher by trade. She introduced us to this early carpintry & building activity this summer, and my daughter has asked me to buy her golf tees on numerous occasions since. I finally got my act together and ordered a set of tees, but this would be an easy no-brainer for any of our friends out there who play … [Read more...]

Slapdash Slide

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While I've been on baby duty this past week, my husband has been an incredible pal to our older daughter, and it's been inspiring to watch them develop their own style of play and invention. We both believe strongly in paying close attention to our child's interests and then helping her grow beyond her current capabilities, which is how this little activity emerged. On this … [Read more...]

Flour and Water

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We recently attended a back-to-school event at my daughter's preschool, where her teacher shared a funny and inspiring story that involved a messy flour and water sensory activity. With my ears on the alert for fun and thoughtful creativity-builders, I knew immediately that this was something we had to try. It's unbelievably simple and requires no art supplies...all you need is … [Read more...]

Felt Cookies

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Lately, a lot of play-acting around here seems to revolve around cooking. We have a slew of play food, but up until last week we had no cookies. When we wanted to bake a batch, the play dough would usually come out.  Not a bad thing -- I love play dough -- but while doing some research for another project, I hit on this fun and easy idea from Mirror-Mirror and Laura Bray for … [Read more...]

Easter in August

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After Easter we moved some plastic eggs into N's play kitchen, and every now and then she'll ask us to hide them in the garden. One of these rogue eggs has been living in our fire pit for the past month (sadly, we haven't been roasting marshmallows as much as we'd hoped), and she spotted it yesterday. So, with the two-year old hopping up and down asking for me to find -- and … [Read more...]