Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sensory FUN!

As mentioned in last night's post I have been perusing all kinds of fabulous blogs and today A4, C3 and I had a blast experimenting, playing, and having a great, sometimes messy, time doing it!

Our first project was "Moon Sand". A4 and C3 helped measure 4 cups of corn starch, 10 cups of play sand, and 3 cups of water into a tote. Mama added a splash of green food coloring and began the mixing process only to realize I "should" have worn gloves, woops! (Thankfully 10 hours later my hand has lost it's Hulk Green hue!) Our batch of "Moon Sand" was a little on the wet side, but they
LOVED playing in it. A4 enjoyed filling his cup to overflowing and watching it expand back out, "It's lava Mama!" C3 loved adding grass and other green goodies to his Moon Sand. Mixing, playing, and storing the Moon Sand in the storage tote makes it an easy, almost mess free activity!

After an hour or so, the Moon Sand had lost it's appeal and Mama popped the lid on for more play tomorrow or the next day. The boys popped inside for a snack and Mama grabbed some goodies for building a "snow-globe".

Supplies: Water bottle (or any plastic container with a screw lid that you can securely tape closed), a collection of glitter, micro beads, cut up colored straw bits, glitter glue, colored rice, water, and apricot oil. I let the boys choose what they wanted to put in their bottle which was already half full of water. They had a great time choosing and pouring in their chosen ingredients as we discussed what items float, which ones sink, and why. Once we had sprinkled all of our ingredients into our bottles, we added a touch of food coloring (green is the color of the day it seems), added the oil, and Mama taped the lids on. They were SO excited about their "Sparkly Globbly Goop Bottles" they bolted upstairs to wake Daddy from his Sunday afternoon nap
and show him, then out the door they shot to Gramma's house to show her too!

Note: the glitter glue makes some pretty interesting globs in the bottles and the ridges of the water bottles will hold some of the oil as you slowly tilt the bottles upside down and right side up and gives a "lava lamp" look as they slowly make their way up. At bedtime I showed the boys how to hold their bedtime flashlights behind their bottles and watch the glitter and goodies float and morph around in the bottle. Another fun and successful activity!

With Daddy awake, Mama could run to Lowes to buy some pea gravel (was going to use aquarium gravel for our next project, but at $3.98 for a wee little bag at Walmart, I decided to pop into Lowes and snag two huge bags of pea gravel for 3.68 each-no brainer!) Popped back home, snagged more of my empty totes and went to work rinsing
the gravel and putting a nice thick layer in
each of two totes. (I used to sentimentally attach myself to stuff and stored everything. With a recent move, I let go of a lot of clutter and in return have a collection of empty totes-it's rather freeing and quite handy to have all these empty totes laying about)

-"I'm going to see if this grass floats!"

-"These are dangerous meat eaters mama!"

The result? More hours of play, experimenting with items that float and don't float, searching for hidden "jewels" and planting sea weed in our pond box. A menagerie of critters in our dinosaur box along with branch trees and boulders. The lion even rescued a "long neckie dinosaur" who got stuck in a tree!

I simply adore watching them play together!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I really need to blog much more regularly! I must create a schedule that I can stick with....and stick with it. Not something that would regulate and take away from the creativity or make it forced, but something that would get me in the habit to blog more than once every three months.

Last night I spent a wonderful evening (hours and hours I'm sure) hopping about and perusing various blogs, mainly Play Create Explore and The Imagination Tree where I found a plethora of wonderfully fabulous ideas for kids play and development. My first "experiment" was "Treasure Rocks", aka Coffee Playdough. My boys LOVED IT! I had to tweak the recipe just a touch and use rice flour as we don't have wheat flour in our house (gluten allergy). But it worked great and I enjoyed playing with the dough as well-being it smelled like my favorite drink.

My boys spent hours with their cousins playing with the "Treasure Rocks". Hiding them, breaking them open, discovering their treasures, hopping about in joy, asking Mama to put the treasures back inside the rocks and hide them again. Thankfully even after baking, the insides were still soft enough to remold for hours and hours of play. Also, one of the girls scooped some water from a nearby puddle and softened her rock to make it even more malleable, so it is very easy to re-soften (much more successful than trying to soften playdough ;) ).

Snagged some used coffee grinds from Mum this afternoon (why do people look at you funny when asking for used coffee grounds?), I'll drink a cup or two of joe' this evening and have enough grounds to make another batch of dough tonight so then can play with the raw dough tomorrow and see where their creativity takes them! Creativity! The name of the game these days! :)