If you happen to be lucky enough to have snow outside, you might consider bringing some of it in to play with. (more…)
LittleMan asked for a panda for Christmas. Ask and ye shall receive….a panda figurine.
So far, like most of our animal figurines, it has proved quite useful for small world play and sensory bins. (more…)
A few months back my MIL gave the children two sets of puzzles: butterfly life cycle and frog life cycle. We’ve done a lot to learn about butterflies but the frog life cycle was still a fairly new concept for LittleMan. Up until now, his only experience with amphibians has been an impromptu lesson in frog anatomy when we found one outside.
Thanks to this new puzzle, interests have been peeked and library books have been checked out.
To go a long with this new found interest in frogs, I created (more…)
Both of my children have birthdays coming up and birthdays mean, beyond the obvious cake and party, time for their yearly doctor’s check-up.
Last year I helped them both prepare for the check up by getting them working stethoscopes (about $5 on Amazon) and encouraging them to explore in a “play doctor” themed sensory bin.
Autumn was sure short in our neck of the woods. Feels like we barely had 3 weeks between t-shirt weather and snow.
The other day I spied these cute little ceramic houses for “Christmas town” at Dollar Tree. I picked up the train station, coffee shop, toy shop, bridge, and gazebo but there were about dozen other pieces in their Christmas town set from people and homes to ponds and snowmen. While I was at Dollar Tree I also picked up a 3 pack of Ivory soap bars.
I used a cheese grater to grate the soap into fake snow then arranged the ceramic houses in a sensory bin.
Sensory bins are one of those open-ended “toys” that grow with a child. I have personally supervised children as young as 4 months and as old as 7 years playing happily with a sensory bin. Sometimes the contents can be altered to ensure safety for the younger children or to help facilitate the advanced play for older children, however for the most part the bin itself is the same and it is only the way they play with it that changes.
This was the favorite bin of both LittleMan and SunnyGirl last autumn. Simply dry pasta, corn kernels, measuring cups, silk foliage, pine cones, and feathers.
For SunnyGirl’s first Halloween last year, she went as Mr. Oogie Boogie from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.
At 8 months old, she wasn’t quite walking yet so we decked-out her stroller with plush movie characters Lock, Shock, and Barrel. She had a lot of fun playing with them while LittleMan trick-or-treated, but at the end of the day I locked the plushies away for a whole year, until this Halloween.
The plush characters were the perfect touch for our Nightmare Before Christmas sensory bin, though the bin could easily have been a success without them.
This past week was a light week in our homeschool. With visitors from out of town, we knew how over excited and distracted both of the children would be so we tried to stick with review and play based activities.
Halloween being just around the corner, monster theme worked out well for a nice light week. Frankenstein, mummies, vampires, zombies, and even some Monsters Inc variety of monsters were read about and made into play-based learning fun.
The two big sensory activities that were available throughout the week were our eye-ball goo bag and our monster sensory bin.
The eye-ball goo bag is quite literally just a gallon sized Ziploc baggie filled 1/3 full with dish soap, googly eyes, and pom poms then sealed shut with clear packaging tape and mounted into our front window.
SunnyGirl is finally showing an interest in learning about the sounds animals make and what different animals are called. This is a very simple bin designed to encourage this new found interest in animals as well as encourage sorting by size.
LittleMan has been working with word families quite a bit lately. Since he already knew how to read the word “cat,” I thought it would be easier for him to learn other -at words. When it dawned on me that many -at family words can be associated with Halloween, I knew I had to do something fun with that.
I raided our school supplies to find a variety of letter manipulatives. I raided our Halloween decorations to find props for each word. (more…)