Thursday, March 13, 2014

Discovery Basket

Hunter just loves copying whatever his big brother Cannon does. Unfortunately, Cannon gets into mischief pretty often (coloring on the sofa, jumping on his bed, climbing onto the kitchen table...Cannon is definitely in a little rebellious stage right now). So when Cannon goes down for a nap, it's nice to have some alone time with Hunter. It's a simple time where I'm not constantly on my guard about what trouble big brother is getting into. And the activities are always basic and pleasant-no fuss or big preparations necessary.On this day, I chose to put together a simple discovery basket of various balls.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rainbow Sensory Activity

Remember that Secret Ingredient Cloud Dough I wrote about last week? Well we have been playing with it for a couple days now before I realized I never posted our activity! Here's how we used it:

Can I just say that the cloud dough smelled so wonderful! It was quite therapeutic to squish between my fingers and get a whiff of the blue raspberry scent...This was one activity where I think I played with the material just as much as my son did!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Secret Ingredient Cloud Dough

Cloud dough has been a major player in sensory activities for quite a while now. I've made it once before for Cannon and it was definitely a hit! As I sat planning St. Patrick's day activities for my boys, I decided to bring back the cloud dough. The problem was I really wanted to dye it this time, but every recipe for colorful cloud dough required special oil based coloring methods (because the baby oil does not mix well with regular water based food coloring). That presented a bit of a dilemma for a last minute planner like myself.  I needed a way to dye the dough with ingredients found at my local grocery store. And where there's a will- there's a way...

Monday, March 3, 2014

Investigating the Properties of Ice

My family and I live in Southern California- land of eternal sunshine. We haven't t had much of a winter around here lately. As a matter of fact, we only recently had a few days of rain (which Cannon was amazed with!). During this brief rain, it became pretty obvious that Cannon has been "meteroligically sheltered"--. My poor son had no idea what rain was! Not only that, he didn't really understand the word "cold" (although he most definitely knows the word "hot"). I figured we could read books about snow and ice and cold weather, or we could experience what "cold" really meant with a hands on investigation- I chose the latter :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Toddler Architecture (with salt dough and blocks)

Play-Doh is such a playtime staple, but most [toddler] parents want a dough that is a little more "sensory safe" (my toddler still likes to explore the sense of taste!). That's where salt dough comes in. While it may not taste great, it's safe to test. Cannon does in fact taste test it every time we use it (it only takes a small nibble before he realizes it's not a tasty treat!) If you've never introduced dough to your tot, salt dough is the perfect place to start.
Here's the recipe we use:

Salt Dough Recipe  

1/2 cup of salt
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of flour

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Inside, Outside, Upside Down

March 2nd is fast approaching and kids everywhere will be reading Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish in celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday. I can't wait to see all the great activities that go along with these classic children's stories! I haven't come up with any activity for my kids yet, but I'm hoping to put something together that both Cannon and Hunter will enjoy in honor of the great Theodor Seuss.

In the meantime, I decided to create a dramatic play opportunity with another classic book: Inside, Outside, Upside Down by Stan and Jan Berenstain.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

5 Ways to use Flowers after Valentine's Day

For Valentine's Day my husband always gets me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I adore flowers and I love admiring them on my table, but around this time each year I usually end up searching Google for "How to extend the life of my flowers". However, this year I decided not to do that. I would let the flowers live as long as they could in the beautiful vase on the table, then I would use them for some toddler exploration.

Well,  my beautiful bouquet didn't last very long (I think my toddler climbing on the table and ripping some of the flowers out had something to do with that!) so I had a little head start on finding ways to use the wilting petals for his play time.

In no particular order, here are some ways I came up with to use my Valentine's day bouquet in play: