31 Days Of Sensory Play {Day Twenty} The Little Old Lady’s Guide to Sensory Play

Welcome to Day Twenty of 31 days of Sensory Play.

Time for some action, touch, movement and listening from one of our favourite books-  Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson.

You can see from our copy that it is well used.

A quick summary of the story  is a little old lady lives in a small room ( house) and she complains there’s not enough room in her house. A wise old man heard her complaining and suggests bringing in different animals until there are so many animals in her house it is much worse. He then makes the suggestion to send them all out and naturally she finds she actually has plenty of room in her house- really.

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31 Days Of Sensory Play {Day Nineteen} Gloop and New Words

Using gloop to explore new vocabulary

Welcome to Day Nineteen of 31 days of Sensory Play. I’m delighted to have Cerys from RainyDay Mum share a sensory play idea. Catch our interview together on Toddler play.

We first played with gloop when my youngest was around 9 months old and I regularly set up a bin with different elements in, colours and scents.

The recipe for gloop is very simple and just 2 ingredients.

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31 Days Of Sensory Play {Day Eighteen} String Patterns

 

Welcome to Day Eighteen of 31 days of Sensory Play.

Developing fine motor skills in preparation for writing doesn’t mean you have to be writing. Today we have a fun prewriting activity.

All the little movements it takes to move a piece of string helps our children learn to use their fingers, thumb and hand. We’ve played with glue before  along with movement and made zig zag lines that we traced. Each one having a slightly different reason to do. No heavy squeezing or hands and knees work today. Instead another sensory activity is using string to make shapes. [Read more…]

31 Days Of Sensory Play {Day Seventeen} Connecting with our children and buttons

 

Welcome to Day Seventeen of 31 days of Sensory Play.

All of these sensory activities in this 31 day series are designed for us to work together intentionally with our children. Often we multi task while our children play nearby which is a good thing. They get to be creative and learn without us. Although time can slip by during a day and you realize that you’ve left invitations to play, left out playdough or shaving foam and you’ve not interacted as much as you were planning.

Intervention and input gives us an insight into the struggles and joys of our child’s current stage. We see where we can encourage and let go more. [Read more…]

31 Days Of Sensory Play {Day Sixteen} Mark Making On Socks

 

Welcome to Day Sixteen of 31 days of Sensory Play.

Why is it mum that I give you all my socks and when you give them back they are not all there?

This conversation happened again this week with the MO who was busy trying to match up school socks and finding many missing. We have a missing sock pile that seems to get bigger and bigger. Anyone have an answer?

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31 Days Of Sensory Play {Day Fifteen} Invitation to play

Welcome to Day Fifteen of 31 days of Sensory Play.

Do you have a favourite pair of boots or shoes? Your go to shoe or boot. You probably like me or your neighbour have quite a few choices of footwear but you gravitate to these special ones because they are familiar. You love ’em. Kids get the same way with their toys and activities.

They’ll go to the same ones. Unless we show them new things and new ideas.

Anna of Imagination Tree shares daily prompts and invitations to play  and Rachelle of Tinkerlab shares daily art prompts. Both are handy reminders of using what we have differently.

The concept of setting up something and our curious children following is easily done at home. It’s what you see at nursery schools. For many parents it’s the distraction we need for our children to leave because an activity tempts them away. [Read more…]

31 Days Of Sensory Play {Day Thirteen} Active Alphabet Activity

 

Welcome to Day Thirteen of 31 days of Sensory Play.

I’ve talked before about often children need to run around to sit still. Getting to play activities is so much easier when they are ready to do them. Instead of just charging around the house which is often their preferred default option I like to add a little bit of mystery and change.

Usually they are busy in another room playing and I set up a few things in another room. As always the problem with gross motor activities is getting a decent picture of the action. The kids seem to move a mark speed and everything just seemed to be against us to show you.

I picked up these kitchen mats at the local DIY store as they were less than the price of a fancy cup of coffee.  Plus they lasted longer than that coffee……

We have carpet so I didn’t want too many because they might be too slippy? We have big windows and dark carpets so it’s not as easy to see either. We turned a moaning LO into a smiling little one who actively plays this game himself now.

Here’s what you do

Have your child call out the letters of the alphabet. We did a mixture of sounds of the letter and letter names. We like to get our phonics on here too! Plus is makes a nice change from the alphabet song and the LMNOP mess that happens in the middle…..sigh.

I wrote them down using the four corners and middle if needed. The LO watched as I randomly put down the letters. I used a whiteboard pen hoping it would wipe off again. It did but not so well. It would have been nice to be able to reuse the mats and put the letters into a different order.

Lay out the mats in a pattern. We chose stepping stones, hop scotch and finally some at one end of the room and the rest at the other end.

Yes he was worn out and very happy at the end of all the running around.

Call out the letter and he has to find it and stand on it. Better still get the help of that huge pile of fluffy animal pets and get the “Lion” to jump on the “ssssssssss” and eat him for dinner.

The beauty of this activity is how simple it is to make it active. It’s possible to be flexible with the letters to be upper, lowercase or a mixture. You can use letter sounds, names or both. As he masters this game we’ll at some blend sounds like ch, th etc.

We can set time limits to find it quicker and choose to place the mats on different floors of the house or different rooms to get them working hard. Keeping the letter in the head and walking over distance is hard work because there are so many other distractions around. But it helps with focus and step directions. I would go with them for some of the letters and ask questions to keep his interest or bring him back on task.

We wouldn’t do all of those things in the same session. But we can use this game over the months to add some active alphabet learning.

Now he plays my role with his fluffy pets and has taught his big brothers a game. Nothing makes him beam more than sharing something with them.

For more active alphabet activities and games see my Pinterest board.

  

Your turn

Come back and share your experiences, stories and activity.  Share your post here in the comments or share your photo on Facebook

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Next: 31 Days Of Sensory Play {Day Fourteen} Sweet Potato Chips

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31 Days Of Sensory Play {Day Twelve} Chocolate Dipped Spoons

 

Welcome to Day Twelve of 31 days of Sensory Play.

 

When the kids come home from school they are beat! Yours too,  I see.

After the hugs and dumping of  book bags, one of the first things they ask, “What’s for snack?”

With the evenings turning chilly and dark we all love a cosy hot chocolate. Today we’re going to take that up a notch and add a treat.

Because the normal hot chocolate looks sad and lonely

until you have…………chocolate dipped spoons.

 

Gather together your cooking chocolate, bowls and assortment of spoons. The kids were pretty keen to do this raiding the cupboards and trying to find silly spoons. Luckily we didn’t have a lot of cooking chocolate left.

We melted our chocolate in the mircowave following the instructions on the packet of chocolate. It’s hard to wait for chocolate to melt.

Stir the chocolate so it becomes a lovely drippy gloopy puddle. You get to harness that energy as they whip up the chocolate.

Now the moment comes when you choose your spoon. Dip it in and sprinkle your favourite cake toppers.

Leave the spoon on waxed paper to harden and resist eating the bits of chocolate that you find. 🙂

The next afternoon we sat down for our afternoon treat……

 

There’s nothing like sitting together and learning about their day. Sweet memories, smiles and wondering where the chocolate stars disappeared……

Your turn

  • Try a tasty drink treat.

Come back and share your experiences, stories and activity.  Share your post here in the comments or share your photo on Facebook

Find the other days in this series

Next: 31 Days Of Sensory Play {Day Thirteen} Active Alphabet Activity

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31 Days Of Sensory Play {Day Eleven} Your home is a blank canvas for Sensory Play

Welcome to Day Eleven of 31 days of Sensory Play.

Don’t get stuck in a rut with your sensory play locations. It’s not always about new ideas sometimes it is about new locations for our favourite activities. With active boys who want to move we try and accommodate the wiggles. Keeping active and moving is something kids want to do naturally. Sensory Alphabet Activities, our ebook, still remains one of our favourite activities to do because they get to move around the house and be creative.

It is easier for me that they sit but it’s not right for them if this is what we do all the time.

Getting the balance between creativity which tips over into silliness and quiet focused activity. There’s so much in between and for different days my tolerance level changes.  The volume and energy or young ones is powerful inside a small space. Playdates seem to get that way pretty quickly.

When I had a small baby who cried and cried. Going outside released my tension and his. Now when we have activities at the back of my mind I have an escape plan that will swing the mood up or down in reserve. Many times we need to calm things down and sometimes we need to lift the mood. I choose something off this list to keep things different and appeal to our moods.

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Learning to win, lose and play with others when you are under 5

I’ve come to expect the 3 Ts when we play board games or turn taking games.

Yes we will have happiness, smiles, happy dances but we will also have tears, tantrums and teaching moments.

The first two options were never an incentive to start a board game especially if everything is running smoothly. However, it wasn’t until well into my second son that I realised that teachable moments happened all the way through.

I did like most and bought the games, lost some of the pieces and a fair bit of refereeing, coaching and consoling. It was hard work because I really came at it from the wrong angle.  Kids want to play together but we really need to teach them how which means the game will be longer, full of breaks, lots of repetition and stops.  When you realise this- game play takes on a whole new meaning, [Read more…]

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