Monday, August 29, 2016

Balloon painting

 I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it looked fun! I'm always on the lookout to turn an ordinary activity (like painting) into something more interesting. 
 Holding onto the balloon with slippery paint covered fingers took some skill and concentration. It was fun to watch the kids try to figure out how to make things work out how they wanted. (We also had the occasional dropped balloon, so using some kind of easily washable paint is a good idea.)
 The kids experimented with different ways to incorporate the balloons into the painting fun. We used them as stamps...
...and also as a canvas. 
 The kids ended up switching to finger painting when the balloons just got too slippery. I was glad I'd covered the table under each kid with some wrapping paper from the dollar store!
 The kids still wanted to paint, but were tired of finger painting, so we tried making some prints by pressing blank paper into the little plastic trays their paints were in. They were fascinated by that idea!
I love activities like this that keep the kiddos happy for a good long time!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Rice Krispie Sensory Bin

 I don't remember where I first saw the idea of using Rice Krispies as filler for a sensory bin, but it's a great idea! I spread a sheet out on the living room floor to catch the mess, and gave the kids each a plastic tub of cereal and lots of fun toys for playing with. They loved it!
 With a sensory bin like this I love to give the kids toys/utensils that are great for scooping and pouring. It gives them a chance to explore spatial relations (will the amount in this scoop fit in this cup?) as well as hand-eye coordination.
 This citrus juicer is one of the kids' favorite toys. It's fun with play dough or sensory bins, or playing in the dirt. It's also a great way to strengthen those fingers!
 This one kept the kids busy for a long time, I didn't even have to feed them a snack that day! ;)
 This did get pretty messy, but most of the mess was on the sheet and what had gotten on the floor vacuumed up easily.
I love sensory bins! They can be so low-prep and are one of the more engaging things I've found for the kids to play with.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

TBT: Shaving Cream Free Play

Shaving cream is one of our favorite play materials. It's cheap, is versatile, and it's so much fun!
This spring Sharli had her first experience playing with shaving cream, and she had a blast. We started out with a big pile of plain shaving cream and I just left it there for her to explore with no further direction from me. 
 She wasn't too sure about this new weird goop at first...
 I added some drops of food coloring and that's all it took for her squeamishness to disappear. This girl lives for all things pretty!
 It didn't take very long before she was all in, and I mean ALL in. Too bad I didn't think to strip her to her diaper before starting this. Good thing it's pretty easy to clean up!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Super Suds Water Play

We spend a lot of time outside playing in the water, so I'm always looking for something new to keep it interesting. This activity was a great way to mix things up.

All I had to do to prep was put some water and a large squirt of dish soap in my blender and turn it on to make as many suds as I could get. I poured the water and bubbles into a couple of containers and carried them outside for the kids, along with some of our toy kitchen utensils.

This kept the kids busy for a long time, and whenever the bubbles started to run out I just had to flip the blender back on for a few seconds and whip up a few more. Pretty soon one of the kids ran inside and came back with the basket of animal toys, and they spent a long time washing all the animals.

Maren though was not real impressed with it all. She spent the entire time napping in the sun while they played.
By the way, this all happened in January. Thus the mostly dead grass and the swaddled baby. But, we do live in NM, so it's not too cold to enjoy water play outside even this time of year. 
Because this is Erik we're talking about, it was just a matter of time before he was all the way in the water, with Sharli following right behind.

 Good thing it's just soap and water, right?