Posted in Fine Motor Activity, Learn Numbers, Outdoor Play, Sensory Play, Summer Activity, Water Table Play / Water Play Activities

Pool Noodle Boats – Water Play

My kids love playing with water. Pool noodle boats are easy to make and can be added to bath tub or water table for fun water play. I came across this activity during winter and was waiting for summer to try it out. Finally made it last Sunday.

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What you need

  • Pool Noodle
  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Straw
  • Foam sheets
  • Hole punch
  • Marker

How to

  • Cut the pool noodle into 1-2 inch slices. These are your boats.
  • Cut the foam sheets into triangles. These are your sails. Older kids can cut & decorate sails by themselves.
  • Fold the sail, use holepunch to make hole for the straw.
  • Cut the plastic straw and insert into the holes then into boats. You might need to make a hole using wooden dowel before you insert the straw in the boat.
  • I wrote numbers on the sails for some learning fun.

Miss A(3.5) & Miss D(2.5)were very excited to play with the boats. They took the sails apart from the boat and tried to put it in all by themselves. Later, squirt guns were put into action. A tried to squirt pointing at the boats in the water.

We then took our boats to the slide. Placed one boat at a time and squirted it all the way down using squirt guns. A & D enjoyed this equally.
Then it was race time. I placed two boats on the slide, D poured a cup of water to see which boat slides down first. A used the boats as scrubs to clean the slide and get it ready for the next race. While having fun they also got to work on their number recognition skills. Everytime a boat won the race, they would say which number boat won – “boat 7 wins mummy”

This activity was so much fun. An hour of water play after which we were all wet and hungry and had to wrap up. That was one fun Sunday morning!! πŸ˜€

Posted in Fine Motor Activity, Outdoor Play, Painting & Coloring Activity

Slide Painting – Outdoor Activity

Slide Painting is a fun & messy outdoor painting activity. This year, we set up our slide indoors even before the weather was warm outside. As much as the kids enjoyed sliding and playing on it, they loved to pretend play with their dolls. One day Miss D took her toy cars and started sliding it down to see what happens and got really excited. For a while, the slide was her ramp. That gave me the idea to try slide painting. We tried Painting with Cars a while back and kids seemed to enjoy it. So we used cars along with textured balls for this activity.

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What you need

  • Slide
  • Washable paint
  • Toy cars & textured balls
  • Paper and painters tape

How to

  • Water down the paint and pour into deep bowls.
  • Tape the paper on the slide.
  • Let your LOs dip the wheels of the toy cars or textured balls into the paint and slide them down.

Miss A(3.5) & Miss D(2.5) loved this activity. They enjoyed watching the cars drive down the slide. They dipped the ball in paint & rolled it down the slide. Then they drove the cars up and down the slide. Their hands got all messy with paint.After painting, they helped in cleaning –  washed the cars, washed the slide all clean, mixed all the paint together made a big mess and then cleaned the bowls.πŸ˜€ This activity was a definite hit because they keep asking to do it again!

Posted in Farm Animals, Fine Motor Activity, Outdoor Play, Sensory Bin, Sensory Play, Water Table Play / Water Play Activities

Washing Farm Animals -Sensory Play for Toddlers & Preschoolers

This week the weather has been perfect to spend time outdoors. My LOs simply love water & wanted to play with their water table. One sunny afternoon we filled our water table with soapy water & took all our farm animals for a wash. This simple sensory play activity is easy to set up & clean up and kids will have so much fun playing with it. It develops fine motor skills, hand-eye cordination, concentration & imaginative skillsπŸ˜€

What you need

  • Water table or Plastic Storage bin
  • Farm Animals
  • Toothbrush or scrub brush
  • Kids body wash or anything which is gentle enough for little hands
  • Water
  • Towel or dish cloth

How to

  • Fill your water table or storage bin with water. 
  • Add kids body wash and farm animals to it.
  • Give your little ones toothbrush and let them clean their animals in the soapy water.

You could also add some sand/mud, rub the farm animals on it (imaginative play) and then wash them. I wasn’t really interested in the mud part. Maybe next time I’ll use some chocolate syrup or something for a muddy play before the wash. I did add some toys which we got with the water table for more fun. πŸ‘

Miss A(3 yrs) & Miss D(23 months) had so much fun washing the farm animals. Miss A would name each animal, pick it up, clean it with the brush and dip it in the soapy water and then throw it in a bin, saying its done. Once shes done washing all the animals, she dumped them into the water table and washed them again πŸ˜†πŸ˜†. Miss D washed few animals, but she was more interested in playing with the soapy water. Busy pouring water into cups and straining the animals. She did learn the names of few animals & sounds they make – cow says Moo😊

Both of them loved playing with the soapy water – Washing animals, washing hands, scooping and pouring water out, splashing it- so much funπŸ˜€ Once they were convinced all the animals are all clean (took about 45 mins), we washed the animals & our water table (just so that they don’t dump the animals in the soap water again 😜) using the hose and took our animals inside. The girls then wiped the animals dry with a towel and lined them up. One fun evening!! πŸ˜€

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Posted in Fine Motor Activity, Moon Sand/ Cloud Dough, Outdoor Play, Sensory Bin, Sensory Play, Summer Activity

Silky Moon Sand

Moon sand/ Cloud Dough is an awesome sensory play (one of the easiet sensory bin fillers). The texture feels great on hands and kids of all ages love it. Its powdery like flour and its also moldable like damp sand. My LOs love it and it keeps them busy for hours. 

This activity started as a fail because i was trying to make something else which i found on pinterest. Unfortunately it dint quite seem to work. I thought it was a fail and Miss A(3 yrs) who was eagerly waiting for something to play with got upset. But i found mixing cornstarch and dishsoap made a dough. Thought of using it like a playdough but it was too stretchy and was sticking to hands – more like silly putty (i was not keen on it). Added more cornstarch to it and it became a little powdery(guess i added too muchπŸ˜‰). When i tried to work on it, i noticed it was moldable, even though it was powdery. It was just like the cloud doughπŸ˜€πŸ˜€. So, I added more corn starch and dishsoap to make more of it. This mixture was even more silkier & softer than the usual cloud dough & so I decided to call it Silky Moon Sand!  It sticks to your hands(just like any homemade cloud dough), but very easy to wash off & smells really good – the dish soap was orange scented.

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What you neeed

  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup dishwashing liquid (dish soap)

How to

  • Mix the dish soap and corn starch in a bowl. The mixture should be powdery like flour yet moldable.
  • Depending on your dish soap if your mixture is very sticky add more cornstarch or if its too dry add dishsoap to it.
  • Transfer the contents to a bin. Add cups, scoops, sand toys, cookie cutters, silicone molds- really anything to it.

I added the sweet shoppee play set tools which Miss As Godmother gifted for her birthday. This theme can be great for summer. But who said you cannot enjoy some ice cream during fallπŸ˜‹. This activity turned out to be a huge hit in our home. Miss A(3 yrs) & Miss D(23 months) loved the way the Silky Moon Sand felt on their hands. They were busy making cakes, cupcakes, ice cones and soft serves. They had a lot of fun – kept them engaged for more than an hour, after which they started dumping it on the floor.

Clean up was pretty easy. I just had to vaccum the floor and the bins and tools which we used washed off clean with water. If you worry about messy floors you could take this activity outside. We had a gloomy weather and had to stay indoors. You could also spread a sheet on floor before they start playing. But if your kids are anything like my kids (cant contain them to a place, they keep running around to find more stuff to play with it) then don’t mind πŸ˜‚. Also, this activity made me appreciate the value in things even when it didn’t go as planned. πŸ‘

Click here for other Cloud Dough/Moon Sand Recipes

Posted in Farm Animals, Fine Motor Activity, Ice Play Activity, Outdoor Play, Science Activity, Sensory Play, Summer Activity

Ice Excavation – Sensory Science Activity

Ice Excavation is a super fun sensory activity for kids of all ages. Ive seen this alot on Pinterest and other blogs, but took this long to try. This sensory science activity builds fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, concentration, patience & sense of achievement. It was a great hit in our house and my LOs asked for more after almost an hour of play. πŸ˜€

What you need

Ice Block

  • Toys ( we used farm animals & birds)
  • Water
  • Bowl or container – that can go in freezer
  • Food Color (optional)

Play Time

  • Tray
  • Warm Water
  • Squeeze Bottle, Dropper, Syringe
  • Salt
  • Toy Hammer, fork, spoon, tong, or any kitchen utensils – to help break ice

How to

  • To make the ice block – Add some toys in a bowl, fill with water, add 2 drops of food color and freeze overnight.
  • You could add any toys, make it themed for more fun- dinosaurs, mermaid, lego, alphabets (can create sight words), fishes(ocean).. The possibilities are endless. Depending on your kids age you can also add sequins, glitter, shells, gems, beads, etc. 
  • Freeze in layers for a more distributed ice block. (Eg. Add some gems, water and freeze, then add more water to it, add shells and freeze.. )

    • To Play – Remove the ice block, place it in a tray.
    • If too tight to remove, run the frozen bowl under water to loosen the ice block. 
    • Let your LOs use salt, warm water, toy hammer, or any kitchen tools to break the ice and remove the toys out of it.
    • If you have older kids, explain the science behind the activity. You could also color the salt and water for more colorful fun.
    • Happy Excavating! 

    We had two ice blocks- one with farm animals and the other with birds. Picked this theme because we have been learning about birds this week- animals that have wings and some can fly. Also farm animals are Miss As all time  favorite. 

    Miss A(almost 3 yrs) choose farm animals and Miss D(22 months) was happy with birds. Miss A loved sprinkling salt over the ice and using squeeze bottles to pour warm water (you could also use droppers, syringe or spray bottles). She also used toy hammer, spoon, fork & tong to dig in. Once she understood that salt and warm water helps break the ice easily, she dumped almost a shaker full of salt onto the ice and squeezed almost 3 bottles of warm water. She was very excited to dig the animals out. 

    Miss D wasnt worried about excavating, she just had fun feeling the ice, handling spoon to pour salt onto the ice block and pouring warm water on it. It eventually melted the ice. Once Miss A was done with her ice block she helped her sis to dig the birds out. We spoke about different animals and birds and how birds fly with the help of wings. Also how some birds like chicken, duck live on the farm. Some learning along with fun πŸ‘ We loved this activity so much & will be doing it again soon before the weather gets cold πŸ˜€ (any ideas for theme?? )

    Click here for more Ice Play Activities

    Posted in Ice Play Activity, Outdoor Play, Painting & Coloring Activity, Science Activity, Sensory Play, Summer Activity

    Ice Painting – Painting on Ice

    The hot days are here.. What can be the best way to beat the heat other than ice.. My LOs love playing with colors & so we wanted to combine ice & paint. We’ve already tried Ice cube painting and it was a hit. This time for a change we tried to paint on ice and it turned out to be awesome! πŸ’–

    Ice Painting is one of the simplest painting activities. Kids will love it as a cool outdoor activity on hot days or as a fun indoor activity that themes with cold days πŸ˜€ 

    What you need 

    • Water
    • Baking soda (optional)
    • Watercolors
    • Paint brush

    How to

    • Mix the baking soda in water and freeze it overnight. The baking soda makes the ice super white. You could also freeze plain water. We tried both- the colors look bright on the white ice.
    • Remove the ice and put it on a tray. Let your kids paint their heart out on the ice.
    • To make prints – press a paper ( we used finger paint sheets) on top of the ice.
    • You can reuse the ice. Rinse the ice quickly in water and you can start painting again. Paint until the ice melts!!

    This is also a simple science activity for kids. You can talk about how water changes from liquid to solid form when frozen and then back to liquid as it melts. Also discuss colors, mixing different colors as you paint. Learning is so much fun this wayπŸ‘

      Posted in Ice Play Activity, Outdoor Play, Painting & Coloring Activity, Sensory Play, Summer Activity

      Ice cube Painting

      Whether its beating the summer heat or embracing the winter cold, painting with ice is such a fun & cute idea… Its a colourful, sensory & art activity that’s taste safe for babies, toddlers & preschoolers.. Kids will have a ball with this unique experience creating their own masterpiece.. πŸ˜€

      What you need

      • Ice cube tray
      • Water
      • Food color
      • Craft sticks/ wooden ice cream sticks ( optional)

      How to

      • Take an ice cube tray and add desired food colouring to each cube. (About 7 drops)
      • Fill the cube with water to the top & freeze for about 30 mins ( or until the water starts to freeze)
      • Now place the craft sticks – it should stand upright by itself.
      • Freeze them overnight.

      Ice cube painting gets as messy as it can.. So if the weather is hot you could take this outside, if not you could use a tray.. Also use thick papers ( We used finger paint sheets from dollar store – worked very well πŸ‘)

      Learning Opportunities:

      • Self-expression with paint
      • Eye and hand coordination
      • Fine motor development
      • Experimenting and exploring with a new paint tool
      • Sense of achievement and pride

      Our Masterpieces πŸ˜€