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˜€

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Posted in Busy Bag Activity, Counting Activities, Math Activity, Shapes & Colors, Summer Activity

Ice Cream Math – Toddlers & Preschoolers

Who doesn’t love ice creams? Well we do. This Ice cream math activity is more like a game so toddlers & preschoolers don’t actually feel like doing a math exercise. It develops color recognition, shape recognition, number recognition & counting skills, through pretend play. Its perfect for busy bags too. πŸ‘

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What you need

  • Construction paper
  • Markers
  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Laminator (optional)

How to

  • Regular Cone – Cut out ice cream cone shapes from brown construction paper. Write down the numbers on them. Laminate and cut.
  • Flavoured Cone – Cut out cones from colored construction paper, write numbers and on it. Laminate & cut. 
  • Ice cream scoops with chocolate chips– Cut out semicircle (ice cream scoops) from different color construction paper. Mark dots on each scoop to represent numbers. Laminate and cut.
  • Flavoured Ice cream – Cut semicircles from different color felt pieces to represent ice cream scoops.

Play the game

  • Give the cone & ice cream scoops to your LOs. Let them be the vendor.
  • Let them ask you what kind of cone you want, what flavour ice cream, how many scoops or how many chocolate chips you want on your icecream and make a match.
  • Also talk about different shapes they notice as you play.

Examples

  • If you ask for regular cone icecream with 2 choc chips on it – you kid will pick the cone with number 2 and place the scoop with 2 dots on it. 
  • If you ask for strawberry flavour cone with 2 scoops – your kid would pick red cone and place 2 red scoops on it.
  • If you ask for regular cone with 4 mixed flavours – your kid would pick cone with number 4 and place 4 flavoured scoops on it.

Miss A (3 yrs) enjoyed playing this game. She wouldn’t let me go. She loved to make ice creams for me and her sister. Color matching and counting  was fine upto 5. Also learnt about the number zero. πŸ˜€ She did want to try more numbers though. Miss D (2 yrs) enjoyed this activity equally. She did the color matching perfectly. As for counting, she lost interest when its more than 2 – this was a good introduction to her. πŸ‘This activity was more of a fun play for us, let go of the math part. My LOs played with it all day. We cut circles from construction paper and laminated it (i think i love my laminator too much 😜) to use it as money for the cash register and they did not want to play with anything else but this. πŸ˜€πŸ˜€ They took turns to be the vendor and i was so happy to watch them play.

      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.

      Click here to check other Cloud Dough/ Moon Sand Recipes

      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˜€