Peekaboo board

Touching, licking, putting her finger in or on something are L.’s favourite sensory activities at the moment. With E. we created this touchy-feely sensory board from materials we found around the house.

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I started to collect the Zewa moist toilet paper tops quite a while ago. Altogether I managed to collect 8.

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I used a cardboard piece that came as a parcel. We looked around and E. picked 8 different textures:

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  • a strip of white IKEA kitchen drawer mat (bumpy)
  • a yellow sponge wipe (squashy)
  • the blue side of a kitchen scrub sponge (rough)
  • a metallic scrub sponge (silver and shiny)
  • a torn orange plush onsie (velvety)
  • blue jeans
  • bubble wrap (bumpy)
  • shiny green and gold satin (soft)

But you can use whatever you find at home like mop head, sand paper, silk, etc.

We drew the lids around inside/outside on the cardboard…

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… then we marked and cut out the materials

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Finally I glued the materials on the cardboard then glued the white lids on.

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I let it dry for a few days just to make sure the glue won’t let go. (And I put some dictionaries on top of it for pressure.) As for the implementation, I could have been more precise and a little more careful with the glue.

At first sight Baby Sis enjoyed lifting up the lids and touching the different surfaces. But her interest didn’t last long.

Since the first try we’ve been looking at the touchy-feely board but after a glance she moves away. Anyways, E. loved helping make it and she sometimes plays away with it for a while.Baby Sis might be interested in the board a little more in a few months time.

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Baby sensory bottles

When Baby Sis turned 6 months, E. and I prepared these sensory bottles for her.
The idea was taken from pinterest, where you can find tons of variations. I tried to keep it as simple as possible.

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I picked 5 Jana water bottles for babies. I peeled off the plastic cover. E. and I filled them up with all kind of things we found around the house:

  • heart-shaped pasta
  • rice flakes
  • millet balls
  • cut-up plastic straws and decor stones
  • water beads

Then added water to the one with the straws and the water beads. Simple as that. I know she can’t open the bottles tops just now but sooner or later she’ll be able to so I glued the tops on.

You can fill them up with glitter, hair gel, pom-poms, beans, lentils, buttons, tiny plastic toys, jelly beans, M&Ms, corn, popcorn, beads, elastic bands, jingle bells, sand or you name it.

If you add oil or glycerine to the water the light objects will float slowly.

Valentine’s Day sensory bin

Last year we didn’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day but used the opportunity to do a lot of fun crafts and activities with the symbols of Valentine’s day, like hearts, candies, chocolates etc.

This year I’ve come up with a sensory bin idea for this occasion.

What I used:

  • one big container (IKEA)
  • coloured rice – red, purple, and white (see how to make it below)
  • hearts, candies, feather, beads (whatever you have) to search for in the bin hidden in the rice
  • cups and bowls
  • tools like ladle, tongs, tweezers (I couldn’t find the tweezers 😦 )
How I coloured the rice:
You need:
  • a zip lock bag (IKEA)
  • 2 cups of rice (any kind of white rice will do)
  • food colouring (liquid type is better than the gel)
  • a bit of alcohol (optional)
How to do it:
Put 2 cups of rice in the zip lock bag, add 1 teaspoonful of red (or any other colour) food colouring and half a teaspoonful of alcohol. The latter is optional. It helps to get brighter colours plus your rice will last long if not forever…
Now give it a shake until the colour is everywhere on the rice. (I didn’t but you can do it with your child. It must be fun for them to see how the rice changes colour)
I did the same with the purple rice. As I didn’t have purple food colouring I mixed it out of red and blue beforehand.
I dried the rice on baking paper to make sure it won’t stain my hand and to get rid of the smell of alcohol.
I put the rice in the container (half red, half purple – my daughter did the mixing) and I also provided some white rice for extra fun.

What I put in the bin:

  1.  wooden muffin
  2. purple butterfly beads
  3. sparkly candies (cut out of a foam sheet but you can add real candy, too)
  4. red jingle bells
  5. wooden hearts
  6. pegs with hearts on
  7. purple pompoms
  8. pink flower-shaped beads
  9.  red feathers
  10. felt hearts
I hid them in the rice as much as I could.
Extras: I cut out 6 hearts and wrote the letters of my daughter’s name on them. I also put them in the bin so she can make her name when she finds them. (The easiest way to make the foam hearts is to use a heart-shaped cookie cutter. I pressed it on the foam sheet and cut along the print it made.)

E. was pretty excited about the bin as soon as she saw it.

She poured in the extra white rice.

She happily used the ladle and the tongs.

She used the bowls to put in whatever she found. (It was interesting to see that she separated them like hearts, round things like pompoms, bells, and beads all by herself)

She also enjoyed mixing the coloured rice with her hands.

After she’d found and taken out everything she asked Daddy to find what she’d hidden. Then they took turns and did the same again and again.

The next day I gave her 2 sheets with the objects she can find in the bin on the top and she selected them in each column. We did a little counting as well.

On the second day I also added the letter of “I LOVE YOU”
With a little help she could put it together.

She’s been playing with it ever since.
-Mommy, we can play with it on the floor, too – she said and continued down there.

TWO other activities to do with the rice:

  1. write with fingers
  2. I spy bottle

What are these? Come back later to check them out. I’ll show them to you in another post.

Spring nature hunt with a muffin tray

Spring has arrived, together with some rain but luckily today it’s been sunny so we went out for a spring nature hunt.

I got the idea on mamapapabubba.com. This blog is written by a Canadian mum, Jen and she’s got great ideas I love stealing. The spring nature hunt is one of them.

So I was in a rush to prepare everything, because in the park where I was planning to do the nature hunt the grass is growing very high and it is likely to be mowed in the near future. Then we would lose all the wild flowers, high grass and our fun activity.

I’ve got and old muffin tray. It was in a very poor condition, so I sprayed it gold. This served as the receptacle (= a new word for me meaning: a container for storing or putting objects in) Then I asked Daddy to print the pictures of some nature items that I’d put together the previous night.

Our native nanny, A. arrived at 10.30 today and we were ready to set off.

E. is identifying what to look for

At firs E. was carrying the tray around, then we put it in the push chair.

E. is not a great fan of walking (she prefers to be carried), but this time she was running around looking for the items on the list, filling up the tray.

I thought it wouldn’t be easy to find seeds, so I took some wheat seeds with me from home, but A. was very attentive and found some. I didn’t need to fake anything 🙂

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I knew exactly where we could find some moss. (E.’s favourite word from the list)

We also bumped into some bees and beetles we needed to observe closely.

 

One of E.’s favourite flowers is the dandelion and its clock. Now she didn’t blow the seeds away, but collected them in the tray.

 

E. succeeded in tucking a big horse chestnut tree leaf in the hole. Well done, girl!

We found a shamrock with four leaves. We’ll be lucky 🙂

Finding soil fascinated E. the most.

It was hard to find buds, but we managed in the end.

At home A. and E. went on to read E.’s nature book she got for Easter.

 

I’d like to thank Jen for the great idea. We spent a lovely hour with searching, enjoying the sunshine and learning a lot about nature.