Izzy is going on hiatus from the blog, partially because he just is not feeling my activities these days and partly because half of our activities have to deal with top secret decorating projects for his birthday. So we will be focusing on baby girl a little more. Today we did a sensory activity with oobleck. Oobleck is not new to the blog, but it is so fun that it is worth repeating. Although oobleck is baby safe, I think it just gets better the older you get. Izzy certainly enjoyed it much more now than he did 2 years ago and he enjoyed it much more than his sister as well. While she just spent a few minutes timidly poking her finger into the mixture, when it was his turn, he went full body with it and painted my kitchen a nice oobleck pink (which was his color choice by they way). Making oobleck is also very simple and you can find the recipe we used here.
To help Izzy work on patterns, we printed out some fun popsicle stick puzzles we found here and spent the morning working on them. I thought he would enjoy this activity because he has a bunny puzzle that is much the same concept that he quite enjoys, but I guess a wooden animal is much cooler than colorful wooden sticks because he just wasn’t feeling this nearly as much. He still did a pretty good job though.
In the afternoon, Sydney and I played with lots and lots of stuffed animals and practiced transferring them between two laundry baskets. This was one of Izzy’s favorite activities at her age and she quite enjoyed it as well. It was also fun for me to see the differences in how they played. When Izzy was little he just wanted to sit in the basket and throw all of the animals out. Sydney, on the other hand, loved transferring the animals from basket to basket, but that is her hobby of the moment… give her small items and a big container and she is one happy girl!
Izzy’s color mixing activity of the day was kind of spontaneous. I had another activity planned originally, but when we went to try it, it was an epic fail. So we did the first thing that came to my mind and it didn’t turn out too bad. We simply had three cups of water, one blue, one red, and one yellow. I then gave him an empty cup to mix two of the colors in. The catch was that he had to use either an eyedropper or a medicine dropper to transfer the water with. His tool of choice was the medicine dropper and he enjoyed watching the colors come together in the empty cup to form a new color.
For Sydney, I set up an awesome baby obstacle course with toys, bubble wrap, furniture, snacks, and lots of other great things for her to explore. Baby obstacle courses are great because they combine so many skills into one big activity. We had plenty of opportunities for language development, our bubble wrap runway added a sensory aspect, and all the crawling and pulling up on things was great for her gross motor skills. I knew this was going to be a difficult activity to do with Izzy around so we set it up while Izzy was out having some one on one time with daddy and she enjoyed spending her evening exploring and learning. Her favorite part about the obstacle course was playing with her piggy bank without having brother take it from her since that is the one toy they always seem to fight over.
Today I worked with both kids on their language skills. With Izzy, I tried to give him a basic introduction to rhymes. All month long I have put an emphasis on reading our rhyming stories, but today we actually did an activity about it. I traced and cut out 20 footprints then printed out pictures representing rhymes and glued one picture on top of each footprint. For example, some of my rhymes included frog and dog, square and bear, three and bee, and spoon and moon. Then I laid out the footprints in a path with the rhyming words next to each other in pairs so that Izzy could walk across them and name the pictures as he went. He also decided he wanted to crawl across once to get a better look at the pictures. He went across the path 3 times, naming the pictures as he went.
With Sydney, I got out one of our old broken phones and we pretended to talk to our friends on it. I would pretend to talk on the phone and then hand it to her so she could have a turn. She thought it was super fun and would hold it up to her ear for a second before handing it back to me. Izzy, however, was quite disappointed that that was all she got to do for the day because he wanted to watch her do something messy. He just understand a girl’s need for phone chatter!
Another name activity Izzy and I did was a playdough name search. I found letter magnets for each of the letters of his name and hid them in a ball of playdough. The next step was for him to find each of the letters and pull them out of the playdough ball. He thought this was really fun and named each letter as he found it. Once all of the letters were found, we arranged them to spell out his name and sang his special silly name song.
Sydney and I (and Izzy) did a really fun sensory activity… edible sand! It is simply a mixture of whole wheat flour and oil. You can find the original recipe here. It is really cool because it looks and feels incredibly similar to sand. And both of my babies absolutely love sand! They could probably spend their entire lives playing in sand boxes if I would let them and this activity was a great indoor alternative.
Today Izzy and I did another color mixing activity. Color activities are seriously his favorite. Every time we go to do an activity, he asks if it is a color one. Most of the time the answer is no, but when it is a yes, he gets so excited! For this activity, we got three clear cups and filled them most of the way with water. Then we squirted some shaving cream on top to look like clouds. We then dyed some water yellow, blue, and red, and used an eye dropper to squirt the water on top of the shaving cream. Once you do that, the shaving cream stays put, but the color drips through and acts like rain. When you mix two colors together like blue and yellow, the colors stay separate on top, but mix together in the cup below to create green. It is pretty cool but I’m not the best at explaining it, so you should probably just check out our pictures instead.
Today Izzy and I did a really fun activity with pattern blocks and pattern block mats. I always loved playing with pattern blocks in elementary school, so I was really excited when I found them in magnet form a little over a year ago for Izzy. However, he didn’t share my same love for them, so they have been in storage ever since we moved. However, I recently found this great website called PreKinders that has lots of pattern block mats to play with. You can find those mats here. I printed off 2 to see if Izzy would enjoy doing them and he did! In fact, he enjoyed it so much that I plan to print out more and laminate them so that he can play with them whenever he wants. It was also a good activity for him to review shapes, colors, and matching skills. So fun!
Sydney and I did another sensory activity and let me just say that there is something magical about using potato flakes as a sensory material. It was one of Izzy’s favorites when he was little and even Sydney, who is usually a little reserved with sensory materials, dug right in. We started out playing with them dry then slowly added more and more water until we had a nice moldable potato dough. And since both of my babies who used to be excellent nappers have suddenly decided that naps are a thing of the past, Izzy was awake to take part in the action too. Though rather than simply exploring like his sister, his objective was to get messy so that I would have to give them a bath afterward… which they got 🙂
Today Isaach and I worked on his fine motor skills by pushing pipe cleaners through the holes in a collander to make a wacky looking creation. He enjoyed not only pushing the pipe cleaners through the holes, but naming their colors and pretending to use them as vacuums to clean the table.
Sydney and I worked on her language skills by making funny sounds into a toilet paper tube. Well, it was more like I made the funny sounds and she listened intently… then tried to eat her toilet paper roll! It was fun though, and although this was another activity I couldn’t really get a picture of, I was able to get this cute selfie of us and our toilet paper tube…
Izzy and I finished off our week last week with a fun and delicious color mixing activity. We got six clear cups and filled three with cool whip and colored them the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue. We then scooped different colors into different cups and mixed them together to make the secondary colors. The cool whip was a little bit harder for Izzy to mix since the spoon kind of got stuck in the cream, but the colors were beautiful when we were done and I let him have a taste test of each… I might have snuck in a little (or big) taste test too!
Sydney did a fun nonmessy sensory activity. I simply laid out a mylar blanket for her and let her have fun crinkling it and lifting it up to play peek-a-boo which is her favorite game as of late. I think she was a little intimidated by the size of the blanket and was a bit apprehensive to start exploring, so I just set her down in the middle of the blanket and she was perfectly fine with that!
Today Izzy and I did another name recognition game. I got a giant poster board and wrote his name on it. I then cut in between each letter using different patterns so that there would be only one way to put it back together. I then let him have at it. I did have to help him a bit, but as soon as he saw that the pieces had letters on them, he had figured out that we were talking about his name. Once we got the puzzle together, I had him spell his name for me then we were off on our next adventure for the day.
For Sydney, we did some indoor sledding. I put her in an empty laundry basket, tied one of my old scarves to it for a handle, and had fun pulling her around the house. This was one of Izzy’s very favorite activities at this age and she loves it too! I obviously couldnt take pictures while pulling her around, but I did get this cute one…