Sponge Painting and Snack Sensory Bottle — January 6, 2016

Sponge Painting and Snack Sensory Bottle

Today I did something I have never done before (that I can remember) in the world of activities… I had both of the kids do their activities at the same time and it was a little crazy! Izzy’s activity was painting with sponges. I just bought some plain old sponges without any special scrubber technology and cut them into easy-to-cut shapes. We ended up with a square, rectangle, oval, diamond, and triangle. I also tried to cut out a circle, but according to Husby it looked like another oval so we left it out. With sponges in hand, I poured out red, yellow, and blue paint onto plates for him to stamp with. I chose the primary colors hoping that it would naturally turn into a lesson on color mixing, but Izzy chose to keep his sponges very separate and with their own colors. He did have fun though and now I have a beautiful sponge painting on my fridge.

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Sydney’s activity was supposed to be making a snack sensory/discovery bottle. I gave her a clean empty bottle and a bowl of cheerios and goldfish crackers. I showed her how to put the snacks in the top of the bottle hoping that she would fill it up and have a nice bottle of snacks to shake, rattle and roll. But for the most part she either wanted to just eat the snacks or try to get her hands in Izzy’s paint. On the flip side, I also had a hard time keeping Izzy’s painted fingers off his sister’s snacks. She did end up putting a few snacks in the bottle but poured them right back out again, but it was still a good fine motor exercise for her. As for Izzy, once he was satisfied with his sponge painting, he found an old baby bottle and insisted on making a sensory bottle of his own.

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Christmas Tree Art — December 9, 2015

Christmas Tree Art

This was one of our November activities that wasn’t designed to be a Christmas activity, but we ended up making it one anyway. For the activity, we taped a piece of paper in the bottom of a plastic container. I then had the kids pick out three colors each that they wanted to use for their art project. I put a few drops of each color onto the paper, threw in some ping pong type balls, closed the lid, and then had them shake it. As they shook their containers, the balls rolled around and spread the paint over their papers. To help them shake it even more, we turned on some good dancing music. That definitely helped get Izzy in the mood! When we were done shaking, we waited for the paint to dry before carefully removing our papers and cutting them into the shape of Christmas trees. And thus the reason why this is considered a Christmas activity!

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Christmas Cookie Cutter Science and Tearing Paper —

Christmas Cookie Cutter Science and Tearing Paper

Isaach’s favorite Christmas activity so far was this cookie cutter science experiment I threw together for him. It was super simple, but he loved it! To conduct our experiment, I got out the only two Christmas themed cookie cutters we have and filled them with baking soda. I also threw some drops of food coloring in the middle of all that baking soda. Then I gave him a cup with vinegar and a medicine dropper. He knew what to do from there and set to work making the ‘cookie cutters’ explode. He must have thought the food coloring added a great touch because he kept saying, “So so pretty!”

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For Sydney, we worked on fine motor skills by tearing up Christmas colored sheets of paper. She wasn’t too into the tearing of the paper, but she did think the full sheets made for great party hats!

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Getting Caught Up — December 8, 2015

Getting Caught Up

Wow! I can’t believe it has been a whole month since I blogged here… I am definitely far far behind! I have two things to blame for that (other than just being lazy)

1 – A dysfunctional camera… not the camera itself, but the USB cable I use to upload pictures from my camera. And who wants to read an activity blog without pictures? It just doesn’t make sense.

2 – The holidays. More specifically, the fact that all four of us had to cycle through a stomach bug the week of Thanksgiving. Not fun. Or festive.

So since I am a month behind, I probably won’t delve into the details of our November activities too much and just do a big recap here. If I decide any activities are cool enough to deserve their own post, I will make that entry later because we have Christmas activities to start talking about! So here we go… here are some things we were up to in November…

Sydney enjoyed exercising her fine motor skills by putting craft sticks into an empty juice bottle and shaking them back out again…

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We made homemade snow by mixing baking soda and water then putting our mixture in the freezer for about half an hour to make it crunchy and cold…

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Izzy and I talked about emotions by drawing faces on dot stickers and decorating a paper with them…

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We took our stuffed animals outside and practiced throwing them down the slides…

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Sydney had to rescue some beanie babies from a giant spider web weaved throughout a laundry basket…

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The kids had fun playing with cloud dough…

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And that about recaps our activities from November, the ones we took pictures of at least. There will be a few more coming later, but we need to get posting about our Christmas activities while they are still relevant so stay tuned!

Oobleck — October 29, 2015

Oobleck

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.

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Popsicle Stick Puzzles and Animals in a Basket —

Popsicle Stick Puzzles and Animals in a Basket

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.

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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!

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Color Mixing and Baby Obstacle Course — October 17, 2015

Color Mixing and Baby Obstacle Course

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.

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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.

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Rhyming Footsteps and Ring Ring — October 15, 2015

Rhyming Footsteps and Ring Ring

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.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWith 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!

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Playdough Name Search and Edible Sand —

Playdough Name Search and Edible Sand

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.

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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.

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Color Mixing Rain Clouds\ —

Color Mixing Rain Clouds\

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.

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