The kids really loved this sensory exploration this morning. SO simple to set up, too! Just a tub of water, and some trays of colored water with cotton balls in them. I added tweezers at the last minute as an after thought, and it was a definite hit! Whether using the tweezers or their fingers, it was a great fine motor activity, with scientific aspects (absorption, displacement - when they made big splashes, which brought big giggles, too!), and a great opportunity for expanding vocabulary (I heard words like darker, lighter, full, empty, splash, and lots of color words, too).
We are trying out a new twist on an old favorite around here today: colored vinegar and baking soda in ice! The kids love the chemical reaction, as usual, and the ice gives it all added depth and texture.
We added this new board to our play room over the weekend and I have really enjoyed seeing the kids so engaged with it today! I think there has been at least one child playing with it all day long. Such great fine motor practice in all of these buttons, switches, buckles, and latches.
Now a full week into 2015, I have so enjoyed looking back on what an amazing year 2014 was! I was blessed enough to spend MANY special moments with some super special kids, and thankful that some of those moments were even preserved on camera. I have chosen my very favorite photos from the past year, and I hope you all will enjoy getting a glimpse of the joy, learning, friendships, and excitement that we have experienced together. As with all photos, what makes them great is the story behind them, so I've added descriptions to some that explain why they are my favorites. Just click the post link to see all the photos!
Well, the weather outside today was pretty frightful, but it was a perfect day for some "snow playdough!" We added some buttons, orange pipe-cleaner "carrots", fleece scraps, and twigs and had fun building some great little snowmen!
There was a fun sensory walk of tape balance lines, sticky contact paper, and bubble wrap waiting to greet the kids as they came in the door this morning! They enjoyed the sensations that the bubble wrap and sticky paper had to offer and had fun following the tape lines on foot, and later, with cars too. And of course, any time we are reminded of tape, we have to use up at least one roll of it all over the floor. :)
Learning how to effectively rip a piece of tape off a roll is a very hard thing for little hands to do. Another of our kiddos has today joined the prestigious ranks of our “tape-rippers” and she is very proud! Learning to rip tape is such a badge of honor around here not only because it is such a useful skill (we LOVE making tape shapes and designs on the floor!), but also because of how hard it is to do! Have you ever noticed how the pride you feel in an accomplishment is directly related to how hard you had to work to achieve it?
The more times kids get to experience trying, practicing, and finally succeeding at those “hard things,” the more confidence they will have that they will be able to accomplish more “hard things” in the future. Learning to tie shoes can be a hard thing. Learning to solve math problems can be a hard thing. Learning to read can be a hard thing. Each time kids are allowed to completely own the process of mastering a new skill, they gain confidence that they will be able to do it again and again. And it’s okay for kids to struggle a little in the process. That just makes the end result so much sweeter!
We went out to finish picking a few more of our mini pumpkins this morning, until little hands got too cold (it can't really be time for gloves ALREADY, can it?!?) and then we came in and made a fresh batch of slime! Ours today is equal parts glue and liquid starch, but there are LOTS of fun slime recipes here: http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2013/04/slime-recipes_26.html
I am pretty sad that summer is coming to an end, but we are not going to let that stop us from enjoying every last bit of nice weather in our new mud pie kitchen! (Though I think it will make a fun snow pie kitchen, too!) I still hope to add a real kitchen sink on the left side, but it's definitely usable! The kids were so excited to see it ready for play this morning, and they have already spent hours scooping, digging, squeezing (great pre-writing work!), counting, measuring (math concepts), role-playing, planning, communicating, problem solving (VERY important social skills), just rolling in the new dirt patch, and having SO MUCH FUN!
We were also in the mood for some painting today, so some jumped right into that as well!
We carried over our giant rainbow fun into another day by using stickers to match and add to it. Stickers are always a big hit and are a great fine-motor skill builder. Add in the color matching practice and this was a fun activity full of learning!
It's Read Across America Week and we are having a blast celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday! Today we read the Lorax and then "drip-dyed" some Truffula tree-tops! The pipettes we used are one of my favorite fine-motor tools, great for exercising those little hands, and great for hand-eye coordination, too. You should have seen their little faces concentrating! The kids also enjoyed mixing lots of new colors for their beautiful creations. They may take all week to dry, but we sure had fun!!
We carried that fun into snack time by making our own edible Truffula Trees (pretzel sticks and mini colored marshmallows) and having some Brown Barbaloot Bears, too!
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