Fourth of July Fun

Here are some fun things that you can do with your children:

Straw painting fireworks: Materials needed are white paper, red and blue paint, and straws. Put some red and blue paint on the paper and have your child blow the paint around with the straw. Make sure that they blow out and don’t suck up the paint.

Marble Roll: Materials needed are white paper, red and blue paint, a marble or golf ball and a box lid to contain paper and marble. Put paint on the paper and have your child roll the marble around. I would suggest that you do one color at a time and let dry. If you did both colors at the same time you would end up with purple.

For sensory play gather red, blue, and white objects. Or you can gather red and blue objects and use white rice for the base.

Make a snack with strawberries, blueberries, and vanilla yogurt. You can make a parfait and layer the strawberries, yogurt, and blueberries for your red, white, and blue theme.

Check out Pinterest for more ideas.

Happy 4th of July!!

DIY Magnetic Dolls

I will be going to a friend’s daughter’s birthday party this weekend. She will be eight years old and is having a Frozen theme. I wanted to make something for her since I’m not sure what she needs or wants. I decided to see if there were any free printables of Frozen on the internet. I found many including coloring pages and doll cutouts.

I wanted to do something a little different than just giving her doll cutouts. I used magnets instead. I decided to print out the doll cutouts on our color printer and then laminate them with my daughter’s laminator. I was originally going to use card stock to make them sturdier but I tried it first with just printer paper and they worked fine. They seemed sturdy enough after I laminated them.

Frozen -DIY Magnetic Dolls

Frozen -DIY Magnetic Dolls

After I laminated them, I proceded to cut them out including cutting off the tabs for the paper dolls. It has been suggested to get magnetic sheets and attach dolls before cutting out. I couldn’t find magnetic sheets at the one store I was at and I didn’t have enough time to look elsewhere. So I purchased a roll of magnetic tape and cut strips to fit on the dolls and clothes. You don’t need much just at the top and bottom.

Materials used for DIY magnetic dolls.

Materials used for DIY magnetic dolls.

To have something to play the magnetic dolls on I purchased a cookie sheet at Dollar Tree. I also had some light blue printer paper that I added some magnets so that it could be the background for the dolls. When attaching the magnets I also arranged them so that the dolls could be dressed separately without the use of the cookie sheet to hold their clothes on.

DIY magnetic dolls.

DIY magnetic dolls.

I had fun making it and I hope she enjoys it. Doing this gave me other ideas of things that I can make for my grandchildren. I am currently looking to make a Lego magnetic set for my grandson. This idea can also be expanded to use in homeschooling. You could have pictures of things, people, etc. laminated and type the words for the pictures and put magnets on the back so your child can match the word to the picture.

Let us know if you have any ideas for magnetic play!

Play: What Do Children Get Out of It?

Bead Stringing: Fine motor control, eye-hand coordination, directionality, number/quantitative concepts, color knowledge, visual perception.

Block Building: Classification, configuration, whole-part recognition, sequencing, eye-hand coordination, spatial awareness, shape recognition, fine motor control, color knowledge, rote/object counting, language concepts, problem solving, pattern, measuring, weight/balance, height, width.

Painting/Cutting/Crayons/Play-Dough Fine motor control, hand-eye coordination, shape knowledge, language concepts, visual perception, color knowledge, attention to detail, directionality, tactile discrimination, whole-part recognition, reversibility.

Puppets: Speech production, creativity, play behavior, social behavior, problem solving, language development, vocabulary.

Water Play: Language concepts (wet/dry, sink/float), problem solving, play behavior (solitary-by themselves, parallel – next to someone, cooperative – with someone), vocabulary, tactile/sensory concepts.

Picture Books/Felt Board Auditory skills and memory, speech production, language concepts, comprehension, visual perception/discrimination, vocabulary, visual memory, book handling tasks, letter recognition, creativity, problem solving, play behavior.

Puzzles Fine motor control, eye-hand coordination, matching, whole-part recognition, attention to detail, shape recognition, colors, vocabulary.

Water Tub Play with Duplos

On a recent trip to the farmer’s market my grandchildren stopped at a vendor who displayed a water tub and duplos to play with. It was a local children’s museum that had the idea.

When my daughter got home she knew what she could do so her children could have some fun. She set out a couple of water tubs and added duplo toys that the children had. They were engaged for quite some time playing, building, and seeing if it floats or sinks.

My oldest grandson age 6 found a regular lego in with it and decided to use that as people. He got some more of the bricks to be people (he didn’t use the actual lego people). I like how creative children can be and think outside the box. The duplos were just sitting around in the closet not being used until they were brought out for water play.

What things does your child like to play with in the water? Anything unusual?

Bottle Tops – What to do with them?

As you probably have guessed I am a pack rat. I like to save things because you never know when you can use it for some type of actvity for children. I have been collecting various bottle tops. I have even purchased a bag full of new caps at a surplus store for teachers. I also save the colorful ones from the new squeeze food in pouches for toddlers.

On a recent visit to our house I put out some bottle caps for my grandchildren to play with. C, almost 5 decided to make some letters with them. He showed me his c and z. Just think, the children are learning when they are playing. I didn’t tell him what to make, I just provided the material. Let the children use their imagination and come up with their own projects to make.

C making a long Z with bottle tops.

C making a long Z with bottle tops.

In a future post I will share more ideas of what you can do with bottle tops.

Outside Fun!!

With the weather getting warmer what better way for a child to have fun than to play outside. We were watching our grandchildren this weekend and they just love spending time outside – digging, playing with water, getting messy, and using their imagination.

They spent several hours outside playing with what was available – sticks, a shovel, some buckets, access to some water, rocks, and acorns to name just a few things. The boys, ages 6 and almost 5 worked it out with only one shovel. It didn’t stop them from digging and having fun.

Having fun digging in the dirt.

Having fun digging in the dirt.

My granddaughter (2 1/2) had just as much fun outside as her brothers did. She found a little bench and used that as her table. I also gave her some water in a toy measuring cup and she enjoyed pouring the water back and forth. She did very well not spilling any water. Great practice for an almost 3 year old.

Little H pouring water on her little table.

Little H pouring water on her little table.

If at all possible make sure you have an area where children can dig, play in the mud and just have fun. If you don’t have anything available check with a neighbor or friend who wouldn’t mind the kids digging around and playing in the mud. It’s a great sensory experience.

Water Play – Painting With Water

A great activity for children to do is painting with water. This is especially great to do during this time of year.

Materials needed for this activity are some kind of bucket, pail, or large cup to hold water and various sizes of paint brushes. I like to use brushes that are 1/2 inch wide or larger. I usually get these at the Dollar Store or Wal Mart. You don’t want to use expensive brushes because they will get thrashed.

Fill the container with water or have your child help if they are able to and have them paint to their hearts content. You can let them know if you don’t want them “painting” certain things.

Remember safety when using any type of water activity with children especially three and under.

My two granddaughters ages 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 really enjoyed this activity.

Little H and Little A painting with water.

Little H and Little A painting with water.