This may not really seem like a sensory idea, but I think it is. Isaiah loves bubbles. He loves blowing. The blowing seems to really help him and he blows when he doesn’t have bubbles, so why not use bubbles to help him enjoy the sensation? Here are some pictures of him enjoying the bubbles.
We stopped in Dollar Tree to pick up paper cups for a craft and I promised Isaiah that he could pick one toy to buy. While we were there, I kept an eye out for new sensory activities, as always. Isaiah selected a dolphin that he immediately deemed “Winter“. I was quite happy to have a find of my own. A little plastic barrel of neon colored slime. It was made to look like a toxic waste container. I couldn’t tell through the packaging what it might be like, but I figured for a buck, it was worth a try for Isaiah.
Well, it was a hit! It’s the nastiest substance I’ve encountered in quite a while, but Isaiah loves it. He played in it happily for a long time and I’m sure he’ll be happy to see it again soon!
Just for fun, I set up a table with a bunch of sensory toys for Isaiah. He thought it was amazing. I put a water bucket on the floor so he could rinse his hands when he felt a need, too, which made him happier to stay for a while. He switched between activities constantly. I think I’ll set him up with a different set of sensory activities soon. It was certainly worth the effort of setting it up!
Activity 1: Water Beads
I put his water beads in a pan with some plastic hearts that I got around Valentine’s Day. I also put out some cups to scoop and pour the water beads. Of course, he also had the option to try to sort out the hearts, but he was much more interested in pouring the beads.
Activity 2: Beans and Cars
Isaiah adores cars, so I put a set of little plastic cars in a pan with dry beans. Again, I gave him cups and scoops to manipulate the beans. He was more interested in the cars than scooping, though, which was fine with me. He tried to make roads to drive the cars on. After a while, he tried burying the cars, too.
Activity 3: Shaving Cream
The last activity was a pan of shaving cream. I put some red hearts in the bottom of the pan before I added the shaving cream. They were completely covered, so Isaiah didn’t even know they were there until he stuck his hands deep into the shaving cream. He didn’t stay with the shaving cream for very long because he wasn’t in the mood for messy play. He was more interested in having an excuse to stick his hands in the bucket of water.
I came across this recipe about a week ago and decided to give it a try. I didn’t have as much cornstarch as it called for, so I just made a small batch. It’s been a huge hit. The best part is that it can be put in a bag and saved for another day. It’s lasted us a week so far.
2 boxes of cornstarch
1 can of shaving cream
Optional: dye/food coloring (we didn’t add any color)
Mix together until the shaving cream is spread evenly through the mixture
The shaving cream makes the concoction cling to itself just enough to be able to form balls (or rocks, as Isaiah called them). If you pinch them or poke them with a spoon, though, they turn back to powder. Isaiah thought this was great fun. He also loves just burying his hands in the mixture and scooping it.
Topic: Colors and Mixing Them
Books: Mouse Paint
•Learn the primary colors (red, blue, yellow)
•Learn how to make secondary colors (mix two primaries)
•Make predictions about what happens when mixing two colors
•Primary color—a color that cannot be made by mixing other colors
•Secondary color—a color that can be created by mixing two primary colors
•Transparent, colored discs (homemade)*
•3 water bottles
•3 clear cups
•Colored salt dough
•Bags to send dough home in
Large Group Activities
•Talk about colors with partially transparent, colored discs
•Compile a list of students’ favorite colors
•Demonstrate mixing colors by overlapping colored discs
•Read Mouse Paint
•Put out 3 water bottles, filled with water, add red, yellow and blue food coloring to create primary colors
•Allow students to make predictions about what will happen when water from two bottles is combined.
•Pour water into clear cups to mix colors
•Discuss mixing colors with students
Table Time Activity
•Talk about mixing colors
•Hand out 6 balls salt dough to each student, 2 balls of each primary color
•Talk students through mixing a pair of colors to create another color, then allow students to finish mixing the colors together
•Give students time to play with the salt dough before putting it in bags to take home
*I made my transparent circles by printing red, blue and yellow circles on a transparency sheet.
**Pictures are from doing the activities at home with Isaiah
Since Isaiah is about to turn three, we’re officially starting preschool at home. Isaiah is pretty excited about it, though he’s not really sure what it means yet. We’re keeping it pretty basic. Really, it mostly means that we’re trying to get a little more structure in his world, while doing some fun learning activities.
Today’s learning activities included lots of play time and play dough. Since our theme is snow, Isaiah played with white play dough to build snowmen and snowflakes. He had tons of fun and some help from me and DJ. Play dough keeps him happily entertained for long periods and is a great sensory activity for him.
Isaiah loves using rice for sensory play. It’s one of his absolute favorites. He enjoys scooping and pouring, but he especially loves having special toys to play with in the rice. Tonight, I pulled out a set of cats for him. He played with the cats, buried the cats and dug them out. He said they were playing “hide and seek”. Adding something new and different can help keep him entertained for longer periods of time.
I’ve found lots of different sets at Dollar Tree to help build our sensory collections. The great thing about getting them from Dollar Tree is that they’re fairly easy to replace when the various sensory activities eventually damage them. Isaiah has a set of little cars, various animal sets and lots of scoops and buckets.