Sensory Activities

Kids’ Bubble Fun for May the 4th Be With You

Awesome Super Galactic Bubbles from Two-daloo

Today needs a bubble activity that’s out of this world. Thanks to Two-daloo, here is a recipe for bubble fun for May the 4th be with you. Good thing the ingredients are easy to get in this world but the play is universal.

two-daloo-gak-bubbleStephanie, mom and blogger at Two-daloo,  has great explanations for how to make bubble slime. Somehow, white school glue and liquid starch combine to make a stretchy, rubbery material. She advises to start by putting the white glue, liquid food coloring, and sparkly glitter in a bowl and mixing these first. Adding small amounts of liquid starch at a time and working it into the glue is better to get the consistency just right.

exploring slimeThe next step is to break off a small piece of the slime-gak, put a straw into it and blow to make the bubble. This part is like blowing up a balloon, but a bit more tricky, so adult help will be needed. We’ve made slime several times with glue and borax but it’s fairly fluid and spreads out. It’s really stretchy too. But we did get a bubble!

bubble slime activityWe  had to try several times but suddenly, there was a bubble. The bubble kept stretching and stretching. As it stretched it got thinner and longer and we giggled as I tried to lift it higher. It didn’t pop but as soon as it touched the counter it flattened out and deflated. It was like making our own balloons. Kneading and working the play dough or gak or slime seemed to make it easier to blow it into bubbles.

bubble activity slimeSensory play is crucial for children’s development. In the words of Maria Montessori, “The senses, being the explorers of our world, open the way to knowledge.” Children, in particular, engage and interact with the world through their senses. They need to experience what’s around them on a sensory level so they can figure it out. When it comes to bubbles, kids can’t see the air they are breathing in and out, but they can see how a bubble grows as they blow.

bubble May 4thKids will have lots of fun squeezing, squishing, rolling, stretching, patting, and digging with this sort of play dough, gak, or slime. Are you and your child up for some bubble fun for May the 4th?

Bubble Play and Learn Activities #2: Sensory Bubble Play

Sensory Bubble Play Makes Sense

A child’s brain needs massive amounts of sensory stimulation for development. How can you get a cleaner activity than sensory bubble play with soap and water?  The early years are the most sensitive time for brain growth. 90% of the brain develops by the age of 5. Children’s play is critical for sensory input and children play with far more than toys.

bubble sensory playOne morning we added a big squirt of dish soap to two cups of water in the blender. This needed to get mixed on high to get thick soap bubbles. Once the container was almost full, we dumped it out into the sink. Two or three batches made heaps of bubbles for playing.  Another great idea is a large bin or container set on a big towel on the floor.

First, Little Sister just liked to get her hands all covered with the soapy solution. She smoothed it over her hands and lower part of her arms like lotion. Then, she scooped up handfuls of bubbles and piled them into a mountain in the middle of the bin. After she explored the sensation and piling enough, I gave her a few small toys to drop into the bubbles. The bubbles swallowed them up and she had to use her hands to find them. As she played, it was simple and fast to whip up another batch of soap bubbles so she had lots to play with.

Big Sister showed her how to attach a few bubbles to her chin to make a snowy-white beard. Both kids slowly dipped their chins into the solution and checked out each others face. Of course, sometimes they got the soap past their chins and covered their mouth or got a few up their nose but this is part of the fun and learning. Little Sister didn’t seem to mind the taste. She put a bit of soap on a cloth, then her lips, and tried blowing bubbles that way.

bubble sensory playAfter their sensory bubble play, clean up was simple–pull the plug, but it did take a bit of time to rinse out all the bubbles.  Soap bubbles can be messy, as so of us have experienced from accidentally using dish soap in the dishwasher, but this was a clean way to have fun. Can also be done in the tub or while doing dishes. Might this be your child’s play-of-the-day?

Leprechaun Sensory Play for Young Children

ShamrockCrafts and green snacks are not the only way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. For a play-of-the-day, here is an idea for leprechaun sensory play for kids.

Leprechauns like gold and shiny things so we started the sensory play with a search thru the button box. Both Big Sister and Little Sister love to look at the assortment of buttons and have their own small tins of buttons.

Tsensory play loose parts button playhis kind of play is obviously for kids beyond the everything-in-the-mouth stage. They chose some gold metal buttons for leprechaun gold. Little Sister also picked out some big, round ones because they were like money.

After they had these items, the girls buried them in a bowl of kinetic sand, either digging holes with their fingers or just pushing the buttons as deep as they could go.

sensory play sandOnce their treasures were buried, and the top of the sand all smoothed out, they got to try and find them and dig them up again. A chopstick proved to be a useful tool, as well as a spoon/straw.

**It’s a good idea to count the number of buttons before burying them so you know how many need to get found.**

There was lots of talk of looking for treasure as the kids played in the sand. This didn’t need an entire sandbox, just a big bowl on the counter. They both interacted and did their own thing independent of each other. The idea was adult-suggested but the play was child-directed.

Sensory play is highly necessary for kids. Children take in information about the world thru the senses. “The senses are their most familiar, most basic way to explore, process, and come to understand new information.” (Amanda Morgan, A Handful of Fun: Why Sensory Play is Important for Preschoolers) The mind then uses this information to make vital pathways and connections in the brain.

The real treasure of this leprechaun sensory play activity is the play and fun. Will your child’s day include some sensory play?

Dinosaurs, Letters, and Sand = Awesome Sensory Play

Sensory play is one of the ways the brain uses to load information into its circuits. Dinosaurs, letters, and sand combine for some awesome sensory play. Not all children are particularly interested in letters, but dinosaurs and sand can turn learning into fun. While a whole sand box or sand table is wonderful, a bowl … Continue reading Dinosaurs, Letters, and Sand = Awesome Sensory Play

Color and Sensory Play: Soap Foam Rainbow

How about some color and sensory play? Color play has included science, math, songs, games, puzzles, cooking, stories, relationships, and thinking skills. Color fun has been both inside and outside, suitable for preschoolers of different ages. To finish a whole month of Colors of Childhood, here is a soap foam rainbow that comes with the … Continue reading Color and Sensory Play: Soap Foam Rainbow

Halloween Sensory Bin Invites Play & Learning: Googly Eyes

Sensory bins are a wonderful play experience for kids that stimulate the senses and encourage children’s development and learning in a number of ways. Halloween sensory bins can be made with a variety of objects, such as plastic skeletons, witches, bats, and other toys, fuzzy pompoms in black, yellow, and orange, squishy snakes and spiders, … Continue reading Halloween Sensory Bin Invites Play & Learning: Googly Eyes

Fall Sensory Play #4 – Sense of Touch

Exploring the sense of touch is fun for kids and influences their physical, mental, and emotional health. Our sense of touch develops before all other senses and is amazingly sensitive. The skin over our entire bodies will react to touch so It is a primary channel for receiving information about the world. We did 3 … Continue reading Fall Sensory Play #4 – Sense of Touch

Fall Sensory Play #3 – Sense of Smell

Using senses to explore the world stimulates brain development and early learning. Fall time has some special smells that will connect to children’s experiences and knowledge of fall. A few of the smells for this time of year could be apples, squash, corn, cinnamon, pumpkin pie, smokey bonfires and piles of leaves. The sense of … Continue reading Fall Sensory Play #3 – Sense of Smell