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 cleanup built in.

sensory soap play

Young children need play that engages their senses. For some sensory fun, we mixed up some batches of foamy soap bubbles. Not all dish washing liquids are created equal. While Dawn and Joy are often used in bubble soap recipes, we made this foam with a store brand. On high speed, we blended 2 tablespoons of dish liquid in 1/4 cup of water. We didn’t get stiff peaks but we did get lots of foamy soap which we poured into a big, plastic container. **It’s better to make several small batches otherwise the soap will spill out of the blender and cover the counter. Think of what happens when someone accidentally uses dish soap instead of special dishwasher soap.

Just in case, the floor had a few layers of newspaper and Little Sister wore a paint shirt. To make the rainbow, squirt a few drops of food coloring onto the soap. **Food coloring can stain depending on what it squirts onto. No matter how carefully I squeezed out a few drops, somehow when taking the lid off or putting it back on I managed to turn my fingers into a rainbow. However, once the colors got even slightly mixed with the foam, it didn’t stain during play.

soap sensory play

Little Sister commented that the soapy foam felt like a warm bubble  bath. She first mixed the colors with a wooden spoon, but soon used her fingers and then her hands. The color mixes very quickly with the soap foam and creates the most amazing swirls. After lots of play, the colors are mostly mixed together. Adding in a new batch of some plain white foam is almost as exciting as the rainbow. Sensory experiences support children’s development in so many ways. Isn’t this a great way for kids to learn colors and enjoy some messy play?

Science Fun with Water Play

Did you struggle with science in school? Do you avoid science play at home? Kids can have all kinds of simple and easy science fun with water play. science fun with water play

Whether we see it happening or only the results of it, kids engage in science play much of the time. It’s also known by the name “what happens if” and kids seem to have a constant drive to explore and discover. A bowl, a sink, a tub, or a kiddy pool can hold both water and a young scientist.

Besides being wet, an early science concept about water is that water pours. Kids can test this over and over.

science fun with water playThere is so much to discover about how water pours. To extend play, we can ask kids if they can pour the water fast and then very slowly. Using any container, they can reach up and pour the water out higher and higher. Is anything different? Does water feel the same poured low as it does poured high?

Young kids like to pour water thru a sieve or other container with holes. If possible, give them some things with lots of holes and something with just one.

science fun with water playFor older kids, you can use a water bottle and put 3 holes in it up the side. Now, as the water comes out, is it the same from all 3 holes? Kids will explore covering the holes and watching what happens. (If possible, visit a fountain in your area and maybe see how the water pours out.)

science fun with water playKids also like how water moves, spreading out, dripping, squirting, and flowing. Most of the time, fortunately, this doesn’t have to involve water all over the kitchen or bathroom floor. The most fun is probably running around and squirting water with either a hose or water pistol.

Water mixed with soap makes bubbles and has an even smoother feel. Washing can be science play and it is definitely a special sensory experience.  All in the name of science…

Science for kids can come in just a drop of water, or a whole ocean. How does your child have science fun with water play?

Math, science, art and more…it’s all child’s play! 6 times a week check the blog for a play-of-the-day.

Science Play with Sand and Dirt

Science kits for kids don’t contain a pail and shovel but these are super tools for some fun and learning in science play with sand and dirt. Spoons, containers, shapes, strainers, sieves, wheels, sticks, and other bits and pieces can be used instead of pails and shovels.  While there are a few differences between sand and dirt, it’s all the same in the wash. (chuckle, chuckle)sand and dirt science play

During sand or dirt play, kids are making all sorts of connections. They see how it pours and clumps, feel how light is on a shovel or spoon, and how heavy it is in a pail, They watch the sand and dirt pile up higher and higher but the sides remain sloped, like a small mountain, unless there is a bit of water. Water makes them behave very differently.

sand and dirt science playChildren use their senses. Even though the sand or dirt is a single color, eyes like to get right up close. Fingers and whole bodies like to feel. Sand and dirt don’t make loud noises when poured and scooped but there’s a satisfactory sound. Most kids only taste it a few times and the smells can be barely there.

sand and dirt science playAs children play, they are figuring out other concepts too, like cause and effect.  What happens when sand is poured in a container with holes? Testing is done over and over: Will sand stay in a pail shape when turned upside down? Kids experiment on  their own.

Often parents and caregivers are very hesitant about science play but it can be as natural as playing with the dirt. When appropriate, we can invite kids to tell us about what they are doing. We can ask them what they think might happen as they play and explore. No matter how many times the water washes away a sand castle, it’s still fun to play in sand some more. Does your child enjoy science play with sand and dirt?

Join the 123 ‘sandbox’ on Facebook for more play.

Dinovember: Dinosaur Ice Eggs – Turkey Baster Tool

Dinosaurs can be used in many different play experiences for kids. For a play-of-the-day, freeze some small plastic dinosaurs in egg shapes for some sensory melting fun. Since turkeys are connected to dinosaurs, use a turkey baster as a melting tool. Small plastic eggs are available in the dollar store. To get the two halves … Continue reading Dinovember: Dinosaur Ice Eggs – Turkey Baster Tool

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

Fall Sensory Play #2 – Sense of Hearing

Sensory play and sensory experiences are important events in a child’s day. Thru their senses, children come in contact with the world around them. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell are primary channels for information and influence how a child responds. Sensory activities also help the brain make connections and pathways for learning. Besides having … Continue reading Fall Sensory Play #2 – Sense of Hearing

Fall Sensory Play #1-Sense of Sight

Many parent and family blogs will have wonderful posts for sensory play. What is sensory play? Basically, these are play activities that stimulates one or more of children’s senses. Another question could be: Why is it so important? From the time kids are born, they learn about the world by using their sense of touch, … Continue reading Fall Sensory Play #1-Sense of Sight