Tag Archives: sensory activity

Sensory day at the beach

 

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It was 81 and sunny this afternoon so off to the beach we went.

The photos do not do not it the experience justice.  They were “all in” using their entire bodies as tools, and sticking their heads in the tunnels and holes to reach further in.  They dug that mucky sand / water mix and loved it.  They were hard at work.  Before we left Little Brother told me he did not want to get sandy and Big Brother said he didn’t feel like digging or getting in the water.  All in all they spend about 2 hours totally entranced in the sand and their tunnels.

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Actually the only time they got in the water today, i told them to rinse off before we headed home.  DCIM100SPORT

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beach as sensory expereince

Today, 12.4.12. I took my boys back to the beach.  We were there Sunday and had a blast.  There is a beach, that is now “our beach” that is generally empty.  What a difference two years makes, in 2010 when we were here the boys lasted 30 minutes tops and then i half drug them home they were so tired.  This year they are making it two hours and going strong.

dunes

empty beach 3

empty beach 2

empty beach 1

The boys had a great time playing in the water.  I got in up to my ankles and while it was not warm, it was really not as cold as i anticipated   I have suffered many a colder hotel pool for the joy of my children; but i still did not get in as deep as they did.

boys in water 1

boys running

boys water 2

boys water 3

boys water 4

boys water again

boys way out there

little water

I realized the entire beach is just one big sensory experience   The waves, the water moving constant.  The wet sand, the wetter sand, and even the dry sand that sticks to you.  We dug a hold deeper than momma could reach, deep enough that we had standing water.  Both boys ended up flat on their tummies to reach the goupy water sand mix at the bottom.

hole 1

hole 2 slimy sand

hole 3

hole 4

hole look

I promised we’d go back, maybe even tomorrow.

brothers 12.4.12

brothers good

little pose close up 12.4

little post 12.4

little silly

little sitting

littlle towers

 

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Spring Break 2012 — #4 ART

OK I am finally going to blog about this, I have thought it all though.  I don’t like the blogs where everything always goes right and the kids are perfect.  My kids are not perfect, neither am I, and things more often that not (science and art especially) generally do not work out quite as right or as easy for us.\

While my dear friend and my three Godchildren were here we attempted this project.  We were both really excited to find a craft that was useable; not just another picture, and also, a craft that worked for our age range.  It is a challenge to find something the youngers (both 4 years 5 months) and the olders (10 and 12) can do and WANT to do.  We had high hopes of using them as Easter decorations, and even of using the idea again at say Thanksgiving to make table decorations.  However, it was very frustrating and did not work at all as this blog made it sound.   I am gald both my boys were willing to jump in.  Very very sensory; wet glue, yarn, hard plastic, after a time things get tacky too.

We followed the directions carefully and the Other Mother and I helped / did for the youngest kids (check out the photo of them; in the photo of the 2 baskets sitting on the table you can see the side and see how I tried to wrap it or weave it, not just drape it).  Nevertheless it required a lot of patience and a lot of fast thinking and manipulation by the moms to make baskets work out (shh but all the kids basket has to be reinforced by the moms when the kids were out of sight).

The yarn did not stick to itself.  It did not “turn crisp” nor retain its shape or even stay together.  As we dried them upside down the glue continued to drain off of them.  WARNING: this is a messy project.

We finally got them to “turn in to baskets” after the glue was dry by drenching them with spray starch!!  Stuck them in the sink and soaked them really good 3 or 4 time with starch.  That finally stuck the yarn together and gave it form.

I DO actually plan to try this again, maybe with the Godkids again, but I am going to take into account what I have learned and make some changes.   All in all this would be a great project to use up left over yarn, but I think that it is best fitted for a child a bit older than mine, or female and much more dedicated and attentive to details.   Though, this may be seen again when the Christmas Gift blogs start rolling out.

Things I have learned about this project:

  1. use COTTON yarn (thanks Anna for that, I was not smart enough and we used cheaper acrylic and that may have been the biggest issue we had, but did not realize that till Anna suggested it to me after the fact, obvious now.  That is why the yarn dripped the glue out while drying and the glue did not dry on / the yarn.)
  2. might try fabric glue rather than Elmer’s white school glue like we used this time; but with better yarn that might not be necessary.
  3. weave the yarn, they drape it all hodge-podge in the blog post I found the idea, but the one I wrapped around and around the bowl, pulling it tight over itself seems to hold it shape best.
  4. teams, rather than one basket per child, especially younger kids, might be a better idea.
  5. remember not all project turn out as fast, easy or pretty as they do in a few snapshots on a blog.

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Easter Art

Momma has been determined this year to get at least on holiday craft — made by the boys, for family — done on time.

Easter Egg Hand prints

First you tape the paper to the table so it doesn’t move, and remove any clothing likely to be drug though the paint.

Then, the kids cover the paper (we did 3 big sheets each) with many colors and swirls. Mine have to be reminded not to make mud, but leave the colors.

Painting is a very sensory activity for any child, not just a Sensory Seeker, the squish of the paint, the glide, the goo.

After painting it is AWAYS tubbie time here, no way around it.

 After the paint is dry, turn the paper over and trace eggs. I used a full 8X11 sized egg because we planned to put both boy’s hand prints on it.
Hand prints are easy — paint your hand…
…the press. Big got to the point he was doing his alone, Momma helped Little. Each boy chose a different color
What to do with the scrapes …
…bookmarks!! (a little momma art, since they boys did not help with this projects)

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A Slimely Quest

 

In search of the perfect slimy recipe; a quest.   When asked about what he wants to learn this year, the boy doesn’t sayREADINGand make his momma happy; he is honest and says “SCEINCE and POTIONS”.  I have convinced him if he doesn’t learn to read he can not read SCIENCE.  

I went in search of good, EASY for MOMMA, fun science that would still teach the boys something.  I decided the most important things, in science lab, for the boys to learn is observation and following directions and safety and good listening and careful behavior.  These are the habit and skills that they will need as they progress in school and in scince.  So I decided to do a Slime Survey.

You remember Survey classes from school; one class on one topic.  A little from here, a little from there; compare and contrast.  If you search Slime on the Net and find tons of sites, tons of recipes.  I have looked at them till my eyes melt, trying to look for differences and the reasons for the differences. 

I chose many ‘slime’ and other ‘slime like’ experiments / recipes to work our way though; the ‘goal’ being to try many, see the ones that work vs don’t and to compare them (at least to a limited level in discussion).  I thought repeating, in different ways, the same thing; would lead to better observations for Big Brother.    

Here is the list I am working from right now:

 

Started with http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/ht/slime.htm — Daddy home too — and tried this one first NOT HAPPY – it did not even remotely “slime” it remain like watery white school glue.  BOO.

So today, our first official home educating science day, we tried:  http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/slime-665589/ — same ingredients, but I do trust Family Fun Magazine and the instructions were different; even easier.

I set everything up before I let the boys join me in the kitchen.  I still do not trust Big Brother’s measuring – that is going to take a lot of work; nor can I rely on either of the boys to be patient and allow me to read and measure carefully.  So I had all the parts set up for them before they arrived.

 

 

The boys did OK at “not doing until asked to” – and the slime successfully became a slike – like – substance, so they were totally HAPPY.  They took their slime and went out the door.  I later found them playing in the dog’s stock tank with it, and it had become much more rubbery. 

Success. 

(left over liquid)

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starting a worm farm

 

Boys and worms is there any love more true or predictable?

The boys love worms and worms are very useful we drown many of them in efforts to catch fish, we watch them, we put them in the compost, and in the garden.

I decided, in the name of science, to make the boy a worm farm.  Ok to make a worm farm with the boys, but let’s be realistic, Momma is making the worm farm.

Aware I could make a worm farm in a big Rubbermaid tubbie bedded with newspaper I set of to search the Net for a bit more specific directions.

 

Interesting worm trivia: Earth worms have no lungs or gills. They breathe through their skin. Eggs are laid in a cuff-like structure called the clitellum. Each earth worm segment or annulus except the first and last has four pairs of tiny bristles called setae. Earthworms range in size from 1 millimeter to 3 meters long!

 

 

The basics.  (also a great science site for other ideas and activities, we’ll be returning here).

 

 Many sites (like http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/portal/default.aspx?tabid=2101) suggest NOT using night crawlers, but we are going to.  Nevertheless, it seems to me that just as many sites suggest using them, since you can buy them with ease at any bait shop.  I bought some today at our local bait shop, as I have before to add to the compost pile. 

I chose to follow the directions and advice on www.planetkids.bizHERE:

At planetkids.biz we focus on making the complex issues understandable.
Here you can find a range of clear, colourful, humorous and accurate resources to help everyone understand the major environmental challenges we face.

 

I have not read the entire site, but I do like the clear and easy style in which the projects are presented.  The directions are to / for the children, but are not dumbed down to the point they are silly.  I found them great. 

Worms brought home after our trip to the post office I discussed the plan with the boys.

We took an older tubbie that still had a top, but a top that was warped and did not fit great.  Daddy pitched in by drilling holes in the lid and around the top of the tubbie itself.  Air movement is important.

The boys and I shredded newspaper for the bedding.  Shredding newspaper is a great fine motor skill practice (shhh).  It builds strength and control.  I was, frankly, amazed how much trouble the boys both had with actually gripping paper in thumbs and first fingers and tearing it, not just pulling at it.  I admit Momma shredded most of it; but Big Brother sat with me a long time and worked hard.

After the paper we filled two small pails with dirt from the garden and poured that in.  Momma got the job of hosing the mix until “moistened so it is as wet as a wrung out sponge”.   Both boys really really really desired THAT job!! But the point is not a swimming pool for worms.  After that we dumped in the worms!!

At the point the worms got added, more bedding was needed but I chose to go on and add the worms while the boys were still interested; adding additional bedding later.

Supposedly “The worms will reproduce about every 60 days” – That remains to be seen.   They are in the basement, where it is cool enough, they have damp newspaper and some dirt and some egg shells.  Now to wait…

 The lucky pioneers.  The startes!!!

 Little Brother poking at the starters.

 Add dirt…

  and the pioneers get tossed in to their fate…

 The happy little farm…

For families that do not live on 33 acres, do not have need for a full farm, nor space for it; or for parents that really can’t get into making and maintaining a full farm: http://www.ehow.com/how_4865624_make-worm-farm-kids.html is a great idea on how to do a small short term farm for observation with out the full commitment.  Might be a good options for a family in an apartment ort small house in the ‘burbs. http://quazen.com/kids-and-teens/entertainment/how-to-make-a-worm-farm-in-a-plastic-bottle/ is the same idea, but I think the first link does a better job of explaining it.   I am thinking of doing this, too, because they boys would be able to see the worms more, and see the tunnels and so on – more of an observation opportunity.

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Painting in a different environment

We took the finger painting outside.  The boys found rocks in the rock garden to hold the paper, they striped to underwear and had at it.

At first we tried paint in containers.  Soon, however, we discovered that it worked better for the boys to choose a color and point to a spot on the paper and Momma’d ‘drip’ some there for little hands to swirl or smush or mix. 

Big Brother was telling stories of what he was painting as he did his pictures, Little brother just got in to the paint.

A great deal of fun was had by all – and the hose took care of the mess on driveway AND children!!!

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