Moon Dust and Pom Poms!

My three boys all love anything about Space; stories, toys, you name it they like it!

DSC02989I thought it would be fun to make them a Small World play area centred around space, and make it a sensory activity as well. I found this awesome post by The Imagination Tree on how to make Moon Dust and create a Lunar Small World. Follow the link if you want some detailed instructions on how to create your own.

I decided to make the Moon sand and create the small world by myself and have it as a surprise for my boys this time, instead of involving them in making it. Sometimes it’s nice for them to have a little surprise.

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We started off the activity by reading a variety of books centred around the topic of space, some fiction and some non-fiction books. I then got the small world out for my 4 and 5 year olds and opened it up. I left it up to them to explore on their own and play. It was nice to see them playing make-believe together.

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When my 1-year-old got a chance to explore the Lunar Land, he was very interested in the Moon Dust and was all about the sensory part of the activity. It became a little messy, but nothing a little broom couldn’t handle.

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It ended up being a great small world, one that all three boys could enjoy!

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DSC02915As for Pom Pom’s, well who doesn’t like Pom Pom’s? When you want something quick and easy to entertain and improve fine motor skills in a 1 yr old, Pom Pom’s are the best thing around.

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I got out a small muffin tin, a bunch of pom pom’s, an empty tissue box, a toilet paper tube, a plastic and metal container, and some tongs.

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My 1 year old, and even his older brothers had fun playing with the pom pom’s, sorting them, using the tongs to move them, putting them in and taking them out of the tissue box and containers, and of course throwing them up into the air and watching them fall!

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Best thing about pom pom’s is that when the activity is over you just pick them up and put them away….no mess!

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I hope everyone is enjoying a lovely day….Happy Mothers Day!

Three Dimensional Thinking

My 4yo has a hard time staying on task at Senior Kindergarten when he is doing something he doesn’t like to do. Like all of us, who wants to do something you don’t like, right? So I asked him what he likes to do and he said “build with Lego, blocks and stuff….I like Math, Reading and Science too.” Then I asked him what he doesn’t like and has a hard time staying on task with…his answer ” mmmm…painting. I don’t like when I have to paint.” Now some of you who really know me will understand how this completely crushed my heart! I am an artist myself and my medium is painting! How can he not like painting?! Out of all the things in the classroom, he doesn’t like painting! Well, I have been thinking about this for a week now and yes, I know everyone is different and it’s not a big deal that he doesn’t like painting, but I have been looking at things in a different perspective and see now that he thinks in a completely different way than I do.

The moment I realized how he thought was when we were doing another one of our play dough activities. I set up a bunch of loose parts with the fall play dough we made (here is my last post on Fall Play Dough) and let my boys create.

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Fall Scented Play Dough, Acorns, Chestnuts, Wood Pieces, Peg People, Clothes Pegs, Triangle Shaped Pieces of Paper, Little Wooden Bowl

DSC02159DSC02167 DSC02166As I watched them play, I noticed my 4yo went right away to the wooden blocks and started creating a three-dimensional structure. He made some trees out of the paper and clothes pegs and added in the peg people at the end. He had made a house and landscape for the people. The house even had an attic!

My 3yo started out two-dimensional, made some patterns, then started exploring with the building materials and ended up making a “Car” for one of the peg people. He created many different things before he settled on the car.

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My 4yo is very three-dimensional in his thinking and his creating. I am not. When he goes to the craft area in our house it is only to create three-dimensional things now. He loves building…anything! I am going to try to encourage this and find more activities for him involving three-dimensionality.

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As for my 3yo, he is still young and is experimenting with everything set out for him. He is still in the stage where he likes everything! So I will see if he follows in his big brothers foot steps. Maybe I will get a painter or maybe I will get a sculptor, architect, engineer, scientist…who knows. As long as they are happy, healthy, and enjoy what they do that is all I ask.

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Do you find there is a co-relation to gender and thinking? I am interested to know what you think. Being a teacher myself I see a difference quite often.

Fall Play Dough

DSC02066We made Fall Play Dough the other day and used the recipe found here at Nurture Store which is one of my favourite blogs I follow. My 3yo and I made three kinds. Yellow is nutmeg scented, Orange is clove scented and the Red is cinnamon scented. The Red is by far my favourite as the cinnamon is so wonderful to smell I just want to play with it and smell it too!

I then set out some loose nature items we have from around our house, our nature table, and from outside when we went on some walks in the forest. Some of the items included pine cones, various sticks, leaves, little pumpkins, acorns, a walnut, snail-shell, some decorative cabbage leaves, and some seed buds from a white petal flower that I have no idea what it is.

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Once I set out the tray of loose parts and the play dough, I left all the creativity to my 3 and 4-year-old boys. They actually both started with the sticks and pretended that the sticks were construction tools and then some of the other items became drillers, diggers and pavers. They of course had the loud noises to accompany the construction tools.

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DSC02088My boys then started to create objects, mix the play dough to create different colours and experiment with textures by using the objects and seeing how different things made different textures in the play dough. Their favourite textures were the leaf prints and the snail prints.

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Texture print from the snail-shell

My 3yo made a wonderful person with eyes, nose, mouth and body parts!

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They didn’t use all the items I had out for them, but they did use quite a few of them, and the best part was that the whole time they were smelling fall smells! I love when activities involve more than one sense at a time!

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Happy Fall! Have a great month this October! I know mine will be busy as my 9 month old is fully walking around and getting himself into mischief these days. As you can see he doesn’t sit down! Love this age of exploration!

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