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!

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Bubbles, Bubbles, Everywhere!

Last week was March Break here, we started off the week with a bang before my oldest boys had sleepover’s at cousins and grandparents houses!

I was able to bring all three boys together at the dinning table to play together and experience some sensory activity playtime. An occurrence that rarely happens as usually my toddler is left out of the really fun activities due to his age difference from the other two. But I thought if we could make enough bubbles to play with, they could all join in on the fun!

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DSC03090So it started with me making bubbles in the kitchen from dish soap and water, then skimming off the bubbles and placing in a pot and then dumping the pot o’ bubbles onto the table. I had laid out various toys on the table, all appropriate for my 15 month old to play with but still fun for my 4 and 5 year olds too. Some mega Lego blocks, a few animals, a bus and some toddler Playmobil. All toys were able to get wet and wouldn’t ruin.

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I then returned to the kitchen and made more and more bubbles! I made bubbles for quite some time, but it was worth it as all three had a glorious time playing at the table. My toddler thought it was great to finally be able to participate in a fun activity with his brothers.

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My 4 and 5 yr olds gravitated towards the building blocks and made some snow ploughs to push the bubbles around.

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Eventually I stopped making bubbles, and was able to just watch them play until the bubbles ran out, to which my 5 yr old said “Mom, all the bubbles are disappearing, we need more bubbles!” But my time in the kitchen was over, so hence, bubble play eventually ended as well.

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We will definitely do this activity again, it was a hit! And if you decide to do this activity, make sure the kids are wearing aprons (they will get wet), and you don’t mind the table and floor getting wet as it is impossible to keep the bubbles on the table. Although on the bright side, after the clean-up is done you have clean toys, a clean table and a clean floor.

Now go and play!

Toddler and Mommy Time!

So this is what my youngest and I do while his older brothers are away for a few days at their grandparents! A little painting, and little fun with pipe cleaners and a little, much needed, relaxing for me.

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DSC02850The other day we did some painting with child friendly acrylic paint and I gave him some brushes to use. Of course his first thought was to put the brush in his mouth, but after redirecting him to use it to paint with instead, he had a blast painting! He painted, mixing colours around for quite some time, stopping every now and then to touch the paintbrush and feel the bristles and the paint between his fingers. He marvelled at the colours and the textures. It always surprises me how much focus a 15 month old can have, when they want to.

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DSC03099Then today, I decided to get some things out for him that he usually doesn’t play with. Pipe cleaners, a colander, toilet paper and paper towel tubes, and a pair of tongs. It only took me moments to set up the colander with the pipe cleaners, weaving them in and around the colander (an idea I had seen recently on Pinterest). Then I laid out all the materials and let him have some fun. The first thing he did, so obvious, was pull out the pipe cleaners and toss them away! He was so excited!

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DSC03105Then he found the tubes and tried putting them on his hands and being silly, then trying to fit the pipe cleaners into the tubes and pull them out again. This task took his undivided attention and the focus on his little face was amazing to watch. I didn’t interfere with any of his playing and just sat back taking pictures, marvelling at my little boy who is growing so very quickly.

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It was a nice change of pace for my 15mth old and I to have some quality time together. Him receiving my undivided attention and I being able to enjoy our moments together without any other distractions. I must admit I miss my other 2 boys, but I am enjoying this time my toddler and I have, as come tomorrow my house will be filled again with the love and rambunctious behaviour of my three boys all together.

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Happy March Break!

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Playdough for the First Time!

Playdough…always one of my favourite go to activities when we have nothing else to do and need something quick! We received a lot of little containers of already made Playdough, in bright colours, for Christmas. So I thought now was a good time to introduce my just turned 1 year old to Playdough!

He LOVED it! His expression was priceless and the smiles kept coming. I did have to keep an intense eye on him to prevent him from trying to eat/taste/bite it, but it was so worth it! I sat behind him and gave him some small pieces to play with, explore, stretch, squish and so on. I even rolled him a few balls and long “worms” for him to experiment with.

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My 3yo always enjoys Playdough, so they both played alongside each other and my 1yo thought it was awesome to do something he has seen his older brother do before and previously wasn’t allowed to. They had a great time, and it’s always nice to see them playing together. They played for about 30 minutes before my 1yo was tired and needed a nap.

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I am not sure how young most people let their children play with Playdough, but in our house at the age of 1 we deem old enough and just make sure they don’t eat it. How old did any of you introduce or plan to introduce Playdough? I am curious as to the responses  other children have to it for the first time.

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Snow, Cold, and More Snow!

DSC02574It has been crazy snowy and cold around here for the last month or so!

And I don’t mean just chilly….I mean downright minus 30 cold!

So on the days when it is not an ice storm, snow storm or freezing weather, we have had some fun times out in the snow!

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All my boys love the snow! They love playing in it, sledding in it, and even shovelling it! I hope they continue this love of shovelling as they grow older, I will appreciate the help.

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DSC02768So today, as it is starting to get really cold outside again, thinking tomorrow will not be an outside play day, I brought some snow in after school time for my three boys to play with. This was an extra special treat for my 1 year old who does not get to play with snow too often, especially with his bare hands! I am sure the touching and feeling of the snow between his fingers was a new experience, seeing how the snow changed the more he touched it was most likely intriguing to him. He enjoyed the activity immensely.

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As for my other two older boys, they thought it was great having snow inside to play with, something they have done at school but never thought they would do at home! They made miniature snowmen, scooped, bulldozed, filled cups, made snow balls and even made a winter scene with “real snow”!

What I enjoyed most about the activity was that all three brothers could play side by side, interact, have fun and it kept their imaginations going for quite some time. It is rare that all three have something they can do all together, and this made me happiest of all!

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So here is to snow, I am sure we are still in for some more before the Spring arrives, and based on the weather we have had, I think this will be a long cold, snowy winter.  We are going to enjoy it as much as possible….I hope you do too!

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5 Little Monkeys…

DSC01454Monkeys are always a hit in my house. From Curious George to Sock Monkeys to my boys acting like Monkeys themselves. At one point my 4yo said matter of fact-ly “I am a Monkey, Mommy”.

So today I decided to take one of our Monkey books “Five Little Monkeys Wash the Car” and make it into a whole activity.

First we read the book outside, then used all our materials to recreate the story.

DSC01419 DSC01467We had a car (in our case trucks that we didn’t mind getting painted), 5 little monkeys and a Mama monkey, a crocodile, some paint and a brush, a spray bottle filled with water and vanilla (the perfume), and 2 containers, one filled with soapy water and the other filled with “mud”.DSC01410

The idea was to let my 3yo (and later my 4yo) retell the story in his own way giving him a few sensory materials (the mud, water, vanilla scented spray) and let him explore. Retelling is a great pre-reading activity to help increase the brains memory and create logical sequences. My 3yo needed some prompts to help with the sequence, but when my 4yo got home from school and wanted to do the activity, he very easily recreated the story sequence all on his own.

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Then went to work painting them.

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Sprayed “Perfume”

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Got stuck in the “Brown Swampy Mud”

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They had a blast with the activity and then of course had to eat some bananas for a snack!

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DSC01489Give this activity a try. Your child will not even realize they are learning! So fun!

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It seems that my 4yo and I like to tilt our heads the same way for pictures!

I guess I know where he gets it from now.

Baby Water Play

I am sure you have heard of water play, and even Toddler water play. Well, I went for it and did Baby Water Play!

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I figured since my almost 6 month old can sit up without falling over now and is pretty steady and very inquisitive we could start some water sensory activities.

A very simple introduction, with a big towel on the floor and a small plastic container with water, a few measuring cups and beloved squirting cow. I took off his clothes and just left him in his diaper and let him go for it!

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It was a huge success! My 3yo had to even get his hands in there and play with him.

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Next time I may venture to a bigger container and definitely a bigger towel as this one was no match for the amount of water my baby got on the floor.