Alien Goo

Messy , sensory play features high on my fun to do list and today I whipped up a quick batch of alien goo for bear to play with.

How to make Alien goo

To make the top you will need 2 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of salt and half a cup of water.

Mix everything into a bowl and mix.

You could also add food colouring to make it different colours. Glitter to make it shine ( please don’t use glitter in the goo for children younger than 6 years old in case they try eat the goo) or spices/food flavours to make it smell nice.

A pre-requisite for writing, to strengthen fingers and dexterity of fingers.
All little people should experience messy fun.

If you try this activity I’d love for you to tag me on Facebook or Instagram.

#funmammasa

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Facebook round up of 15 fun things to do this weekend

I recently found these fun things to do with your kids on Facebook.

I’ve tried to give credit where I can.

1. Playdough

2. Easy garage for those cars

www.frugalfun4boys.com

3. Home made finger paints

4. Glow in the dark bubbles

5. Bottle bottom turtles

6. Gummy bear treat

www.snackhacks.org

7. Paint with water

8. Water pinatas

www.dumpAday.com

9. Outdoor bowling

10. Moonsand

11. Create sea glass

In South Africa you can use wood glue instead of Elmer glue

12. Play snow

www.huckleberrylove.com

13. No spill paint cups

14. Homemade paint

15. Colourful drinks

Defining your toddlers 5 types of play

As a parent or educator by understanding that if you are encouraging play you are supporting every aspect of your toddlers growth and development.

You are helping to build new physical, emotional, social, language and cognitive skills.

Different types of play have different roles in child development.

There are 5 types of play that your child will engage in :

  • SOLITARY PLAY
  • PARALLEL PLAY
  • IMITATIVE PLAY
  • SOCIAL PLAY
  • COOPERATIVE PLAY

Let us break these down to understand them further.

  • Solitary Play: This is when your toddler plays alone. All children like solitary play at times.
  • Parallel Play: This is when your toddler plays beside another child without interacting. Your toddler will observe the other child and often imitate what they do. Toddlers enjoy parallel play.
  • Imitative Play: This is when your toddler and another child copy each other’s actions, words or behaviour.
  • Social Play: This is the first step toward having fun with others. Before the age of 2 years, your toddler will offer toys to other children. This is your toddlerโ€™s way of communicating.
  • Cooperative Play: As your toddler gets older,they start to play with other children. Many toddlers are not ready for this kind of play until they are 3 years old.

I think Jean Piaget said it best when he said …..

13 Free play ideas for Toddlers

Toddlers learn best through play.

The activities below will keep your toddler busy as well as teach them vital skills.

I’ve personally used each idea either in a class or with my own kids.

  • Ribbons in a bottle

Take an empty bottle with a wide lid . Stuff with ribbon. Help your child to push the ribbon in and pull it out.

  • Pom pom play
  • For this you need a bowl of pom Poms and some tweezers. Use the tweezers to transfer the pom Poms into and out of the bowl.

    • Colander pipe cleaners

    Take several coloured pipe cleaners and a colander. Turn the colander upside down and have your toddler stick the pipe cleaners in using the colander like a peg board.

    • Corn kernel sensory box

    This is great for if you have a child learning about the farm or food theme. Place popcorn into a shallow box. Insert farm animals, farmer and a tractor into the kernels covering them.

    Give your child spoons, a funnel, an empty container and a jug to play with.

    Let them discover the animals and scoop out the kernels. Teach them to pour the kernels into the container and how they pass through the funnel.

    • Cardboard box

    This is self explanatory, give your child a box and let their imaginations go wild.

    • Rip tissue paper

    This is fantastic for fine motor skills. You can start with soft papers like serviettes, tissue paper and work up to white paper, old magazines and wrapping paper.

    • Fabric scraps

    Give your child a box of fabric scraps.

    On a huge piece of paper trace around their body. Let them glue on the fabric scraps to make clothing.

    • Jars and lids

    Take several jars with lids. Unscrew all the lids. Muddle them up and have your child match the right lid to the container and screw it on.

  • Pots and pans orchestra
  • Hold your ears with this one. Give the kids some old pots and wooden spoons let them make music.

    • Transfer water

    This is especially fun in the bathroom but a bowl of water outside will also work.

    Fill a container and have your child transfer water from it to another container.

    You can use a variety of different items like spoons, cups, jugs, buckets, ect.

    • Stack cups

    Let your child stack plastic cups or Tupperware in your kitchen the same way they stack blocks.

    • Toothpicks and meat trays

    Draw a simple picture on a meat tray and let your toddler prick all around it to make the pattern.

    Most importantly have fun and always stop an activity if your toddler has lost interest.

    Why your toddler should be colouring in

    We recently received two large colouring sheets from www.blubirdcreations.co.za

    Beautiful large simple images printed to a large sheet of white paper.

    There were two separate designs. A stunning toddler sheet full of all things kids love and a ocean sheet full of under the sea creatures.

    Bear was delighted the minute we opened the carton tube containing his suprise and dragged us all in to colour with him.

    So many uses for the colouring sheets.

    I love these sheets. They are fantastic to keep the kids busy. Would accomadate several children in a classroom setting and best of all could be used as kiddy table cloths at both birthday parties or restaurants.

    We used one , once it was coloured, to cover a gift to a friend from bear and you could even use them to cover school books or files.

    But why is colouring important?

    Today, especially with the advanced technology our children are exposed to , it’s important to encourage your toddler to colour in.

    Here are six learning benefits of colouring in activities.

    1. Fine Motor Development:

    Colouring in helps your child to develop good finger grip. It provides an opportunity to practice holding a pencil the correct way and aids in developing those fine motor muscles in their hands, fingers, and wrist.

    2. Concentration:

    The length of a child’s concentration develops and improves over time. Colouring in requires a good concentration and by focusing on one task , for example colouring the tree green, can help a child develop his or her overall concentration levels.

    3. Colour Recognition:

    Colouring in activities encourages colour awareness. Using different colours gives a child an opportunity to explore different colour combinations and lets them see how they can change the appearance of the picture by using these colours.

    4. Hand & Eye Coordination:

    Colouring in aids in the development of hand & eye coordination as your child learns to colour within the lines. When children first start colouring they will have a tough time keeping within the lines but as they progress their skill increases.

    5. Sense of Pride and Achievement:

    Children should be given every opportunity to gain self-confidence and a sense of self-worth. If they can create something that they are proud of, this will help in the positive development of their personality.

    Children should be given every opportunity to gain self-confidence and a sense of self-worth. If they can create something that they are proud of, this will help in the positive development of their personality.

    Children should be given every opportunity to gain self-confidence and a sense of self-worth. If they can create something that they are proud of, this will help in the positive development of their personality.

    6. Creativity:


    Colouring in stimulates creative thinking. Children learn to plan as they decide the colours they need in their picture and in what order they are going to colour things in. As their confidence grows, they are more likely to take risks and experiment with colour, patterns, and special effects with pencil or marker strokes.

    Bears first toys & fun ideas to stimulate your baby at home

    These were Little bears first toys.

    Mammas you do not need expensive items to entertain baby.

    The wooden bunnies were made by my friend Karolien at www.momsdirectory.co.za and I painted them using nail polish . I used them to help him focus and do tracking with his eyes.

    The plastic containers, I would put beans, ect in to make different sounds. I shook these for him to hear.

    We placed all the items into the gift bag as storage and pointed out the bright items on the bag to bear as we spoke during the day.

    The washing machine I made from an old mug box by cutting a hole in the centre and drawing on the details. I would place various tactile materials inside for him to pull out.

    The finger puppet fitted over bears hand and I would place it on his hand or foot for body awareness and to get him to grasp at it and cross the midline.

    Those first 1000 days are the most important and one of my peeves at having worked in several daycares, is how the school owners feel babies do not need as much stimulation as older children .

    Today I’m sharing just a few of the items bear and i did together in his early months …

    Shaving cream

    This is one of my all time favourite go to sensory activities and even my age 4/5 year old class enjoyed writing and playing in the shaving cream.

    You can colour the shaving cream with a dash of food colouring .

    Best of all if you spray into a cupcake tray , put a different colour into each cup, mix and leave in the fridge till bath time you have awesome bath paints. My older bears loved these.

    Little bears reaction to the shaving cream was delightful. He was 4 months old here and loved mooooshing the cream over the tray.

    And …no mess!

    Just dump in bath ๐Ÿ˜›

    For bath fun I love the www.acornkids.co.za bath foam which is the same as coloured shaving cream. Too much fun in a can.

    Serviettes

    Items as simple as a serviettes can keep babies entertained and are great for tactile discovery.

    Just watch how quick those little hands can get to the mouth …

    Bubble wrap

    Another one of my favourites.

    Little bear squished it in his chubby fingers, walked on it, rolled on it, crawled on it and I sat him in it, in his pool.

    Obviously never leave baby alone with plastic of any kind. And watch items near babies mouth.

    Crawling tunnels

    One of our favourite items when little bear was crawling was his www.melissaanddoug.com tunnel.

    When my other bears were babies my budget didn’t allow for such fancy items and we made tunnels from empty boxes, chairs lined up and under beds.

    Crawling obstacles were placed within reach to encourage movement and develop those gross motor skills.

    Baking

    Baking is one of the activities little bear and I enjoy together.

    You can bake from young.

    Even at just a few months he enjoyed tasting the dough, squishing it in his fingers and slamming rollers and cutters onto the dough.

    As he’s gotten older he now helps add ingreadience to a bowl, place decorations on and has more control over the roller and cutters.

    How cute is his chef hat from Theresa at www.magoo.co.za ?

    Sand

    Oh how much fun was Little bears first sandy day at the beach?

    Sand is a wonderful medium to explore.

    As I was stuck inside with a broken leg for most of bears early months we used kinetic sand from www.acornkids.co.za on a tray to play with often.

    Garden sand is his favourite and he loves the feel of squishy mud between his fingers as he drags his bulldozers through it.

    We’ve tried to build sand castles on the beach but up until now my OCD builds the castle and bears Toddler curiosity crushes it ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Did you know preschools steralise their sandpit sand with coarse salt. It keeps it free of worms and fleas.

    If you have pets always keep your sandpit covered.

    Water

    Water play can be just as exciting to explore as sand and again you don’t need any expensive water tables.

    A large container with a bit of water, a small blow up pool or a plastic shell will do.

    You could even put baby in the bath.

    Boats, bath toys and kitchen odds make the best experimenting tools.

    You can colour the water with a drop of food colouring or use www.acornkids.co.za angel powder.

    A bit of bubble bath, shower gel or shampoo makes amazing bubbles.

    Alternatively if your toddler is older you can give them a hand whisk and get them beating that water to make the bubbles …

    Ball pitt

    A ball pit can be tremendous fun at any age .

    We turned a mini blow up pool into bears first ball pit.

    He would sit and play like that for a few minutes at a time and soon learnt to throw them out .

    Bubbles

    Who doesn’t love bubbles?

    I collected some of Kikis bath bubbles and placed them in a container for little bear to explore. He enjoyed feeling the bubbles on his hands and feet.

    So much fun in a box.

    Balloon play

    This is still one of little bears favourites.

    I started by tying a balloon to his car chair or pram for him to watch.

    As he began to sit and crawl I would blow up several and place them all around him to bop at and try catch.

    Now that he is older we can throw them to him and he kicks them.

    Bring nature inside

    As I mentioned I was stuck with a heavy cast and moonboot for most of little bears early months and so i would often get one of my older bears to find me leaves, flowers, bark, stones, shells and other pieces of nature for bear to explore.

    Sensory pools

    These really can be made with any container large enough for baby to sit in.

    I filled Little bears blow up pool with a variety of different items and hid toys and small things in between for him to discover.

    This one I used packaging pellets but you can use :

    Rice
    Beans

    Foam
    Cut up pool noodles
    Sponges
    Cooked noodles
    Dry noodles
    Leaves

    Paint

    I introduced Little bear to paint at a very young age and it’s one of his go to activities.

    It’s possible to let your child paint from 4/5 month old with help. You guide their hand and then watch as they learn to swipe the paper themselves.

    If you are worried about mess mix a little dish liquid into your finger or poster paints , it helps it wash out faster.

    Or you can make your own paint by mixing either flour or cornflour with a drop of colour and a small bit of Water till you have the consistency you need.

    He has his own style and will paint anything in front of him.

    This box was from his www.buddingminds.co.za kit and he had not finished painting yet so the box was his next project ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ

    Discovery boxes

    I feature my discovery boxes often because I feel it’s important to place a child in an environment that fosters learning and discovery.

    The box is an old train box but you could use a tray, shoe box, cupcake tray or printers tray.

    Chose a theme

    For this box we used a baking theme

    Fill the box with items related to that theme and step back allowing your child to explore and discover each item for as long or short a period as they like.

    This was my saving grace over the December holidays and kept bear busy enough for me to get some work done.

    And always end with lots of mamma hugs and kisses