Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Garden Sensory Bin

I made this garden sensory bin for Alicia. It was easy to make as I found so many toy and craft garden creatures in dollar shops (ladybugs, butterflies, frogs, lizards, spiders, flies, centipedes, dragonflies, grasshoppers, etc.). I used green coloured rice for filling which represents grass, some fabric leaves and flowers, fake rocks, green pompoms, mini garden bucket and spade, toy toadstool mushroom and coloured glass stones. This play box turned out quite colourful.

Alicia loves treasure hunt games so she loved to discover the creatures that were in the box.  Frogs are her favourites, so she started with them. 

A: "This frog has black legs. Why?" (Good observation!)
Me: "Hm ... I don't know ... we need to google it". (Later on we googled it together to find out that frogs with black legs and bright colours are poisonous and the colours are there to warn predators). 

Then she wanted to put all her "findings" on the trays (she loves playing with them). 

Interesting ladybugs arrangement here: mama ladybug (big), papa (a smaller one - lol) and their babies!

Discovering more things. She loved green sparkly pompoms and called them "koluchki" in Russian (English translation would be something like "spikes").

Then we counted everything we found and also did some writing/reading activities (in Russian). I wrote  words on a laminated strip of paper (leftovers from various cards we make) with a permanent marker while she was watching and get her to name the letters. Then I read out loud the word I wrote and get her to match it with the object it represents.

Next on our plan is to create some activities on each on garden creatures to get Alicia familiar with their life.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Hand-washing dolls' clothes - practical life skills.

We borrowed Lego doll set from toy library, It is an awesome set with 4 big dolls hat come with clothes and linen. The only problem, the clothes was a bit too filthy to play with.

So I asked Alicia whether she wanted to wash dolls' clothes by herself. She got excited with the idea and started to put it into the washing machine (she loves helping me with doing  laundry)  However there was not enough dirty clothes for the load at the moment, so I suggested we wash them by hand in the basin. Alicia got excited: we did some treasure hunt activities in soapy water before and she liked it.

 We begun with soaking dirty dolls' clothes in the soapy water. She actually enjoyed playing with wet clothes and finding pieces of clothes among the detergent bubbles: "Look mama, I found a dress and it is so wet and soapy! Is it clean yet?"

Then we rinsed the clothes in the laundry sink. It was quite entertaining for A to fish out pieces of clothes from the water and squeeze the water out.

Then we put it out to dry - great peg activity here. 

Alicia liked playing with pegs so much so next day she decided to make pegs "grass" with no linen at all :)

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

So many rainbows!

Since out theme for the last few weeks was "weather" we made more rainbows.

Painted Paper Rainbow

I cut out rainbow semi-circles of different sizes and Alicia painted them in the colours of rainbow:

We left them out to dry to put them together into a rainbow next day, but she didn't want to do it. So I organized the pieces on the white mat this way to get her interested when she gets back from preschool:

Then she got interested and started glueing rainbow piece by piece. We coloured rainbows with her before and she also has wooden rainbow toy, so she knows the sequence of colours quite well. So I left the rest up to her - only helped straighten pieces up a couple of times.

Play Dough Rainbow

We actually made 2 types of rainbow using play dough: the one with pipe cleaners stuck in play dough and rainbow from actual play dough.
I've borrowed the idea of pipe cleaners rainbow from one of the blogs (It was either "Learning 4 Kids" or some other blog - I'm sorry I can't remember now - please let me know if that was your original idea and I'll put up a link). We stuck pipe cleaners' ends to play dough and added cotton balls as clouds. I was helping Alicia actively in this process as our play dough was rather old and not very soft any more, so I didn't take pictures in the process, only end result can be seen on the pictures to follow.
Then we moved on to make a rainbow from actual play dough. I bought a "party pack" set on sale for very cheap price before and it finally found its use. All I did was opening the containers for Alicia - they were quite tough, the rest she did herself. Here are the photos of her work:

Then she wanted to cut it up and make "dessert" for her toy "friends".


Rainbow Sugar Tray

This activity I saw on Learning 4 Kids blog and I thought it would be great for our "rainbow" theme. Only I didn't make rainbow paper myself, I bought it from dollar store and also used sugar instead of salt (we didn't have a lot of salt in the house that moment). Alicia got excited with this activity: 

Then she tried to draw a rainbow, although up side down by some reason. 

 She was drawing circles and some other things.

Then it was time to clean up the mess! She vacuumed the floor under the table as well (I didn't take a picture).