Sensory Bin – Outer Space

Just simple lasagna pans filled with black beans, and then add what you want. Ours is a solar system theme, so I have squishy planet “stress balls”, and stars and rocket erasers. We talk about the textures, shapes, colors, sizes, senses, and just “feel” into everything.

Buy items here:

Disposable Bakeware Pan

Dry Black Beans (5 lbs per bin)

Solar System Stress Balls

Star Erasers

Rocket Ship Erasers

Not pictured: Josie eating the foam stress balls, some fighting over the planets and “who gets which”, mess of stray beans on the floor. 😊 Nothing’s perfect, nor does it need to be!

DIY Slime

Kids LOVE slime! It can be messy, but I have done it enough times to know how to do it in a manageable way. To start, (1) I have a rule that the slime can only be played with on their plastic tray, each child has one. Otherwise, I will find slime all over the house! Next, (2) I learned the hard way that children should not make slime until they are two years old. I tried with my daughter, at about one year old, and in an instant she put it in her hair and I had to cut off some of her curls to get it out. So learn from me, wait until they are at least two years old. The last rule stems from the second, (3) no slime in the hair or in the mouth. My children had to be able to agree to this before we could make it a regular project.

That being said, it is a super fun sensory experience, as long as they are old enough to follow those rules. There have been times my son will play with his slime at the table for an hour!

Ingredients:

Directions:

You will need a small bowl, spoon and I recommend this plastic tray. Let your child empty one bottle of glue into the bowl. Then add the 1/2 tsp Baking Soda and mix thoroughly. Once it is mixed, then add 1 1/2 tbsp Contact Lens Solution, and again mix thoroughly.

If the slime is still too sticky, knead into the mixture with your knuckles, and add more Contact Lens Solution until it is more firm.

When cleaning up, I like to wipe the glue residue off the bowl / spoon / try with a wet paper towel, directly into the garbage. This is because you don’t want the left over glue solution to go down the drain of your sink.

Washable Coloring Tablecloth with Mandalas

This washable Mandala Table Cloth creates reusable fun. Just throw it in the washing machine and it is like new with each wash. My kids will sit for a good half hour or more coloring in the butterflies, birds and mandalas on the intricate print. It is perfect for when I want to prepare dinner, have some quiet time, or sit with them and join in the creativity. Be sure to use with washable markers, I use Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Markers.

Cooking with Kids: Pizza Dough

When I know we will be home in the afternoon, and I need to occupy the kids AND cook dinner simultaneously, they LOVE this option of making their own pizzas!

Ingredients:

  • Premade pizza dough (one for each child)
  • 1 container sauce (usually good for two pizza pies)
  • 1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese (also good for two pizza pies)

We roll the dough right on a clean table. Sprinkle flour on the table and dough, I like to use Almond Flour.

You will want to move the dough onto a pan before applying the sauce. Let the kids spread the sauce, it gives them a sense of accomplishment and creativity!

Then they sprinkle on the cheese. Or in my daughter’s case, they eat the cheese too!

Put it in the oven according to the premade dough package instructions.

The finished product is ready to EAT!

Art for Kids: Painting Castles

I found these wooden castles at a recent Michaels trip and I was so excited to get started on this project! Now, I thought it would keep them occupied for a looong time, but it was about 30 minutes. It is ok though, because they were so proud of their creations!

The castles were $9.99 but they always have one of those 40% or 50% off coupons that you can find. All you need is some paint and paintbrushes, as well as something to cover the table (I used a roll of kraft paper).

I let the kids pick which colors they would like on their “palette”, which is a small plastic bowl.

My daughter is almost two years old, and even she was very engaged an excited about this project.

I find it best to give each sibling their own brushes and paint from the start, so they know what is theirs and it avoids fighting.

They did an excellent job!

Kwik Stix Paint Markers for Kids – My Favorites!

We received this Kwik Stix paint set as a gift from my brother and sister-in-law and they are absolutely amazing! These are my favorite kids art supply to date! They go on so smooth, even Mom was having a blast with this one.

I regret to say that my one year old daughter took a fancy to eating the paint sticks (she’s in an everything in the mouth stage). So, instead I took out some standard markers for her to experiment with.

But the 4 year old was having so much fun playing around with his new creative tools.

Zoo Themed Kid’s Birthday Party

We celebrated my son’s 4th birthday at Turtleback Zoo in West Orange, New Jersey. The tablescape set the tone with lions, and tigers and bears… oh my!

As favors, I included a zoo map, as well as an “adopted” stuffed animal for each child.

I also made these cute little animal cracker snacks for all of the “Party Animals” to enjoy as they strolled around the zoo.

I got a round chocolate cake made at local bakery, and added my own zoo animal figurines and live flowers and foliage to create the perfect scene!

Art Project for Kids: Spooky Halloween Masks

For me, Christmas and Easter are among my favorite holidays, by my son just LOVES Halloween! So to support his favorite holiday, I wanted to think of some fun ways to let him explore the idea of “dressing up” as different things.

I found these wooden masks at Michaels craft store. All you need is some washable paint and paintbrushes (…and maybe some newspaper to cover the table mess).

Mom joins in on the fun because I can’t help myself…

I encourage them to choose their own colors. If he selects orange for the pumpkin then cool, but if he were to select pink or blue, resist the urge to correct them, there are no right answers when being creative!

Even little ones can join in the project. A high chair tray, and wearing just a diaper, are perfect ways to limit the mess that is bound to happen!

Here is the proud pumpkin with his finished product!

Meow! (That’s Happy Halloween in Cat!)