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10 Activities with Playdough

Playdough is our absolute favourite play resource. Its a fantastic sensory tool but without the mess associated with other sensory forms of play.

Now that I’m a mama of three, the playdough is out on a daily basis. So here are 10 invitations to play that all involve playdough… Continue reading 10 Activities with Playdough

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10 sensory bottles to try

Sensory bottles are an absolute winner in our house. They are engaging, easy to make and perhaps most importantly, don’t cause a huge mess like other forms of sensory play.

The bottles featured in this post are all plastic Voss bottles. We personally prefer this brand because they are pretty versatile: you can see clearly through them.

With the exception of the bottle filled with water, it’s important to note that the lids are glued in place. This is because these bottles are intended for babies and toddlers.*

Here are ten sensory bottles to try at home. In most cases, you probably already have most of the materials at home already. All of them are suitable as a tummy time activity (from when your baby is old enough to reach and grab) or as an educational tool for slightly older children. Continue reading 10 sensory bottles to try

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Fingerprint Hearts

When we found this box canvas in Riot Art and Craft, we were inspired to do something special. We initially did this as a Valentine’s Day activity, but it could just as easily work for Mother’s Day or even a birthday.

Our finished result has pride of place in our lounge as it just looks fantastic!
In actual fact, without the box, you could even send this to someone special who lives far away!

You will need:

  • Acrylics in complimentary colours
  • Mini canvas
  • Scrap paper
  • Baby wipes
  • Paint tray or similar
This mini canvas cost less that $5! 

It’s advisable to practise the heart shape first. All you need to do is dab the paint onto your forefinger and print diagonally in one direction, then the other to make the heart. We found that you only need a little bit of paint on your finger to avoid big splodges:

We tried out our hearts on scrap paper first!

Once you’re happy, you should be able to move on to the real deal. Here’s our final product:

And it’s as simple as that! If you want more activities for kids, please hit follow. Here’s how:

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May the Fourth Be With You! 

If you’re reading this on May 4th, Happy Star Wars Day! We simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate, especially since the seven year old is Star Wars crazy – so much so that I went completely overboard with his party theme last year!

Anyway, for those embracing the day with full abandon, here are 5 Star Wars activities to try with the kids.

1. Sith Slime 

Wicked fun and easy to make, this quick activity with a science element is perfect for a post- school activity.

All you need is:

  • 250g cornflour
  • 60ml shampoo
  • Purple or black food colouring
  • Glitter or stars
  • Star Wars characters
  • A plastic container or tray.

Method:

1. Measure out 250g cornflour

2. Add 60ml of shampoo and mix together

3. Slowly add some water

4. Mix again, lift the spoon out of the bowl to check. You will want it to be runny.

5. Finally add droplets of food colouring.

The science bit: 

The molecules of the starch react when mixed with water to give the slime its viscosity. So when you (gently) lift the slime, it will be runny like liquid. However, if you press the slime more firmly, it should feel solid.

Essentially, the experiment assists with learning around solids and liquids. Depending on the age of your child, you can introduce this scientific vocabulary to them.

2. Ice Escape! 

Getting fully involved with the latest experiment

Ok so remember with Darth Vader freezes Luke Skywalker in Carbonite? This experiment is losely based on that.

We froze several of our Lego Star Wars characters in an ice-cube tray (alas our Luke was nowhere to be seen!) and left overnight.

We then set about planning our experiment. We wanted to find out which Star Wars character could escape the quickest.

We placed them in 4 locations around the house and garden (heater, fridge, outside and window) then made predictions.

We monitored the characters over 10 minute intervals to find out their progress. Which location do you think proved the quickest for escape?

If you wanted to, you could get your child to put the final results into an ‘er’ sentence. For example, “The warmer the location, the quicker the escape.”

We placed the characters in small plastic containers around the house

3. Design your own spaceship

Make life easier with a Lego activity!

If you have more Lego than you know what to do with like us, challenge the kids to build a Star Wars spaceship.

We first did this activity at Harrison’s 7th birthday party and even made prizes for the winners. This is fantastic if you have some Master Builders in your midst. What’s more, it’s so simple – even if you’ve totally forgotten about Star Wars day, it’s an easy one to quickly set up.

4. Star Wars Small World 

We used red lentils for Jakku

This sensory experience is great for a range of ages- even Zoey joined in on this one!

Which planet you choose will determine the base of the sensory tray. We used flour, water and cornflour for the snowy habitat of Hoth. A few weeks later, we repurposed our ‘Red Centre’ small world to become Jakku.

To make this more educational, you could ask a range of questions:

Which countries/ habitats are the Star Wars planets similar too? 

Which Earth animals do you think could survive here? 

Alternatively, just let the kids play. Small world activities are brilliant for language development!

Flour, cornflour and water was used to form Hoth.

5. Read a Book!

So many Star Wars books to read!

There’s a plethora of Star Wars books out there – trust me, I think we have them all! From the brilliant Jedi Academy series to Lego Star Wars encylopedias, there’s certainly going to be something that will appeal.
On a more serious note, it was the DK Star Wars books that first got Harrison really passionate about reading. Tapping into interests is just so important in the early years and we embraced his enthusiasm wholeheartedly. In the first instance we read to him but now he has moved on to the more advanced Jedi Academy.

I hope you will try some of the activities I’ve suggested. Please comment below if you do, or share any alternatives you may have! Below are some photographs from our Star Wars party last year: 

The incredible BB8 cake!
Jedi Academy
Guess who?
Bubble wands make great lightsabers