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Easy Peasy Rainbow Rice


Rainbow rice is a wonderful way to introduce sensory play to your toddler. It’s both cheap and easy to make, yet will provide hours of fun. We first started making this with Zoey when she turned one and we felt confident that she wouldn’t just eat the rice! Continue reading Easy Peasy Rainbow Rice

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Discovery Table Week 9: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This is the penultimate week in our discovery table series and I couldn’t finish without featuring another of our favourite books: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle! We have LOVED sharing the tables on the blog each week but with a new baby on the way, these posts will finish after 10 weeks. Not to worry though, as we will be keeping them going in real life – just keep an eye out on our Instagram and Facebook pages! Continue reading Discovery Table Week 9: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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Discovery Table Week 7: Music

Confession here: I’m not very musical! HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean that I don’t encourage the children to explore and experiment with music because music is just brilliant for both creativity and self expression. The musical discovery table was inspired by recent musical purchases whilst on a coastal trip.

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The tambourine and coconut drum were bought on holiday recently. They only cost $15 each – bargain!

So what’s on the table this week?

This is the first time we’ve based a table on new purchases. Remember, the main reason we started this series was to make use of what we already had and to make sure that we were rotating toys often.

A saucepan and wooden spoon:

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If you don’t have musical instruments, try inventing your own. We personally love the saucepan and wooden spoon combination!

A basket of musical goodies:

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Zoey has been gifted a fair few musical toys. Also featured is the rainbow dance ribbon which is very popular in our house!

 

Books:

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Zoey loves the Nosy Crow board book ‘Listen to the Dance Music’ – she is often grooving along to the different styles of music!
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For Harrison, I put out the Usborne ‘Lift the Flap’ Science book to learn more about sounds. 

A selection of musical instruments:

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On the table we had the coconut drum, tambourine, a ukulele and the saucepan drum. Not in the photo but also on the table was a xylophone too!

 

Want more?

Whilst we’re heading towards the end of our 10 week Discovery Table series, you can check out older posts here:

Discovery Table Week 1: Baby Clinic

Discovery Table Week 2: The Alphabet

Discovery Table Week 3: The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Discovery Table Week 4: The Ocean Waves

Discovery Table Week 5: Rainbow

Discovery Table Week 6: Nature

 

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Discovery Table Week 2: The Alphabet

Welcome to week two of our brand new ‘Discovery Table’ series! This week, we’re all about the alphabet. We’ve had a fair few alphabet resources out for one of my students recently and Zoey has taken a real interest.

If you haven’t read week one yet, here’s the low-down on what the discovery tables are all about. The aim is two-fold: firstly it’s a way to follow Zoey’s current interests and secondly to rotate toys and resources on a regular basis.

The table is just a simple coffee table (previously used to dump toys on!) that is at an accessible height for Zoey. This is not about forced learning but allowing the opportunity for her to access resources more easily.

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Here’s an overview of the resources on this week’s table.

So what’s on the table?

The books and resources on the table are ones which we already had at home – please don’t go out especially and buy resources unless you are in the market for some new items!

 Alphablocks by Hello Pear!

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Hello Pear is one of our favourite Australian small businesses. The alpha blocks are versatile as a learning resource: we use them for  letter recognition, spelling and even building! There’s something about the tactile nature of alpha blocks that helps learning stick much more readily than computerised learning tools.

 

Letter Match Alpha-Pops  by Learning Resources

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These are a great resources for matching capital and lower case letters. The colours match, making it easy for little learners, plus the alpha-pops can double as a role play resource too!

 

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert 

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We received this gorgeous book in the latest Happy Explorers play kit. It’s a fantastic resources that promotes healthy eating through vibrant illustrations. As you can see from the photo above, Zoey loves it. The latest Happy Explorers kit is all about the alphabet, so click on the link to check it out!

 

ABC Lacing Sweets by Learning Resources

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We love the smooth feel of these ‘sweets’ they come in a little jar that again doubles as a great role play resource. The product also came with laces which help develop fine motor skills – whilst the laces aren’t very long, I kept them off the table just in case!

 

Chunky puzzle from Kmart

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‘Santa’ put this in Zoey’s stocking at Christmas time. To be honest, I thought it might be too old for her, but she’s totally rocked it so far! The beauty of the discovery table is that it allows Zoey to freely access resources of her choosing, allowing me to better understand her preferences and abilities.

 

 

 

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Salt Dough Recipe

I’m always slightly wary when putting recipes up on the website – as i’m sure you’ll know from experience, adjustments are often needed. So use this as a guide rather than a definitive, fail-safe recipe.

You will need:

  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • Approx 1 – 2 cups of warm/boiling water

Method:

  1. Add flour and salt to a mixing bowl or mixer.
  2. Gradually add water until the consistency is doughy but not too sticky.
  3. Dust work surface with a little extra flour and begin to roll out the dough.
  4. Mould desired shape with either a cutter or knife.
  5. LEAVE TO AIR DRY FOR AT LEAST 12 HOURS.
  6. Bake on a low heat (approx 120c for a fan oven) for 3 hours
  7. Once cool, coat with a binder before applying acrylic paints.

Photo Guide:

You can choose to use cutters, knives or even pre-existing shapes to mould your dough. Here we chose magnetic numbers that we pressed into the dough before cutting:

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Cookie cutters are (obviously) a great option if you have them:

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When it comes to salt dough, patience and preparation are needed. It’s best to let the shapes air dry for at least 12 hours before baking:

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Line the shapes onto baking parchment so that they don’t stick to the tray. There’s nothing worse than broken pieces after they’ve been in the oven for 3 hours!

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Use a binder/ sealant to coat your shapes once they have cooled.

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After the binder, you can start to apply the paint. We find that non-toxic acrylics work best for really vibrant colours:

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Depending on what you are making, you may want to apply more than a few coats. For these ‘biccies’ we used a few layers of paint followed by posca pens:

salt dough biccies

Salt dough can be used for a range of different creations, from learning aids to decorations. Here’s some that we made with just one batch of dough:

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I would LOVE to see your own salt dough creations, so tag me into your facebook/ instagram posts or even comment below! 🙂

Sian x