Friday, May 20, 2011

Discovery Basket

Our discovery basket
I came across a great blog a couple weeks ago and since can't find it anywhere in the cyber world (go figure). The blog had an amazing basket set up with all sorts of things for little ones to discover. I loved it so much I put one together for my little darlings!
Our discovery basket contains:
Pine cone
Playing card
A bottle with Popsicle sticks in it
Pie tin
Paper bag
A block from our marble run blocks
2 plastic eggs
Blush brush
Yellow plastic netting
Wooden ring
2 misc. plastic containers that open and close
i spy bag
Ball that rolls wobbly
Fabric ball with bells and ribbon
Pastry cutter
As you can see I have filled it with many different materials with a multitude of textures, colors, uses, weight... and so on and so on.
Here's the bag being used...
the bag being used again...

and again! I think they have a favorite :0)

But it's all fun to explore!
  I plan to change out the baskets contents every week to keep it new and exciting!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Volcanic color changing eruption!

We started with red lava...
Yesterday we had discovered what happens when you mix vinegar, baking soda, and food coloring! Wow!!! What fun! They sat and stared in amazement the whole time! Need I mention we repeated this process about 5 time!?!?
and then we added blue...
and it made purple!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Toddler color collage packets

Yellow collage

Here is a fun and easy way to let your toddlers make a collage. We have been making one of these a week focusing on a different color each time. I think the best part is searching the house for a specific color of materials we can use in them :0)

To get started you will need:
Clear contact paper

Collage materials (we used all one color)
and of course scissors.
Cut off two pieces of contact paper making sure they are the same size (one for top one for bottom). And here's the fun part, search the house high and low for the collage materials! It was a lot of fun taking my little guys around looking for specific colors of objects :) Lay the bottom piece of contact paper on a flat surface along with the collage goodies and let them go at it. I love watching them sticking their hands on and pulling their hands off the the contact paper! It's so funny! When they are done just lay the second sheet over it and seal as best you can. I used tape all the way around the edges of our just to be sure it won't open up.
Here are some pics of a few we have done!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Our Indoor Play Area's

I thought I would give you all a tour of our indoor play area's. It is a work in progress and I am still in the process of weaving out our plastic toys. I plan to keep a couple such as the little people toys just because they are so loved by the daycare kids.
Our playstand that hubby and I built.

Car racer, playsilks, little people farm, tree blocks, bucket of little people toys.
Drop and roll ball toy, stacking toy, number bean bags, bead maze, misc. balls, bilibo, xylophone.
Sensory table hubby and I built, a box to play in, and blocks.
Unit blocks and cardboard blocks.
This is where my two's (and sometimes E who is 9) eat, play, do art, and learn.

Our nature basket right now holds a stick, rock, leaf, pine cone, dinosaur, and a sand dollar.

Our shelf (which I would love to replace) has a pound a ball, hideaway people, q-tip toy, ring stacker, rainbow stacker, books (that have been chewed on by my puppy) and a few puzzles.
I hope you enjoyed the tour. I am always open for any suggestions anyone may have. I love fresh and new ideas!

Homemade gel like finger paint :0)

I'm not really sure what to call this stuff... but it's pretty, easy to make, and feels neat if you use it as a finger paint. It's a great sensory tool and also great for color recognition. I got this recipe years ago from a pre-k website that I don't think even exist today. But if I ever find it I'll put a link of it up as it was very resourceful and addicting!

So to make these paints you will need (things we all have in our kitchens already, yay)
1/2 cup of cornstarch
2 1/4 cups water
Food coloring
Small pot
3 glass jars with lids

You start by mixing the cornstarch and water in a small pot with a whisk over medium heat. Stir continuously making sure to scrap the sides and bottom edges of the pot frequently. The mixture will start to thicken and turn to a gel consistency. At that point remove the pot from the heat and let cool for a couple minutes.
You can then spoon equal amounts of the gel into the jars. Add about 5-8 drops of the desired color into each jar and stir making sure to mix the colors well.
Tada!!! You have gel finger paint!!!
Here's the beautiful picture my dck's made. One of my dck's prefers not to get his hands messy so I offered paint scrapers and he was very pleased with that!

Tree Blocks

Does it sound funny that I am absolutely in love with some blocks? Well, I am! I have seen these tree blocks on several different toy sites and have been drooling over them. They were pretty spendy and I couldn't justify spending that much on some cut up branches. So then I was going to make some but hubby said I needed a chop saw and I don't have a one... yet. I kept searching and finally found these ones at Heirloom Wooden Toys for $26! And they even came in a really nice fabric bag to store them in. I was so excited when they finally came!
As you can tell...
They are loved by everyone...
even by the older kids.
These tree blocks have been well worth the money and I plan on ordering a second set in the near future!
Simple but beautiful!