After a week of feeling under the weather and being coddled by the hubby, I put my mom hat back on and got to some fun, time consuming projects… but don’t go running. They were only time consuming for Addie (YAY!). Below I’ll explain how we mastered the weekend indoors due to extremely cold temperatures, and why we added “baking soda” to our blizzard list (with milk, bread and batteries, of course). Our sensory projects have been more “pasta in a bottle” or “reach-and-feel” until now, and I wanted to start introducing some real science to Addie… so this was our first venture into uncharted mommy waters. Check it out!
I stumbled upon THIS awesome blog post from Sweet Makes Three, and just had to try it for myself! I love sensory projects that I can manipulate to do as much or as little as I want! This one ran the gambit, gathering all of Addie’s attention and forcing her to think of ways to explore it further. For this experiment in color, bubbles, smell and fun, gather up:
- Glass baking dish (or something with sides)
- Baking soda
- Eye droppers or oral syringes
- Blueberries, turmeric, paprika, beet juice, mustard (you can also use food coloring- -use 5-10 drops per 3T of vinegar)
First, make your colors!
Yellow: Add 1T yellow mustard (or turmeric) and 2T of water in a ramekin and mix well. Add 3T of vinegar and mix.
Blue/Purple: 1/4c frozen blueberries with just enough water to cover. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then squeeze all of the water from the berries and strain. Add 3T of vinegar and mix.
Red: 3T of beet juice, 1T water, 3T vinegar and mix.
Orange: 1T paprika, 1T water, 3T vinegar and mix.
Get your baking dish and cover the bottom just enough so you don’t see the glass anymore. Then grab your droppers or syringes, and get to playing! For anyone working with OT, using the syringes forced Addie to use both of her hands and fine motor skills to hold the dispenser and pull or push the top for the color. After a few parent-led lessons, she got it on her own and had a great time with both the actual project and with experimenting with how much liquid she pulled in, how hard she pushed the plunger and how high or low she held the syringe when pushing it in (and what that meant for a SPLASH!).
This project was awesome because it used almost all of the senses… or if you’re Addie, it even used taste.
Listen to the fizzle.
See the bubbles, colors.
Smell the colors (yes, I said smell the colors). Because we used natural food coloring with vinegar, so many cool scents came out! It actually smelled like we were cooking. It was delicious and I guess tasty, because I found Addie’s hands in her mouth more than once!
Touch the baking soda when it is dry and wet. What is the difference? Does it feel like anything else? (Sand, was Addie’s answer)
Speaking of awesome bloggers, my IRL friend, Sarah, over at Sweet lil You did some dino digging with her daughter Avery, and I could not resist this project! Avery had a great time digging for her dinosaur, so I got right to it searching for some toys to try this out with Addie. To make it a bit different, I created a short story to go along with our project and read it to Addie before we began. Check out our excavation video below and tell me what you think:
Gather up your supplies:
- A bowl
- Baking sheet
- Plastic toys
- Salt/Spoon/Popsicle stick/Chopstick/bowl of warm water
…and have some fun!
Addie is now our resident archaeologist, having found both the lost green silverware and the 4 people who went looking for it! It took her quite a long time to get to them, but she never gave up and I loved watching her get at it AND having a full hour of concentrated activity time! As per Sarah’s suggestion, put a paper towel down, then your ice on top, so it doesn’t slide, and use a plastic bowl to freeze your items because it’s easier to get the ice out!
Our third project was super fun… because Addie got to do the thing I tell her to not do: rip the paper off of crayons! This sensory project was really cool because it explored colors, sounds (of ripping, of course), how different waxes feel (and how you can manipulate it when it’s warm and can shatter when it’s cold), and how they smell when heated (Addie’s conclusion: “Like a candle!”).
We made fun heart and star-shaped crayons from old broken ones, which was not only fun to do, but we had SO many broken ones that it feels like we did a purge, when, in fact, we just upcycled!
Have your supplies ready:
- Crayons, paper removed
- Silicone ice trays in any shape (Ikea has a ton)–> we used hearts and stars, but some of the stars broke- the smaller designs are harder to pop out
- Baking sheet
- Oven at 250°
You can mix colors or use one color or variations of a color (like lots of blues together)- break the crayons up small and fill your tray(s).
Place your trays on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 15 minutes, then check.
I had to add crayons to my trays and pop a few air bubbles before they were filled correctly.
Once your trays are full and melted, place them in the freezer for 30 minutes.
After they’re hardened, pop your new crayons out and get to coloring!
Theses make great gifts- or valentines for the class!