Sunday, December 20, 2015

Hi All,

Continuing in the series of sensory activities, but taking a break from "flubber-type" concoctions, I'm going to show you how to create mosaics with eggshells.
I am an avid baker and cook, and use a lot of eggs.  Not one to waste materials, I wash out the eggshells, take out the thin membrane attached to the shell wall, let them dry and now have a lovely (free) art material.

To crush eggshells you need:
-clean eggshells
-mortar and pestle (dollar store item)
-black or dark blue heavy paper

After they are crushed, you can make designs with glue and then sprinkle the eggshells over the design.  Tap excess eggshells and then you have your eggshell design.

Eggshells can be as small as you like. Glue whatever shape you desire.



Shake off the excess shells. 

Note: The colorful picture was achieved by soaking the eggshells in a solution of water, a few drops of food coloring and an ounce of rubbing alcohol (helps with the absorption of color.) For best results, soak overnight, then scoop out the eggshells to dry.  When they are fully dry, they can be used in mosaics.

Have fun!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hi Everyone,

We've been having such a great time this week playing with a funky sensory material called sand slime.  To make it you use white glue and laundry starch (just like flubber.)  But, added to that, is beach sand (you could also use packaged play sand from Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.)

The beauty of sand slime is that it holds together like play dough but has the elasticity of flubber/ silly putty.

To make sand slime you need:

-One cup sand
-1/2 cup white glue
-laundry starch (pour a little at a time, while mixing with your hands until it holds together in a ball 
and is not sticky.)


You will have to knead it and work it around with your hands, until you have the desired consistency. It should feel like a sandy version of play dough.

Decorating with real beach shells.

Scissors make a nice clean cut.

                            We like to use sticks to build with.

It stretches, but is also quite strong.  Look at the tent we made!

Bottle caps make great "cookies."

Have fun!  In my next post, I will show you how to use eggshells in a sensory activity as well as an art project.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 15, 2015

For my next few posts, we will demonstrate how to make and use sensory materials which are alternatives to play dough.  Don't get me wrong.  Homemade play dough is fantastic and I will provide recipes for a few of my favorites.  But, we will start with a crazy, squishy substance called "Flubber."

To make flubber you need:
-  1 cup Elmer's school glue
- 1/2 cup Linit laundry starch (found in detergent section of supermarket)
-food coloring (optional)

*These measurements are approximate.  You have to play around with the proportions until you reach the desired texture.


    Pour glue into bowl

  Add some laundry starch

    Mix around with your hands

It will be gooey, slimy, stretchy and sticky

               Keep molding it until consistency is a ball that holds together well.  If it feels too            sticky, add a little laundry starch.  If it feels too stringy, add a little glue.

 We like to hide spiders and try to find them!

Poking around for the little devils

  Got  it!

       Now we'll hide beads.  Looks like a cookie!

And of course, we like to stretch it

and cut it

  It becomes translucent when you stretch it out
 Have fun!


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Part 2 of sensory breathing activity.  Last post I demonstrated how to use a breathing technique to blow bubbles with water and dish detergent.  Today, I will show you how to blow pompoms through cardboard tubes.  This is a game for 2 people and is good for children 3 and up.

Blowing Pompoms Through Cardboard Tubes
- 2 cardboard tubes that can fit one inside the other.  If they are the same size, you can tape them together
- 2 straws
- holder for the cardboard tubes (optional)


Secure one tube inside the other

Ask partner, "Are you ready?"  Blow pompom through tube to partner.  They might have to try blowing a few times, until the pompom makes its way to the other side.

"I caught it!"


 Everyone practices!

Children will be amazed that the pompom disappears, then reappears.  They may want to experiment with more pompoms going through the tube.  See how many can fit before they get "stuck."
Have fun!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Today I will describe a fun sensory activity that involves breathing.  The set-up is easy and makes use of items found around the house.

Note: Before you start the water activity, make sure the child understands the difference between blowing into and sucking up water. Have them practice blowing air through the straw and feeling it on their hand.  

Blowing Bubbles with Straws
You will need:

-drinking straws
-pint size container
-dish detergent
-food color

Pour about two inches of water into a pint container.  Using a straw, demonstrate to the child how to blow into water.  There will be a little bubble action

After the child tries this a few times, add about 10 drops of dish detergent.  The child will be delighted at how the bubbles multiply.

Lots of bubbles!

You can then add some food coloring to make the bubbles stand out even more.

Kids will delight in their ability to make the bubbles keep going...and going... and going!  

 The act of  blowing bubbles is very calming and organizes a child's sensory system.  It helps children to breathe a little deeper automatically. This results in more muscle activity in the trunk which in turn results in more awareness and posture in the trunk.  This postural and movement awareness, also called proprioceptive information helps a child focus his/her attention more easily.  But you don't have to tell them all that.  Kids will just find bubble blowing extremely fun.

In my next post, I will show you another breathing using pompoms.  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Today I will show you how to use one of my favorite picture books to empower children to cope with monster fears.  This activity is geared to children 3-6 years old.

"Go Away Big Green Monster" by Ed Emberley.

I start by reading the book to the children and having them identify the facial parts.  After the first reading, I introduce the Monster.  As we read the book again, the children and I point to the parts of the face.  In the middle of the book, the author says, "You don't scare me."  And one by one, the parts of the face are told to go away.  That is the fun part for the children,when they get to remove the facial parts.

Here is the book

We follow what the book tells us



We make the whole monster disappear

And they will surely want to do it all again!

To make the monster board you will need:

Corrugated cardboard (brown from a box)

Foam squares - red, green, yellow, purple and white
Black and yellow oak tag (or tag board) cut to the size of the cardboard
Velcro dots or square pieces with adhesive backing
White glue (Elmer's)

1. Cut cardboard and oak tag to same size (about 1 foot x 1 foot) and glue tag board to cardboard.

2. Copy the big green monster face from the book onto the green foam.  Cut out.
3. Draw the facial features on corresponding foam colors and cut out.
4. When you have all the facial parts, attach soft Velcro squares or dots on back
5.  Attach scratchy Velcro pieces on to the black oak tag
6.  Cut a long rectangular piece of yellow oak tag and glue onto the bottom of the black oak tag.  Write the words, "Big Green Monster."

If you have any thoughts or questions, please comment below. Happy crafting!