Friday, 31 January 2014

DIY Water Park

The last week of the holiday!!!
I can't believe it!!
My Butterballs are back at school on Monday.
Tamlyn will be in Grade 00 and Ethan will attend school for the first time!
My little man will be in Grade 000.
How time has flown!!

To celebrate...;) the end of the holiday, and more importantly,
 to COOL DOWN!!! (this has been a scorching hot Summer)
we decided to setup our very own mini Water Park with various water-based play stations.

At the crack of dawn, Calvin and I set to work.

Our first station was a Bubbles and Balls pool.
We filled a little paddling pool with water, a splash of bubble bath and a bag of balls.
Lots of Sensory fun!!

Next we set up a the splash pools... two little pools filled with various toys, water-wheels and pumps. Perfect for investigating and exploring.

The Butterballs received an awesome slide for Christmas (Thanks Uncle Alvin!)  which we put to good use.
I sprayed on shaving foam for some extra special slippery fun. The Butterballs also loved sliding down on their little surfboards (with a bit of help from Dad)

The next water-based play station was a Rub-a-Dub Scrub Tub.
I filled the Butterballs water-table with warm water, added a bit of dish-washing liquid to one section of the table, then tossed in a few cups and saucers, even a teapot or two.
They loved washing their tea set.

Ethan decided to turn the activity into an imaginary tea-party!!
I was just glad that those toys were finally getting washed ;)

Calvin added a water-pump bin so the Butterballs could spray each other ( and us!!)

And of course, no Back-yard Water Park would be complete without water balloons!!!

The Butterballs enjoyed a day of cool, splashy fun with lots of Active, Sensory and Imaginative play thrown in for good measure!
'When can we do it again Mama?' asks a super-sleepy Tamlyn at bedtime. :)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Ice Science

Sometime I wish I could sit in the freezer!!! 
It's been unbearably hot these last few days but the ButterBalls aren't complaining! They are simply loving our various keep cool activities.
After having so much fun with the Ice Monsters, I decided to try out another Icy activity, this time, one that I saw on beingreece.

This super-simple activity requires blocks of ice, salt, food colouring and a medicine dropper.

After playing with the ice-blocks for a while, the ButterBalls were finally ready to begin.
First they sprinkled a little salt onto each ice-block. They were amazed that the salt melted the ice-blocks. They could actually hear the ice cracking and see the crevices forming as the salt set to work!!

Ethan gleefully dumped half the container of salt onto his ice-block hoping that it would make a loud bang instead of the softer cracking sounds we had been hearing.
 He was so disappointed when all he heard was another 'crack'!!

Next, they used their little medicine droppers (fine motor practice !!!) to suck up some food colouring. 
They squirted the food coloring onto their ice-blocks.

 Besides making pretty patterns on the ice, 
`the food colouring highlighted the cracks, craters and crevices created by the salt.

Cool, pretty, messy science!!!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Monster Snack

In keeping with our Monster theme, I made the Butterballs Monster Cupcakes for tea.

Oreos, cupcake, frosting, sprinkles and candy!!!
Everything a Butterball could possibly want in a sweet treat ;)

They loved every sweet crumb!! 

They also loved watching this You-Tube clip - 

The Cookie Monster singing
 C is for Cookie

Too cute! 

Sometimes Me Think, 'What is Friend?' and then me say, 'Friend is someone to share last cookie with.' - Cookie Monster

Monday, 27 January 2014

Fine Motor Monster Munch

The Ice Monsters were such a hit, I decided to stick with the theme and try out this awesome activity from Lalymom.

Equipment : pom poms, a few trays ( I used ice-cube trays but patty pans would work equally well) and bulldog clips

I decorated the bulldog clips with googly eyes and teeth which I cut out from craft foam.

Aim of the game : Feed the Monster Clips a tasty pom pom lunch!

The ButterBalls soon got the hang of using the Bulldog clips and in no time their monsters were munching away
 ( while their little fingers got a good work out)
 Great pincer grip practice!!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Sensory Play - Rainbow Pasta

For today's activity the ButterBalls got to play with spaghetti...rainbow colored spaghetti!!!
'We get to play with our food???  Yeeeeaahh!!!'

Coloured spaghetti is pretty simple to make:
Boil pasta as normal and when cooked, divide the pasta equally into 4 (or 100) ziploc bags - depends on how many different colors of pasta you want.
Add a few drops of food colouring to each bag and mix well by shaking the bag
(perfect, no stained fingertips!!) Adding a few drops of oil prevents the pasta from sticking together.

Serve rainbow pasta in a deep bowl/bin/container (its bound to get messy!!).
Also try to do this activity outside (easier to clean up)
I gave the ButterBalls a few kitchen utensils...tongs, spoons etc ... then stood back and watched the pasta fly!!!

At first the ButterBalls refused to use their hands, they preferred to work with their 'tools'.

Ethan trying to figure out how to use the tongs!

Lots of fine Motor Skill practice going on here.

The ButterBalls eventually succumbed to the temptation of slimy pasta squishing!

Their descriptions were priceless, ranging from : sticky, yucky, cold and floppy to... 'Ewwww! it feels like slugs!!' (this from Tamlyn of course!)

Lots of messy fun...
Now, what do you do with smooshed left-over rainbow pasta?

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Ice Monster - Sensory Play

I saw this amazing activity on howtogrowajeweledrose and simply had to try it.
Its the perfect opportunity to :
  •  use up the leftover rainbow spaghetti.
  • engage in more sensory play.
  • cool off!!! It's midsummer in Durban.

All you do is fill an assortment of containers with water. Toss in the rainbow pasta and float a few googly eyes on the surface of the water. Pop the containers into the freezer and in a few hours you will have icy, scary, MONSTERS!!!!

The colouring from the rainbow pasta coloured the water creating realistic Ice Monsters - the ButterBalls loved it!!!

Frozen past feels totally different and undergoes various texture changes as it thaws out.

The ButterBalls had fun cracking the ice to 'rescue' the pasta.

Creating their own Mega-Monster!!!

The ButterBalls messed around for a while, returning to play with the Ice Monsters every so often. Surprisingly, the Ice Monsters lasted about 2 hours despite the heat, leaving me with a large puddle, twenty cold fingers and two very broad grins!!!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Bath Play - Puffy Shaving Foam Bath Paint

The week-end is finally here!!! 
Time to relax and have some fun with my favorite ButterBalls!!
In our home, bath time=splash time!
The ButterBalls LOVE a good splash (with most of the water ending up around the tub instead of inside it!)

Today we decided to do a painting activity in the tub (less time spent on clean-up duty) so we needed a recipe for clean messy fun!
I scanned through my resource file (where I save any awesome ideas I stumble across on the Net) and I found just the thing!
A super-easy recipe for Puffy Shaving Foam Bath Paint! 

The only ingredients you require are: shaving foam and food colouring.

When it comes to sensory play, BIC shaving foam is the most cost efficient (Dads shaving gel is only used as a last resort ;)
I found that gel food colour works better than the liquid because :
  • You use less food colouring.
  • Adding extra liquid to the shaving foam makes it lose its puffiness.

It took about 5 minutes to mix 6 different colours. I spooned them into the ButterBalls paint palettes, filled up the tub and let them at it!
They wasted no time getting started.
My little perfectionist ditched the paintbrush cos it made her pictures 'ugly'.

Ethan on the other hand preferred the paintbrush and didn't use his hands at all. He stopped a while to enjoy the flowery scent of the shaving foam before deciding to chase a stray blob of paint using his paintbrush as a net.

Tamlyn's love of pink and purple was clearly evident!
Ethan just wanted to mess around.
Guess which palette is Ethan's!
Once all the paint had been used up, Ethan entertained himself by playing pouring and stacking games. 

Tamlyn just splashed in the 'pretty water'.

Even clean-up time was fun. 

Definitely doing this again ...maybe on the windows next time ;) 
Great start to the weekend!!