Sensory #10 pipe cleaner motor skills

This activity is a classic and I’m only really posting about it because I think it’s a ‘game’ that all little people should be exposed to.

For this you will need:

  • A colander (I borrowed my neighbours)
  • A pack of colourful pipe cleaners

Then as the picture demonstrates below you simply push the pipe cleaners through the holes, I usually demo first and then ask J to help Mummy (he probably thinks I’m a seriously useless adult?)

 For older little peeps I recommend encouraging them to weave the pipe cleaners in and out – for us it was more about getting them in the holes (hence I borrowed a neighbours colander as mine has holes that are narrow and long; the maker obviously hasn’t taken sensory play into consideration 😉

Like all my plans for play, J likes to jepodise them and the pipe cleaners quickly became snakes that a T-Rex named ‘Rexie’ who was in the area of play came along and ate (see below)

 The colander then became a place for the ‘snakes’ to hide and frankly any motor skills development went out of the window.
So, if you are brave enough to give it a try (eye balls do sometimes get in the way) I’d recommend it, I’ve also done it with cooling racks in the past which are fab for older monsters as weaving can really get creative.

Best of luck and lock up all Prehistoric creatures.

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Sensory #9 Farm Stickers

Today I am sharing a sensory activity that also enhances motor skills, is cost effective and is perfect for rainy days, which if you are UK based is literally everyday at the moment.

All you need are these fab little farm stickers that I purchased from my local Tesco store and we went for a ‘field’ like green piece of card. (see below)

IMG_2737  The stickers are fab and we still have nearly a whole bag left over for future works of art. They were under a pound, around the ninety pence mark and well worth it – they are sturdy, of good quality and there was a huge range of animals and farm furniture in the bag (sadly no tractors for any parents who have wheel obsessed monsters) I chose to put the stickers in two bowls – one with the stickers in and one for the peeled off backs to go in.

This is where J developed his own activity and spent a good fifteen minutes pouring the stickers from bowl to bowl. As Mummy tension grew (and lets face it I wanted to play with the stickers) I left him to it and used it as an excuse to pop the kettle on.

  Just when I thought we were going to become sticker buddies – he refused to peel the stickers off of the backs, and actually became distressed if I attempted to touch them. Instead, J played with them more like figures than stickers…in actually took me 48 hours to convince him that peeling the backs off was the best way forward.

Below is his first attempt and I must apologise for any layout technicalities with the pigs (blush). He also free styled with some crayon action – creating snacks for the ‘amin-als’ and after a quick interrogation the double lines (near the top of the page) are not as I thought ‘a fence’ but instead ‘a door for the doggy to go in the garden’. I feel stupid for even questioning such an obvious modern art phenomenon.  I’m sure you could do all sorts of lovely activities with these and they would really work well in conjunction with a farm yard book or narrative task, or as we have since done, perfect for sorting activities.

For now, we will continue to work on ‘how to use a sticker’ and Mummy will try to control every aspect of play. Thanks for popping by.

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Sensory #7 messy stuff 

I have a love for play-doh; it’s the smell, the texture and all the wonderful memories that float back into my mind – it’s was the 80s so squishing play-doh through plastic heads and playing hairdressers was all the rage. I can even remember where my Mum kept the play-doh and all of the paraphernalia that went with it, so when my friend sent me the pictures below of her son using one of my sensory ideas (and making it blooming better may I add, by adding the backdrop) I was rather touched, plus how cute is this kids hair!


 If you missed the play dough monsters take a look at Sensory #3 and give it a go, since J and I originally did it, we’ve probably played with pasta and dough a hundred times.

I’m learning that blogging opens up a new world of friendships and links 🙂 and I’m liking that a lot. Blogging has given me a doorway to not only express myself and my thoughts, but in return created invisible doorways to friendships and new like minded people – so thank you for being part of the journey.

Now the messy stuff.

I gave J the following ingredients:

  • A tray
  • A little jug of water
  • Several large tablespoons of corn flour
  • Wooden spoon
  • A spoonful of rice
  • Some food colouring

(Oh and a tea towel for the tables protection)

I then stood back…and to my surprise he got stuck in.

In terms of a craft / we were left with a sticky watery mess, not really to be desired? In terms of a sensory delight, it was magical!

 The rice gave the mixture which J described as ‘crunch’, he obviously added the water zealously and therefore it was a thin consistency, surprisingly it also all stayed in the tray (Mummy bonus) and with me sat next to him he told me he was cooking and the dialogue was really lovely.

 Sadly I didn’t take any pictures from when he added food colouring but the swirls were pretty awesome.

With older monsters you could defiantly write letters, numbers or words and then ‘mix them out’ but for us little monsters mixing and getting our hands in the concoction was enough.

I do love the magic of cornflour. After my first love, play-doh ohhhh and sequins!

Do you have any cornflour sensory ideas? If so, please share!

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Sensory play #2 clean mud

When your mum is a teacher and your Nanny spent way too many years between reception and year 2, you can expect sensory play at the drop of a hat.

If I ever have to work late which means pick ups from Nursery become a hassle my parents step in and make everything look effortless. In the last few weeks of term this happened a couple of times.

On one of these occasions,  I went into my dinning room to find my mum grating a bar of soap (like you do) to make soap flakes for a play activity. This is especially good if like me you have a dirt loving child as it smells like a years worth of laundry. IMG_2520

What she did to make ‘clean mud’
Ingredients:

  • Bar of soap (grated)
  • Toilet roll ripped up
  • Add water to desirable consistency ( more than you think, but not much)

Then squidgy it all together. Simple! J could definitely have got involved in the ripping of the toilet paper and who doesn’t love to squidge? Sensory delights and for a few pennies an occupied toddler.

 As you can see from above Mum ‘garnished’ J’s clean mud with some little Dinosaurs and I really think this is an outside activity, unless you are wishing your walls to look like the ceiling of the school toilets (ahh remember thoses day of paper churned up and stuck to the ceiling).

If I’m honest this didn’t really thrill J, but when he has his Grandad Tom on tap to play with, sensory play doesn’t always cut the mustard, or in this case the soap suds.

Give it ago and let me know how clean mud works out for you? There are lots of recipes on Pinterest and some even add food colouring, I quite liked the white effect? It’s snow like. J played with this for about a week, I just placed a carrier bag over the top and left it in the shed, the bonus was the shed smells like heaven!

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