Jul 31, 2015

Gross Motor Color Mixing (Pop! Squirt! Splash! Book Launch)

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We are SO excited to introduce our newest book: Pop! Squirt! Splash!: Hands-On Activities for Kids Using Soap, Water, & Bubbles. Our latest and greatest is a collaboration 11 other fantastic kids activity bloggers, and it is perfect for the summer! Using 3 simple ingredients: water, soap, and bubbles, there are enough activities in this book to keep your littles busy all season. 


You certainly need this book, and just in case you needed a little more convincing, here is a sneak peek at one of the fabulous activities included inside! Gross Motor Color Mixing! 


For this activity, you will need two clear receptacles, water, bath color tabs and a cup. Fill each receptacle (we used glass bowls!) with water. Decide which color you would like your little one to learn how to mix and drop the appropriate tabs in each. I chose to do blue+yellow=green! I dyed one bowl blue and one bowl yellow, and then I set them up about 6 feet apart.


I encouraged Kingston to take a scoop of water from the blue bowl, and carefully walk it over to the yellow and pour it in. Then we observed what color he had created! When he was done with the initial color transfer, I sent him back to the first bowl to scoop up more. Then I called out an action that Kingston had to do in order to get the next cup of water to the bowl. For example, I told him to "walk sideways". He completed the action, then dumped the water into the bowl.


I continued to call out gross motor movements: spin, run, walk backwards, skip, crawl etc. He did each one, and had to try not to spill any water! He had so much fun, and challenged me to come up with more and more actions to finish off the bowl of water. His final observation: I made GREEN Mama!!" 


If you love this activity, you can find this and tons more awesomeness inside Pop! Squirt! Splash!: Hands-On Activities for Kids Using Soap, Water, & Bubbles. You can find more sneak peek activities here:

Soap Foam Dough from And Next Comes L
Soap Shaving Bookmark from Sugar Aunts
Water Play: Sorting Land & Water Animals from Still Playing School
Floating Soap Boats from Fireflies and Mudpies 


Pop! Squirt! Splash! is now available in Ebook, Kindle, and Print

Use discount code LAUNCH2OFF to save $2 off your eBook (PDF) copy! Offer expires August 14, 2015

Don't miss out!! 

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Jul 27, 2015

Gross Motor Treasure Hunt

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This month for our Book Club Play Date, we read one of our FAVORITES: Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck !  We are constantly reading this delightful ocean themed rhyming book at our house, and it is the perfect jumping off point for a themed play date. 



At the end of the story, the little boy finds a treasure chest filled with treasure. On the last page, he brings the treasure up for his Mama. It's a gold coin! We have tons of gold coins laying around from various St. Patrick's Day activities, so I thought it would be fun to do a treasure hunt outside. I had originally wanted to do the gold coin hunt in our small little kid pool, BUT Mr. Grumpy Gills had a rough nap wakeup and had other plans. So, instead I hid the gold coins in the yard, and we recited the story as we found them. 


We turned the treasure hunt into an imaginative play activity, and pretended we were seeing the various sea creatures beside each gold coin we spotted. K got his gross motor workout in galloping with a seahorse, do-si-doing with a starfish, and "swimming" (running) away from a big shark!

When Kingston had found all of his coins, he came and showed off his treasure to Mama, just like the little boy in the story! 


Don't forget to head over to my fellow Book Club Play Date bloggers pages to check out their crafts and activities! 

Snack: The Deep Blue Sea Veggie Snack from Craftulate
Sensory: Deep Blue Sea Sensory Bin from Sugar Aunts
Craft: Color Collage Art Project for Kids from Fun-A-Day
Game: Gross Motor Treasure Hunt from House of Burke (That's US!)

Stay tuned for next month's Book Club Play Date! We will be reading the Margaret Wise Brown classic Big Red Barn !

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Jul 3, 2015

'Merica Sticker Resist Print Craft

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It wouldn't be a holiday around here without our requisite print crafts would it? My boys have these adorable shirts from Little Cotton Top Apparel (you can find them on IG - @littlecottontopapparel) that say "'Merica" and they were the inspiration behind this adorable keepsake craft! Check out how cute they are!

Side note: HOW BIG IS BENTLEY NOW?!?! 10 months of adorable sweet lovebug! Can you believe it? I sure can't! This year has FLOWN.


To make our 4th of July keepsake, I gave each of the boys some white cardstock. I used foam letter stickers to spell out 'Merica on the cardstock. The letters we used had glitter on them, and provided a fantastic sensorial component to our project. Bentley had fun feeling each one, while Kingston read each letter aloud to us. (I DID explain to Kingston that America is actually spelled with an A in place of the apostrophe, and that this was just for fun. Because who doesn't like trendy sayings like, 'Merica?!) 

I provided each boy with a patriotic shade of washable paint  and they used their hands to spread the paint all over the paper. I put extra on Bentley's so that he could get the paint in the little crevices around the letters. I was so proud of him for not eating it. (B is my mouthing child. Everything is food to him!) 

When their paintings were dry, I used child safe ink in the opposite patriotic color to ink their hands and have them press them onto the paper. I love the end result! They both had a blast making it. This is the perfect last minute keepsake craft! 


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Jun 29, 2015

Bear Sees Colors Color Hunt

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We love Karma Wilson over here! She is fabulous. One of our favorite series of hers is the "Bear" series! For our Book Club Play Date this month, we read the book Bear Sees Colors and engaged in a fun gross motor color hunt outside. 


I grabbed a basket, and filled it with some of the primary colored pieces from our Green Toys My First Stacker. In the story, Bear sees red, blue, yellow, and green. Then bear sees brown: himself! So I chose the according stacker pieces and bought Kingston's very own brown bear out with us, Mr. Cuddle Wuddles. (I can't make this stuff up.)


I "hid" the stacker pieces and bear, then  I handed Kingston the basket. We started at the top of the driveway, and I asked Kingston if he remembered what color bear spied first. Then he searched all around the yard for the colored disks. 


He was incredibly engaged in finding the pieces and pointing out the colors. This is a great activity (AND book) for brushing up on colors, but for an older child who is already fluent in their colors, it is fabulous for making them aware of the colors that are present in the world around them. K quickly became very aware of which colors were present in the nature around our yard, and enjoyed pointing out and discussing them. 


K was SO excited to spy something brown. He ran right to Mr. Cuddle Wuddles and snatched him up laughing. He thought it was great that bear was outside hanging out on our color hunt!


After we completed the color hunt, K wanted to do it again (a surefire way to know that the planned activity was a success!) I hid the disks several more times!


There are so many different ways to switch up this activity too! For sibling play, you can have older children hide the colors for the younger kiddos. You could also focus on just one color and find all sorts of items of the same color all over the yard. For a true challenge, you could hide multiple objects of different colors and have your little one sort them into different baskets!


Don't forget to head over to my fellow Book Club Play Date bloggers pages to check out their posts:

Snack: Ice Cream Scoop Color Hunt Snack from Sugar Aunts
Craft: Animal Coloring from Still Playing School
Busy Bag: Bear Sees Colors Busy Bag from Craftulate
Game: Bear Sees Colors Color Hunt from House of Burke (That's US!)

Stay tuned for next month's Book Club Play Date! We will be reading Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea  

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Jun 12, 2015

Taste-Safe Kinetic Sand

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Happy Fine Motor Fridays! Kinetic sand is one of our favorite sensory and fine motor mediums to play with. We have used it since Kingston was much smaller because he was never a mouther. However, now that I have Bentley I know just what everyone means when they ask me, "Doesn't he put that in his mouth?" B puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Gross floor crud? Check. Sticks and leaves? Check. Pieces of fabric? Check. Basically he's a goat. With that being said, "taste-safe" alternatives are our new best friend. 

While baking recently, I noticed that BROWN SUGAR has the same texture, consistency, and properties as kinetic sand. And you can't beat the price comparison!! Brown sugar is also a lot safer to use around a baby or a mouthing toddler. So, I decided to test it out. Now brown sugar is something that melts when handled for too long, so I've found that the key is THE FREEZER. If you put your brown sugar in an air tight container in the freezer, it keeps well and remains cool enough to handle for quite a while! 


For our first foray into brown sugar as a kinetic sand alternative, we kept it simple. I gave Kingston a pair of plastic tongs (one of our favorite fine motor tools), and some Construction Utensils (because they are super fun!) He got right to work using the tongs to pinch small bits of brown sugar up. 


He used his hands to form the brown sugar into peaks and then used the tongs to break them apart. Brown sugar works exactly the same as kinetic sand. It is moldable, but also moves in your hands. Our entire house smelled delightfully sweet as K played!


I had Kingston roll the kinetic sand into balls and then pick them up with the tongs. He thought it was great to use the utensils to roll the balls into position and then pick them up with his "crane" (the tongs!) I love how this activity fostered pretend play, fine motor play, and sensory play all in one!


We used the pizza cutter from our Melissa & Doug Pizza Party to practice making straight lines in the brown sugar sand. You could also use a different utensil or a straw to practice letter and number drawing!


Bentley had to get in on the fun too of course! He had fun squishing and pinching the brown sugar sand and working on developing his own fine motor skills. (Side note: check out those delicious baby arms!!) And when he got a little too curious and stuck a fistful of brown sugar in his mouth? Well, I didn't have to worry quite as much!


Don't forget to check out the other awesome Fine Motor Fridays posts: 

Sorting Pom Poms from Powerful Mothering

Fine Motor Fridays Pinterest Board

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99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5
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