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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:
40 Vertical Surface Activities for Kids from Lalymom
Sorting Pom Poms from Powerful Mothering
21 Fine Motor Activities using Dot Stickers from School Time Snippets
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