Monday, February 28, 2011

Squeegee Sight Words

Our front windows (badly) needed cleaning so today I managed to recruit some small helpers by turning it into a fun sight word activity. Who doesn't love squeegees?


* windows
* white chalk
* squeegees
* water
(I added a cup of white vinegar to
our water to make the windows extra sparkly)

Using the white chalk I wrote Bubble's sight words all over the windows and also drew some pictures down low for Squeak to reach. You could use this game for any kind of learning - shapes, numbers, letters - you name it.

I put out shallow containers of water instead of a bucket so the squeegees wouldn't get too soaking wet and the girls could access them easily.

I called out Bubble's sight words one by one and she loved finding and 'squeegee-ing them all clean'.
Squeak just went all out and squeegee'd every bit of glass she could reach! :-)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How Do I Feel When - Emotion Sorting Activity

We have been trying to teach Bubble how to connect events throughout her day with her feelings, and then to be able to verbalise them. We often ask her how she feels about certain things especially if we can see a strong emotion that we can 'use', such as when she is obviously happy or sad (IE: when she is upset about not getting her own way we might say "I can see that you feel sad").
This game is an extension of that event/emotion connection and also a way to hopefully expand on Bubble's verbal skills and story telling. I drew her 'story' cards by hand because we had no ink in our printer but they could easily be made using found images on the net or using photos.


* Cardboard (we used note taking cards)
* Textas/Pencils/Printer/Photos
* Small bowls or boxes for sorting
* Sticky Tape

I made story cards based on real things that have caused certain emotions for Bubble. To begin with we are focusing on 'happy, 'sad' and 'angry' but will add other emotion categories later like 'jealous', 'confused', 'scared/frightened' etc...

I then drew very basic symbols to represent each of the emotions and used tape to stick them to some sorting boxes.

Bubble then sorted each of the story cards into the emotion box she felt it should go into. We used the prompt card each time and read it like a story.

I wasn't sure how Bubble would go with this activity but she really enjoyed it and took a long time to think about and choose her emotion box for each story card. I was quite surprised by some of her choices!

After she had finished sorting her cards Bubble wanted to play again, so we switched it around and she made her own set of cards to sort. She found this task really difficult and needed a lot of prompting to come up with ideas, but it was a great way to get her thinking about how certain things made her feel.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Re purposed Fishing Game

The weather today is lovely and hot, a bit too hot for the beach until this afternoon so this morning there was only place the girls wanted to be; the paddling pool. The usual pool toys didn't seem to be cutting it though so we made a quick and easy fishing game using some re purposed empty fish shaped soy sauce containers saved from our sushi takeaways (I knew they'd come in handy for something!).
The little fish were a hit with both girls, although only Bubble was interested in catching them with the rod. Squeak was much more interested in grabbing them in her hands and has been carrying them around like little treasures almost all day.


* clean empty soy sauce containers (the fish shaped ones)
* coloured pipe cleaners
* scissors
* strong magnet
(not your average craft variety magnet, it needs to be one with some serious power!)
* twine/string/wool
* small plastic bag or square of cloth
* rubber bands
* stick or ruler
* water - bathtub, bucket, bowl, pool, puddle etc...

First I cut some pipe cleaners into short lengths the same size as the fish containers.

Bubble then pushed each length of pipe cleaner into the fish and screwed the lids on tightly (great fine motor activity).

We made lots of pretty coloured fish!

Our super strong magnet had no loop to enable us to tie it to the rod, so I secured it into the bottom of a plastic bag with an elastic band and we tied it to our twine that way. I think a small square of pretty fabric would be even nicer and environmentally friendly!

We didn't have a long stick so used a ruler for the handle of our fishing rod. We then had our fish and rod and were ready for the paddling pool!

The fish float really well and are water tight. Because of the strips of pipe cleaner inside each one they are also able to be picked up by the magnetic rod.

Bubble loved going fishing for the 'sushi fish' :-)

Squeak wasn't interested in the rod at all, she preferred the hands on approach!

Textured Cardboard Road

This activity was Bubble's idea, I was most impressed with her imagination! I am currently in the process of doing up a lovely old desk for our work area and wanted to finish some sanding, so left her to her own devices with the craft cupboard after breakfast this morning. After about half an hour of rummaging she came over with a large sheet of black corrugated cardboard and some scissors and asked "please can we make this a road for me? Por favor?" (big Dora fans in the house ;-D).


* large sheet of black corrugated cardboard
* scissors
* small white sticker labels
* dinky cars

I folded the sheet in half without creasing it and cut rounded edges on the outside and a big rectangle from the centre. This left us with a 'track' shape for Bubble and Squeak's cars to go on.

Bubble wanted 'white things' on her road so we dug out the small labels left over from our Rooms Of The House dice game and she got busy sticking them on.

A road made from corrugated card.

Both girls loved the sensation of the cars bumping over the cardboard, I might try adding to this road with other different textured surfaces (gravel, shredded coconut, glued matchsticks etc...)

We had a strip of black card left over that must have been a remnant from a second sheet of card so I bent each end and slid it under the inner sides of our racetrack to create a bridge.

Heaps of fun had with some scrap card :-) It was also easy to roll up and put in the cupboard to be played with again.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Travel Sorting Games

These travel games were cheap and easy to make and perfect for packing in my handbag or the pram when we go out.


* small sectioned storage boxes
(they cost a few dollars each, we bought ours at Bunnings but I've seen them in most dollar shops, craft stores, Target etc...)
* small objects for sorting
(we used coloured paperclips and buttons).

The paperclips are stored in the storage box and can be sorted by colour into each compartment. We can also use them for fine motor games (linking together, twisting them into shapes) and activities like patterning.

The storage boxes keep everything contained and neat.

Button sorting activity box. I chose buttons of different colours and sizes so we could sort using either characteristic.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Aqua Doodle Stencil Painting

Today we did a fun water painting activity on the girls much loved Aqua Doodle mat in between errands. We're going to give foam stamps a go tomorrow and see how they come out!


* plastic stencils
* water
* mini foam rollers
* Aqua Doodle mat
(dry concrete/bricks/rocks or anything else you can water paint on would also work)

Using the stencils and rollers was easy for the girls little hands and they came out really well.

The stencils would eventually turn into blobs as the water soaked into the mat and blurred the edges, but initially they all came out really clearly. Keeping the brushes damp rather than wet helped keep the images from seeping.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Seashell Matching Game

We have a big container of shells collected from near our home and all sorts of other places that the girls love to play with. They become seats for fairies, boats in the bath and make cool prints in playdough. Yesterday we turned some of the flatter shells into a matching game using some small sea animal pictures and blutac - lots of fun! Both girls loved discovering the little animals underneath each shell and Bubble spent ages finding the pairs over and over again.


* flat clean seashells
* small pictures of sea animals
* blutac

The game was very simple to make - I cut out the sea animal pictures and we used blutac to attach them to the underside of each shell.

Then we spread them across the table with the pictures facing downwards.

Other seashell matching games found on the net:
Crayola Seashell Matching Printable -
print matching shells if you don't have any real ones and back with cardboard and a sea animal picture.
Pretty Handy Girl -
same idea but using stickers - even easier!
Seashell Game For Kids -
same idea again but using letters and numbers.

“Come over to play at the Childhood 101 We Play link up”

We Play

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rooms Of The House

I realised recently that although they are words we use all the time, Bubble doesn't know all of the 'labels' for the rooms of the house. She knows where the bathroom is, but when asked to go to the loungeroom or even her own room from another room she was just guessing and didn't really understand where she was meant to go.
The 'rooms of the house' dice game that we played today was great for teaching her those labels, working on her gross motor skills and was also heaps of fun - even Squeak loved this one and she's been a tough customer to please since her molars started cutting through! :-)


* two cube blocks (or large sized dice)
* small label stickers
* pen/marker

We used plain wooden building blocks to make some dice, one for 'rooms of the house' one for 'actions'. I cut small labels to size to write each word onto and adhere to each side of the dice.

Rooms of the house dice:
Mum and Dad's room
Bubble and Squeak's room

Action dice:

We took turns to roll the dice and had to run to the right room and do the action for one minute.