Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mortar & Pestle Ice Play

When she was younger, Bubble was obsessed with ice cubes. Obsessed to the point where we had to put a padlock on our freezer door after finding it left open repeatedly from late night ice tray raids. We have managed to curb the obsession but her fascination is still there so ice play activities feature highly in our house.
One of the things she enjoys most is breaking ice into 'bits' so I thought she might enjoy trying out the mortar and pestle. Not only did the girls enjoy the process but it was a great motor exercise.
I knew Bubble would want to eat/lick the ice so I didn't add anything to it but this activity would be a great way to retrieve objects frozen inside (click HERE for our Ice Egg post).

* ice 
(we used small containers to freeze our water in)
* mortar & pestle
* small bowls
* absorbent towel/drop sheet

I chose some small containers from the recycling box that were roughly the same size as the mortar bowl to freeze our water in overnight.

The girls extracted the ice themselves and started experimenting with the pestle.

Their approaches were very different, Bubble pounded her ice and broke it into tiny pieces while Squeak was more cautious and kept turning her ice block over to bang on both sides.

As little pieces were chipped off the girls took them out of the mortar and placed them into bowls. They examined the ice bits with their magnifying glasses, laid them out on the towel to watch them melt and (of course!) ate some :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fort Drawing

One thing you are almost certain to find at our house is a fort. 
We permanently keep a pop up basket in the lounge room with an old sheet and clamp pegs and the girls use them to make little tents, caves and castles in any room of the house.
Today they had set up a tent in Bubble's room using some chairs and the side of her bed so they could crawl all the way underneath. The old sheet they use was once a painting drop sheet so it has quite a few colourful patches on it. Today we made it a bit more colourful using textas and imagination :) 
The girls had a ball doing this project and I really enjoyed hearing their decorating plans evolve. They decided it would be a 'Fairy Tent' and we ended up with everything from leaves and rainbows, to waterfalls and flying fairies.


* old sheet
* washable textas/markers

The girls tent set up in Bubble's room. I love the way they used the side of the bed so they could incorporate the underneath area into their play space.

Lots of markers. You could use any kind, we used washable so we could create other scenes at a later date.

Squeak hard at work creating a garden.

One of Squeak's fairies :)

Bubble drawing a big waterfall and some water fairies.
The girls made up a story as they drew all about what their fairies were doing and where they were going in the Fairy Tent. 

Off to explore.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Spaghetti Catch - Ribbons and Chopsticks

This fine motor game was actually Bubble's invention, I love it when the girls create their own fun activities, it gives me warm fuzzies.
I walked into our craft area yesterday to find her with a pile of cut up ribbons using a pair of chopsticks to transfer them into different bowls. When I asked her what she was doing she told me it was her new game called 'Spaghetti Catch'.
We added a bit more learning today using paper plates and the girls have been playing away all afternoon.


* coloured ribbons
* scissors
* paper plates
* marker/texta/pen
* chopsticks (or tongs)
* foam beads 

Bubble had cut up several different coloured lengths of ribbon into smaller pieces, so we put them all into a bowl together to make the 'spaghetti'.

We then put out paper plates to make a colour sorting game, but instead of putting actual colours on them we made it a bit trickier for Bubble by writing the words instead so she had to read them.

The girls then used their chopsticks to pick up the ribbons and put them onto their plates.

Little Squeak found picking up the ribbons too difficult and told me "it's too tricky for me Mama".
We added some small foam beads from the threading box as 'meatballs' for our spaghetti which were still a challenge for her but after some practice she got the hang of it.

They played this game a few times over and then it graduated into restaurant imaginary play which kept them happy for hours!