ABC Cookies For All Seasons

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This is the 3rd post in Fun Ways to Play with ABC’s – Seasonal ABC’s – hosted by Something 2 Offer.

The following activity is very hands-on, easy and… Tasty! The children don’t only practice their language skills but also work on fine motor skills, hand – eye coordination, focus; develop their creativity and gain sensory experience (texture and taste).

You can find the recipe for Sugar Cookies here.

The idea is very simple: make the dough, roll it, let the children make letters out of the dough, bake them and eat them!

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Be prepared for the letters to be absolutely imperfect and more over when the cookies are baking, the expand all sorts of ways! But it is still fun!

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You can choose to decorate the cookies with simple icing for special occasions, like, Christmas, Ayyam-i-Ha and other holidays.

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Please stop by the Sensory ABC’s landing page for more ideas!

Creative Tuesday: Revisiting Home Made Paint

I shared with you previously that we made home made paint and had tons of fun with it!
Today I’d like to revisit as this activity took place few more times at our house and it was always great fun!
It is especially useful as a non-supervised/half-supervised activity for older siblings (4 + in my experience but would of course worker better with older children) when you have a new baby!
Home made paint
Here are simple steps:
1. Mix the ingredients.
2. Pour them into paper cups and add needed color (could be food coloring or actual paints).
3. Grab a big piece of paper and paints and have fun!
The beauty of this paint recipe that it WILL come off easily so if you get it on the surfaces, all you need is wet wipes and/or damp cloth to wash the stains off. And they easily came off my daughter’s clothes as well after running them in a wash cycle.

Ten Simple Toddler Activities

tot play
We’ve been home bound for nearly a week now due to cold weather and my cold/sinus congestion. Even though we have plenty of space for my 5 year old and 19 months old to play, lots of toys and craft supplies, there is only that much craft you can do in a week with a sick (and pregnant!) mommy!
So I have keep going back to some of the activities I’ve written about before and more which never get “old” and can be applied for every day to create fun for your little one. They are supervised activities but for most of them you don’t even have to move around much, which is perfect for a new mom or a pregnant mom, or for a mom who is battling a cold!
1. Playing with a handkerchief or a scarf. Both boys and girls would enjoy this simple play! It can be used inside the house or outside while waiting in line or at the restaurant for food.
2. Similar way you can play with a … paper towel or a tissue paper! Add a bread basket or a plastic bowl to the game – and you have about 20 minutes (or more!) of fun! Once the tissue paper starts falling apart, roll small balls from it and throw them into the basket/bowl, scoop them with a spoon or simply pour them in and out of it.
3. Pour small objects from cup to cup – this can take a while! But make sure, of course, that they don’t get stuffed into the nose or ears, nor swallowed.
4. Painting: sponge painting, finger painting, painting, painting, painting! Any toddler likes to get his/her hands dirty. If you want more fun – make it a bath time activity and just next to your tot and supervise the water and paint play!
5. Salt dough and play dough – they never get out of fashion! Use small toys and objects to stick into the dough or make collages.
7. If you have a yard with a sandbox – sand play is your fun! If you don’t or can’t leave the house – make salt/rice trays: simply put the salt/rice in the trays and add some small objects to them. These you can store and keep for later (as long as they don’t get wet and are kept in airtight containers!). You might need to vacuum or sweep afterwards, but it is really worth the trouble! Tip: if you choose this activity, kitchen might be your best place for it and you might want to put some newspapers or a waterproof sheet on the floor under the tray to contain most of the mess.
8. Try on some hats! You can dig out all the hats in the house and offer your tot to wear them or put them on you. It takes 15 to 30 minutes for the hat play at our house!
9. Good old torn paper art is what every tot I know loves doing!
10. If all fails – bring out the cutlery. Spoons, plastic ware, pots, lids, ladles – it may get noisy but you know you’ll enjoy it! If you have plastic bottles with spices that are not easy to open – bring them into the game. Stacking them, placing them from pot to pot – tots love that!
You don’t need to go far to organize a simple and fun play at your house. You probably have everything already.
What are you simple toddler play ideas? Share with me!

Creative Tuesday: Sensory Play

Today Creative Tuesday introduces a wonderful activity inspired by the original activity from Blog Me MomSensory Writing.



In our case it turned into Sensory Play as the children were too young to write. This activity is appropriate for practically any age. First of all, the paste is safe and edible. We used regular flour instead of the corn flour that is called for in the original recipe. You just need to add enough water to make sticky and slightly watery paste. As it starts air-drying, it becomes slightly thicker and stays on paper better allowing children to draw on it.

Here are the things we used to play with the paste:

– plastic knives

– plastic forks

– pieces of cardboard paper to smudge it on construction paper

– straws (we blew through them on the paste to make fun designs!)

And of course – hands!

It seemed moms in my class were as engaged as the children were.

I highly recommend this activity to children with ADD/ADHD – it can engage them for a very long time.

We really enjoyed this messy sensory play! It was also very easy to clean and easy to wash children’s clothes which they managed to get paste all over despite the aprons!

Try this activity and let me know how it turned out. I’d love to hear all about it!

Creative Tuesday: Messy play

Today I would like to start a new series on encouraging creativity: Creative Tuesday. I have been interviewing other blogger moms on the subject, doing my own research and will feature an idea at a time in order to give more perspective to readers on the subject.

Messy Play

One of the greatest ways to encourage creativity is allow the child to play messy. What is messy play? It is organized or unorganized activity that allows children experiments with texture, various materials, make mess. It includes playing and experimenting with sand, water, paints, glue, rocks, marbles, glitter, grains and whatever else can create mess. Messy play is usually allowed in special areas like backyard, bathroom, sensory tubs, beach, kitchen, specially designated areas in the house that are easy to clean.  Some parents turn meal times for infants and toddlers into a messy play which allows children to learn to self-feed. However I personally don’t like food to be thrown around and away so we never do this in our household (note: no judgement for those who do – it is a personal choice!).

What does messy play promote:

1. Creativity and imagination

2. Sensory development

3. Physical development (eye-hand coordination, fine and gross motor skills, body coordination)

5. Language development (through comments and encouragement by parents/caretakers, instructions and even story telling while playing)

6. Problem solving skills

I am all for controlled messy play, i.e. always supervising my children while they are experimenting and messing around!

Here what other moms say about mess and messy play:

Amanda of Miss Panda Chinese: “We also do water play as well as messy art projects with marble, rocks, leaves, cornstarch, flour and food coloring in the yard during the summer. I think all the hands on projects encourage the children to be creative and they can use supplies that are available to them to create something fun for themselves”.

Leanna of All Done Monkey: “Embrace the mess. Realize that you, your child, your dog, and some of your belongings will get messy. Try to enjoy it rather than cringing when it happens. Think of this as a “messy space” where mess can happen, and it’s fun. If there are things you are particularly concerned about getting paint on, put them away. Best of all, move outdoors (or in a designated play area, ideally with old furniture that you don’t care much about). And make sure to use appropriate supplies – non-toxic, washable paints and old clothes. Spread out old newspapers or magazines in your work space and move anything valuable well out of reach.” ({Raising Tots} series from Love Play Learn)

Cathy James of Nurture Store, Mia Wenjen of Pragmatic Mom and Rebekah Patel of The Golder Gleam advise to allow mess!

Here are some posts on Messy Play. If you have a post to share on this subject – don’t hesitate to let me know and it will be added to the list!

Mama Smiles – Summer Sensory Play

Crayon Freckles – The Truth About Cloud Dough

Mess For Less – Finger Print Flower Counting 

The Iowa Farmer’s Wife – Outdoor Messy Playdate

Growing A Jewelled Rose – Play In the Mud

Dirt and Boogers – Halloween Water Play

Glittering Muffins – Painting Without a Brush

Kid World Citizen – Hands-On Learning: Dissecting Owl Pellets + Extension Activities

Have fun with messy play and thank you for reading my blog!