July 31, 2014

Warm and Cold Sensory Play with Water Beads

Exploring Warm and Cold with Frozen Water Beads

Exploring warm and cold - sensory play with frozen water beads

Have you noticed a lot of fall ideas popping up on Pinterest lately?  I am just as guilty of pinning fall fun this early, but I'm not ready to start fall play activities yet!  August and September are the hottest months here, so we are still all about the ice and water play.  We made frozen water beads two years ago, and last year we froze water beads in water balloons for sensory and gross motor play.  When preparing another batch of water beads for the freezer a few weeks ago I had the idea to leave some of them at room temp while freezing the rest and combining the materials for some warm and cold sensory play.

July 30, 2014

Painting with Leaves

Kindergarten Leaf Unit Study

Art activity for fall - homemade leaf paint brushes

I'm falling down on the job!  We did this painting with leaves activity exactly two months ago, and I'm just now sharing it.  This is just one of the leaf activities we did for our leaf unit study in My Father's World Kindergarten.  The boys had so much fun painting with homemade yarn paintbrushes, and I knew they would love recreating the art experience, this time with leaves from our backyard.

July 29, 2014

Alphabet Sticky Tray

Learning the Alphabet through Play - Alphabet Sticky Tray

Learning the alphabet through play with a sticky alphabet tray.  Practice letter recognition with this sensory activity for preschool.

Yesterday I announced the start of my new series, Learning the Alphabet through Play.  The intent of this series is to introduce letters and sounds in playful games and activities.  I'm not looking for mastery or learning to read at age three.  I am presenting age appropriate activities to my twin three year olds and then following their cues.  Today I set up an alphabet sticky tray.  We have done sticky table art, sticky window crafts, and sticky wall learning many times in the past, and my boys always love the sticky texture.

July 28, 2014

Learning the Alphabet through Play

Alphabet Activities for Preschool

Play based alphabet activities for preschool to make learning FUN!

My twins turned three recently, so I've started working on a few basic preschool skills with them.  If you are a regular here at Learn~Play~Imagine you know that we focus on child led, play based learning which a heavy emphasis on sensory activities.  By age three my older two boys knew all the letters and sounds.  I know all children learn at different rates, so I'm not concerned that Tank and Peanut do not yet have these skills.  My thoughts are education are greatly influenced by Reggio Emilia and Charlotte Mason which means we don't put an emphasis on formal learning at a young age.  However, I do enjoy setting up meaningful, play based activities for my boys to help establish a love for learning.  Over the next few weeks or months I plan to set up simple activities for learning the alphabet through play.  They will most likely all require very little set up, since we all know time is valuable.  For now this post is bare, but as I post the various alphabet activities we do, I will link to them here to have them all in one place.

July 21, 2014

Play Dates with Sidewalk Chalk

Summer Fun with Sidewalk Chalk

Ideas for hosting a play date with a sidewalk chalk theme.  Who knew there were so many ways to play with sidewalk chalk?

It's been a long time since I shared one of our play dates!  We love inviting our play group over for some messy fun, especially in the summer time.  We love sidewalk chalk activities, and they continue to be a favorite for us at play dates.  Why?  Because sidewalk chalk activities are easy to set up, and all of the mess washes away easily with the hose.  I'm going to share a few of our favorite activities from our sidewalk chalk play dates from this summer and last.

July 15, 2014

Moon Activities for Kindergarten

Kindergarten Moon Unit Study

18 hands on activities to learn about the moon
moon phases image courtesy of vectorolie at freedigitalphotos.net 

It's safe to say we had a blast studying the moon as part of My Father's World Kindergarten.  We got caught up in the sensory aspect and came up with several recipes for play with a moon theme.  We also learned about the phases of the moon, how we get light from the moon, and the surface of the moon with these hands on activities.  In addition to the moon activities we did, here are several creative moon activities for kids.

July 14, 2014

Watermelon Foam Dough

Watermelon Foam Dough - Summer Recipe for Play

How to make foam dough that smells just like a watermelon - SUMMER FUN RECIPE FOR PLAY!

The day after we shared our watermelon eruptions we mixed up a batch of watermelon foam dough.  I just realized that I never shared it!  We've made erupting candy corn foam dough, and erupting sand foam dough, but since we had just made watermelon eruptions the day before I stuck with traditional foam dough for this summer fun recipe for play.

June 23, 2014

June 22, 2014

Quick Sand Paint Recipe

Homemade Sand Paint Recipe - Art for Kids

Two ingredient recipe for sand paint - sensory play and art combined with this simple recipe for PLAY!

Almost every week we try out a new homemade paint recipe.  Our quick paint recipe continues to be at the top of our list.  Why?  Because like the name implies, the paint recipe is quick and simple to make.  What's not to love about quick and simple?  We've made sand paint before both with play sand and also a scented version with Kool Aid.  These quick sand paints, not to be confused with quicksand, took two minutes to prep and provided an hour of sensory play and art for my kids.

June 21, 2014

Gross Motor Game to Learn the Phases of the Moon

Kindergarten Moon Unit Study

Learn about the phases of the moon with a gross motor game!  This easy to set up game has a couple simple variations and is easily adaptable for any age.

We are almost done with our My Father's World Kindergarten moon unit study, but before we wrap it up I decided we needed to add in a gross motor game.  I am a firm believer in the power of active learning, or combining gross motor movement with educational activities.  We made an erupting moon cake to learn about the phases of the moon, and I thought it would be fun to play a gross motor game to see what J-Bug remembered.