To go along with our apple themed unit study I put together a simple learning tray that smelled just like apples and cinnamon. We used the sensory tray for mark making, letter practice, counting skills, and imaginative play.
August 28, 2014
August 27, 2014
Apple season is here! I love the colorful variety of apples God created, and apple graphing is the perfect way for young learners to work on hands on math skills.
Kindergarten Apple Unit Study
We have a whole lot of apple activities coming your way as part of My Father's World Kindergarten. My Father's World has a strong focus on nature based learning, and fall is the perfect season for learning in nature. The gorgeous colors all around provide a palette for hands on math skills for kindergarten.
August 21, 2014
It's been a long time since we shared a glowing activity! We replenished our glowing art supplies this week, and the first thing my boys wanted to do was paint in the dark.
Glowing Paint Recipe
We make most of our own paint recipes, and one of JZ's favorite paint recipes of all times was our glowing paint. During the summer we don't use our black light a whole lot since the boys are usually in bed before it gets dark. As fall approaches and the nights get longer, we are ready for some glowing fun.
August 20, 2014
With fall just around the corner I put together a sensory bin full of apple scented water beads. For added sensory play I dyed them green, red, and yellow like apples.
Apple Scented Water Beads - Fall Recipe for Play
Last fall we were a bit obsessed with the apple scented play. With our apple tree in bloom I'm in the mood for some more apple inspired fun! We love water beads and have played with them in many different ways. Adding scent and color to water beads is an easy way to make a season or theme specific sensory bin.
How to Add Color and Scent to Water Beads
Directions: I mixed liquid watercolor paint with water and put it in three containers, one yellow, one green, and one red. I sprinked cinnamon in with the green, vanilla in the yellow, and candy apple flavor in the red. I added about a tablespoon of clear water beads to each bowl. JZ (7) poured the colored water into each bowl of water beads. After a few hours the bowls were overflowing, and I had to transfer the water beads to larger containers and add more water. I started hydrating the water beads after breakfast, and by dinner time they were fully hydrated and ready for play. I poured all three colors of water beads into a bucket and invited the boys to join me outside.
In addition to the bucket I provided a few extra bins and containers for scooping and dumping. Please note that water beads jump and bounce around quite a bit. If you play indoors I highly recommend using a bin with deep sides to contain all the beads. If a stray water bead or two rolls away it's not a huge concern unless you have animals or young children. The water bead will dehydrate when not in water and vacuum up easily the next time you clean.
More apple scented recipes for play:
August 19, 2014
It's been quite awhile since we dyed a batch of pasta for art and sensory play, so I decided to put together a pasta rainbow!
Rainbow Pasta - Recipe for Play
The wonderful thing about pasta is that is comes in so many shapes and sizes. Each type of pasta provides a different sensory experience. We've dyed pasta many times before, so for this rainbow pasta I decided to use our three favorite types of pasta: elbow macaroni, rotini, and penne. I bought two boxes of each from Dollar Tree, so I could make six colors of pasta. Another aspect I love about pasta for sensory play is that it lasts for many months and can be played with again and again.
How to Dye Pasta
Directions: We dye our pasta exactly like we dye rice, no alcohol or vinegar is needed. Just coloring and pasta. For this batch I added one box of pasta to a ziploc bag at a time. The boys took turns adding the color. I prefer liquid watercolors since they are brighter and come in a variety of colors. Food coloring can also be used, especially if you have little ones who are likely to taste the pasta.
The next step is my kids' favorite. I seal the baggy carefully, and they shake it as hard as they can. They shake it until all of the color is distributed and covering the pasta. Actually, they generally shake the bag way longer than necessary. I don't blame them. It's makes a cool noise, and it's fun to watch the color spread. Much to their chagrin, I draw the line at throwing the bag.
I completely forgot to take a photo of the next step, but it's an easy one. I spread out the colored pasta on a sheet of wax paper and let it dry. On a hot day, like today, it will dry in a few hours. During colder months, leaving the pasta over night might be necessary. Since I was making a batch of rainbow rice I had six sheets of wax paper on my kitchen counter.
Once all the colors were dry I carefully added them to a sensory bin and invited the boys to play.
I am not kidding when I say that they boys attacked the bin like a pack of wolves. All day long they had been checking on the pasta and asking if it was ready. We mixed it up in the morning and played with it while my husband made dinner, so there were quite a few hours of anticipation building up to this play time.
Any time I make a multicolored sensory material there seems to be a race to see who can mix it up the fastest. I love both the separated colors and the mixed. They are just so beautiful.
Tank (3) cracked me up. He spent a good ten minutes with his head against the side of the bin watching his hand push the pasta around inside. I would love to know what was going on in his head as he played.
As is often the case, the boys climbed right into the bin to feel the pasta with their toes.
More rainbow sensory materials:
August 18, 2014
Two favorites in our house are color mixing activities and erupting art. Every since I saw the blended colors left from our rainbow eruptions I've been planning this erupting color mixing art project.
Color Mixing Art for Kids
Does anyone else go through as much baking soda and vinegar as we do? I feel like I buy one of each every time I visit Costco. I can't help it. There are just so many cool ways to make eruptions.
How to Make Color Mixing Art Eruptions
Directions: I mixed up a batch of baking soda paint to create our art eruptions. To make baking soda paint mix liquid watercolors with water then add the colored water to baking soda and mix well. Liquid watercolors give off more vibrant colors, but food coloring will also work. I added more color than I normally to do leave behind bright colors on our art project, and I actually wished I had used even more. Bottom line: use a lot of color.
It would be fun to experiment with a variety of colors. I stuck with primary colors for this project. Once the baking soda paints were mixed I took them outside and set up an invitation to create erupting art.
I set out watercolor paper, the paint, and squeezy bottles full of vinegar. Watercolor paper will show off the best results, but any thick paper should work. Avoid thin paper since it will tear.
Peanut and Tank (3) each approached the erupting art project differently. Peanut emptied an entire bottle into each color while Tank add just enough vinegar to the paint to watch it bubble at the top of the jar. It cracked me up watching him be so precise when the idea of this invitation to to create big overflowing eruptions.
To contain the mess I covered the table we used with a cheap shower curtain, and I put a bin under the table to catch any overflow. We were working outside, so I wasn't too concerned. If we were inside I would have put the paper and paints inside a bin to avoid any spills.
The colors blended beautifully on the watercolor paper. When the boys were done I hung the papers up to dry. (I also forgot to take a photo of the finished projects.)
Of course, no baking color mixing activity would be complete without a little pouring to combine the colors.
August 17, 2014
J-Bug and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the leaf activities we did for the leaf unit of My Father's World Kindergarten.
Kindergarten Moon Unit Study
Fall provides so many opportunities for learning in nature. Living in San Diego we don't see the changing of seasons like so many other parts of the country, but there are still numerous learning opportunities with leaves. Now that we are done with the third unit of My Father's World Kindergarten I have compiled a list of activities to learn about leaves, both from us and around the web.
August 16, 2014
J-Bug has been enjoying all the leaf activities we've been doing for his kindergarten leaf study, and these leaf rubbings were a family favorite.
Kindergarten Leaf Unit Study
Our leaf activities are a part of My Father's World Kindergarten. So far we have painted with leaves, made a playdough learning tray with leaves and rocks, did a science experiment to see how a leaf gets water, and made our favorite recipe for kale chips. As always, the science and art related activities are at the top of J-Bug's list.
The first thing we did was go outside to collect leaves. J-Bug chose leaves from different trees and bushes, selecting leaves of varying shapes and sizes.
How to Make Leaf Rubbings with Crayons and Watercolors
Directions: After collecting leaves we brought them inside and made rubbings using crayons. To make leaf rubbings put the leaf under a piece of paper and hold it in place securely then rub a crayon over the leaf. We experimented with all sorts of leaves, but the best ones are those with thick veins. Dried leaves will not work since they will fall apart when crunched.
All of the boys enjoyed making leaf rubbings, and I even made a few. Sometimes I wonder if I secretly set up these art activities just so I can join in the fun.
After all of our leaf rubbings were done I pulled out the watercolors. J-Bug used a pipette to add water to the colors. We prefer this method of painting with watercolors since getting enough water in the paint using the paint brush can be a bit frustrating for young children.
We painted right over our leaf rubbings. I encouraged the boys to try a variety of color combos. They used the same color in different shapes, complimentary colors, contrasting colors, and colors that mix to form new colors. Of course the crayon marks didn't mix with the watercolors, so the crayon prints showed through the watercolor paint.
More leaf activities for kids: