Thursday, March 28, 2013

Toddler Number Matching Activity

I recently noticed that my son was starting to show interest in numbers. I decided to use a cupcake tray with numbered liners (using number stickers) as a basic introduction to number recognition. In a small bowl I placed the numbers 1-6 for him to match into the correct number spot. He picked up on the concept of number matching right away and this became a fun learning activity. I was really surprised by how well he was able to say some numbers and match them on his own.

Here he is in action:

This activity was adapted from another math activity on counting:
Check out my blog post on this too:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Squishy Sensory Bag Fun

Have you ever created a Squishy Sensory Bag?
They are so much fun! Squishy bags provide a great multi-sensory experience for children to enjoy. It is so easy to make one and the possibilities are endless in terms of what types of bags can be made.
Here is how we made ours: 
I went to CVS Pharmacy the other day and purchased all of the items to make this bag for my son. I started with a large zip-lock bag. The "squishy" part of the bag is simply inexpensive hair gel. I added gold, silver, and green glitter to the gel to make it shine. Next I added small frogs, snakes, and lizards to the bag. I sealed up the bag and used colorful masking tape around each side of the bag to prevent any leaks. I taped the bag to the glass sliding door we have in our house and my son started to play with it immediately. My son loves his squishy bag!
***Helpful tip- Simply use nail polish remover on a tissue to wipe away the zip-lock logo on the plastic bag! Works perfectly!***

  My son was so excited to play with his squishy bag the next day:

The types of squishy bags to create are endless! I will definitely be making more for my son to enjoy. This is a great go-to activity in our house, especially on days the weather isn't so wonderful. Have children create the bags with you for an even more exciting experience. Try the bags on a light table too. So much fun!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Color Matching Activity: Total Cost = $1 To Create!

I decided to make a second activity with the colorful plastic eggs I purchased for $1 at the Dollar Tree store. I came up with this simple and inexpensive color matching activity. I simply grabbed an old egg carton and used magic markers to color in each egg spot to match the color of the plastic eggs. The result was a fun color matching activity for my son!

Here he is in action:
My son also had so much fun opening and closing the plastic eggs: 
 When he completed the activity, my son enjoyed listening to the eggs shake in the carton:

It is amazing what can be made with items from the Dollar Tree store! It is so much fun to create these special activities and to see my son so engaged as he plays and learns. Have fun creating!

Pattern Activity - Use Mini Erasers

Learning patterns can be so much fun with these mini erasers! My son loves anything that has to do with transportation so I bought these adorable mini erasers at the Dollar Tree. I wrote down different patterns on a piece of construction paper (AB, ABC, AAB) and showed my son how to create these patterns using the erasers. This is an advanced skill for my son but it still is a great introduction to patterns. The boat, car, train, and airplane erasers held his interest on this activity. It is so much fun and inexpensive to create simple learning activities that incorporate his favorite play items.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dump Truck Sensory Bin

My son LOVES trucks! It only seemed fitting to create him a new bin where he could incorporate his love of trucks into a wonderful sensory experience. I used dry beans from the dollar store and put four of his favorite dump trucks into the bin. This was such a simple bin to create and it was so exciting for my son to discover. He had a great time digging, scooping, and pouring the beans with his trucks.

This bin represents a small world construction-zone experience where the beans can be carried around like rocks on trucks. It was so simple and inexpensive to make this wonderful sensory play experience for my son. So much fun!


Spring / Easter Sensory Bin: Learning Colors & Sorting

Happy Spring! 
What's Inside?
I went to the Dollar Tree and purchased plastic eggs, flower gems, and jelly beans for this bin. My son was given the wind up chick and bunny as a gift and I thought they would be perfect to put into this bin as well. I placed green tissue paper beneath the jelly beans and flower gems to give a green grass effect.

Play & Learn
While exploring this exciting bin with his hands, my son was able to sort jelly beans and flower gems by color into the correct egg. This is great practice with learning colors, sorting, and fine motor skills. My son also loves to shake the eggs like maracas and listen to the noise when they are filled. So much fun! 

Pointing out the yellow egg:

Searching for and finding the purple jelly bean to put into the purple egg:
Each egg is labeled so my son can start to recognize color names:
My son also sorted the flower gems from the bin into the correct egg color:
Here he is sorting:
My son had so much fun with his new sensory bin!
He kept exploring the eggs by opening and closing them:
We are so excited to finally welcome Spring! This Spring / Easter sensory bin was so much fun and very inexpensive to create. There is so much for my son to explore and learn from this bin!