Toddler Play

Posting Pom Poms though coloured tubes

I have always been a fan of pom poms for developing fine motor skills and Hartley has enjoyed posting them through tubes since he was about 6 months old. 
This week I am doing lots of COLOUR activities with Hartley and the children I look after. I saw this idea on pinterest a few months ago and knew I had to do it 
 I painted the old wrapping paper tubes with colours that matched the pom poms I had. Luckily I also had matching coloured bowls.
I tied the tubes onto my fireguard but you could tape them to a wall or piece of furniture.

 Hartley loved this activity. He instantly knew what to do and keeps going back to it. He is a little bit too young to understand you have to match the colours yet, however I talk to him about the colours and I am sure by doing more and more activities like this he will begin to sort and match colours.
The older children I look after were able to sort the colours and have began to name the colours. 
The children have had lots of fun with the pom poms and have used them in lots of their play including filling cups with them and then pretending to drink them!

Of course pom poms should not be used with young children unsupervised, but I am a big believer that we should allow our children to develop their fine motor skills by handling small items.

Sensory Tea Party

Hartley loves playing with his tea set at the moment. He spends hours pretending to serve his teddies tea and loves pouring water from his tea pot in the bath.
I decided to add a sensory element to his play and make it even more fun.

I put together a tray with his plastic tea set. I put water in one tea pot and filled a small jug with milk (I mixed a bit of milk with water) I then added pots of sugar, coffee granules and tea bags. I then left out the tray ready for Hartley and his friend to play and explore.

 Hartley loved scooping coffee and sugar and mixing it together.

They both enjoyed pouring the milk and water, sometimes they even poured it into the cups! I had to refill the pots many of times.

I then got a bowl so they could reuse the water and milk and it contained it better.  In the end this contained an amazing mixture of coffee, tea and milky water.
The great thing about using real ingredients was they got to feel the different textures and experienced the different smells.

The children played and explored all morning. We talked about the colours, textures, smells. The noises that the tea bags made when dropped into the water.

This was a great activity that I will be doing again soon. You could also use different types of coffee, hot chocolate or anything else you want. You could also use real tea pots if you wanted to.

Sensory Noah's Ark

We have been sharing the story of Noah's Ark.
I added some sensory elements to our Noah's Ark to make it even more fun.
I put our Noah's Ark into a tub and then added
some tin foil, but you could use anything shiny. Mirrors would also be great.
Blue tinsel
Real shells and starfish
Pretend fish
wooden rainbow

We then read the story and acted it out using the Ark and some props. 

The children played with Noah's Ark all week. The younger children matched up the animals, made the animal noises, enjoyed the story and signing the songs and explored the sensory tub.
The older children Retold the story and enjoyed acting it out with the props. They also enjoyed exploring the sensory tub and came up with some fab words to describe it.
The story of Noah's ark linked in with our colour week, and we did lots of fun things with rainbows. We also talked a lot about different weathers and all the animals. 

Train Safari

I have made a few sensory small world tubs before. This time I thought I would add a train track as Hartley loves playing trains at the moment. I decided to make a safari park as we already had lots of animals. 
I separated the tub into different areas and used different materials to make them fun and interesting.
Polar Area
- Silver foil
- blue tinsel
- polar bears, penguins, seals, whales

Lion Rock
Rocks and stones
Plastic lions

Jungle Area
- twigs and branches
- leaves
- fir cones
- green coloured rice
- plastic monkeys and birds

 Savannah and watering hole
-Green paper
- blue tinsel
-  green rice
- elephants, rhinos and zebras
Hartley has loved playing with his train track zoo. He pushes the trains around and moves the animals. He makes the animals noises too.
He has also enjoyed exploring the different materials used. 

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