Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday

Well, this is my first Works For Me Wednesday post and I am quite excited to share!

As the mother of a VERY energetic toddler; I am always at a bit of a loss on rainy days. So, I am going to share a rainy day activity that Works for Me!

Little Dude loves playing in the dirt and sand, so the perfect indoor activity is to bring the sandbox INSIDE. Yes, I did say that, but it is not what you think. NO SAND INVOLVED. All you need is a cardboard box or plastic baby bathtub and fill it up with puffed wheat, rice cereal, uncooked rice, or even dried pasta.

Children enjoy playing in the sandbox with cups, spoons, bowls, buckets, scookps, shovels, cars and other toys and containers. A funnel and scoop that can be used to fill an empty plastic soda bottle with sandbox material will also be a HUGE hit. An old sheet, shower curtain or plastic tablecloth place under the "sandbox" will make clean up a bit easier. I always set mine up in the kitchen and then Little Dude "helps" me clean up by sweeping with his kiddie broom while I try to navigate around him and actually sweep.

Here are some suggestions for indoor sandbox material that gives a great sensory experience for toddlers and young children AND can be bought quite cheaply in bulk:

*water softener salt
*dried beans
*shredded paper
*cedar shavings
*deer corn
*foam packing peanuts
*confetti dots from a hole puncher
*sea shells
(small, I get mine for free from beach trips and save them in a craft basket)
*cut up yarn (cut into small enough strips that it could not possibly get around a child's throat)
*potting soil (this one is messy; however, if you do the play in the bath tub, the mess is controlled and once sensory time is over bath time can begin!)

Take into consideration if your children has issues with textures and sensory reception; choose items and amounts you deem appropriate to slowly introduce him/her to different sensory experiences instead of doing a lot at once.

And also, keep into consideration that not all the suggestions I made above are safe for kids to be putting in their mouths. You will know what is appropriate for your child and you while exploring this sensory play.The items are all ones I have tried with Little Dude or my preschool class back in my teaching days and all have been huge hits with kids ages 10 months to 6 years.(older kids might enjoy it too; however, my knowledge of entertainment and learning ideas ends with children past 6 years.)

That is what Works for Me! Check out Rocks in my Dryer for more fun tips; I hope you all enjoy your next rainy day!


Nichole said...

My daughter would love this! Thanks for the idea.

The (Almost) Amazing Mammarino said...

How fun! Thanks!!!!