Crossing the Finish Line

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TODAY IS THE DAY! I DID IT!  I’M CROSSING THE FINISH LINE!

For the past 31 days I have been posting about fun play activities you can do with children.  Play based learning is who I am and how I connect with children. I think it is fun to explore the world with imagination and creativity. This month I have discovered my desire to create my own patterns and my own activity ideas.  I hope my post have inspired you to be creative with the children in your life.

Here is our final  – 31 Day of Play post:

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Skittle Experiment 

Supplies:

  • Skittles
  • Plate
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Arrange the skittles in a circle on the plate
  2. Pour the water in the center of the plate
  3. Wait a few minutes and watch the rainbow appear

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DIY Bubbles

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DIY Bubbles 

Supplies

12 cups warm water
1 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup dish soap
1 tablespoon glycerin

Instructions 

  1. Pour the warm water into a large container
  2. Mix in the cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch is dissolved
  3. Add the remaining ingredients
  4. Allow the mixture to sit for an hour
  5. Create Bubbles – please note we found our wand at Dollar Tree.  You can make your own wand with yarn and straws.

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Halloween Treats

Supplies:

  • Pretzel sticks
  • Marshmallows miniature 
  • White Chocolate – I recommend Log House Candiquick 
  • Wax paper

Skeleton Bone Treats

  1. Microwave the chocolate. Depending on your microwave it takes about 2 minutes
  2. Pour about 1/2 of the melted chocolate into small bowls for dipping. The remaining chocolate will be used for the spider webs. 
  3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper
  4. Take a miniature marshmallow and place one on each end of the pretzel. 
  5. Dip the pretzel in the white chocolate 
  6. Place it on wax paper
  7. Once you’ve dipped all of your bones, place your baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes 
  8. Remove the bones from the wax paper. 
  9. Serve or store them in a container for later. 
  10. WARNING – you can’t eat just one 😉

Spider Web 

  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper
  2. Arrange 8 to 12 pretzels in a circle on wax paper
  3. Take the white chocolate and drizzle it over the pretzels
  4. Make several circles of the white chocolate over the pretzels 
  5. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes
  6. Remove the spider webs from the tray 
  7. You can eat them right away or store them in gallon ziplock bag. 

Fairy Pretend Play

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Fairy wings, a wand, pixie dust and imagination is all you need for Fairy Pretend Play. One cool story that does fairy pretend play is Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman. Have you read the fabulous book? If not go to the library and check it out. One of my favorite parts of the story is when Grace pretends to be a fairy (Tinker Bell) in preparation for an audition for the Peter Pan play.

Listen to Kid Time Story narrate the book:

Tenzi

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Tenzi is  a MUST HAVE game for your nanny bag or household game.  Family game night will be an automatic hit with is activity. Tenzi is fun, challenging and it slides math skills, probability principles and logical skills into the mix. The purpose of the game is to roll the dices until you have all the same number and then you yell TENZI.

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School age children will love to add the 77 Ways to Play  as well. It takes the Tenzi game to the next level.  Imagine singing a song every time you roll your dice while trying to beat your opponents. Laughter is bound to burst out and memories will be created.

Sample Cards

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Tenzi 3

 

DIY Car Activity Mat

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DIY Car Activity Mat 

Want to know how I came up with creation? Well it’s pretty short story similar to my blogging style – LOL.  I had an upcoming nanny gig for two 3 year old boys who loved cars. I wanted to add something fun to my nanny bag so I created the mat out of  scrap felt and fabric. The crochet cars where  created by my mother’s dear friend Geri.  My mat is 24 by 36 inches but I would suggest making it 36 x 60 inch to allow for several children to play on the mat.

When I created my car activity mat, I didn’t really have a specific road map in mind so I winged it. Hence the reason for the limited lanes and direction options. Despite the lack of variety on the activity mat children love  driving the cars on it while making loud car noises.  The car activity mat has been helpful at  nanny gigs in hotels and weddings. It is portable with an easy set up. You can find cars at the Dollar Tree. In the future I would love to make a race car or drag racing track.

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Straw Drop

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DIY Straw Drop

Drop games are a great way for children to work on their problem solving skills not to mention it develops their fine motor skills as well.  If you are looking  for more drop activities check out Pom Pom Drop and Eyeball Drop. Here how to make one for your Straw Drop Game.

Supplies

  • Plastic Container
  • Plastic Straws
  • Hole Puncher

Instructions

  1. Using the hole puncher, begin to make holes around the brim of the lid
  2. Cut the straws into varying sizes
  3. Place the lid back on the container
  4. Begin to play Straw Drop by placing the straws in the holes.
    • For younger children, you will need to practice the skill a few times so the child could eventually mimic the skill.

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DIY Ribbon Tugging Toy

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DIY Ribbon Pulling Toy

This toy might look FUNNY but my buddy loved pulling all the ribbons and swinging it from side to side.  It is super easy and inexpensive to make. Another cool fine motor skills game for infants.

Supplies:

  • Plastic Container
  • Ribbons
  • Scissor or Exacto Knife

Instructions:

  1. Puncture the sides of the  plastic container
  2. Thread the ribbon from one side of the container to the opposite side
  3. Tie knots at the end of the ribbons
  4. Place the lid and the container and play

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Felt Animal Puzzle

 

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Supplies:

Helpful Tips:

The felt puzzles are wonderful fine motor skills and good segue to dramatic play. The children can also practice the sounds each of the animals make.

I take my puzzles to many babysitting gigs and they are always a HIT.  I would suggest when making the puzzle pieces to use a heavy heat bond fusion fabric to help maintain the shape.

 

 

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Suds Car Wash Activity

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Suds Car Wash Activity

Supplies

  • Shaving Cream
  • Toy Cars and Trucks
  • Water
  • Wash Cloths or Sponges
  • Pitcher or Water Jug
  • Container for Car Wash

Instructions

  1. Place the cars in the container
  2. Pour water in the container 3/4 of the way to the top of the container
  3. Cover the entire surface of water with shaving cream
  4. Add sponges and wash clothes to the container
  5. Provide a pouring container so the cars can be rinsed off.

Helpful Tips:

  • You can purchase the shaving cream, sponges, cloths, containers and toy cars at the Dollar Tree
  • Great activity to use after Moon Sand or Mud Playdough

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