archive for the 'Sensory' category

Shaving Cream Easter Egg

Finger painting with shaving cream allows children to explore, experiment, and create – all while strengthening their senses. Let’s finger paint some Easter eggs!

Simply add a few drops of watercolor to the shaving cream, and blend. Give the children a large egg shape (download the free template here) or, depending on their age and ability, encourage them to cut out their own. Allow the kids to work the colors into the construction paper with their fingers.

What’s so great about this activity, is the way the shaving cream adheres to the paper. It goes on so lightly and dries almost instantaneously, yet it remains rich in color. The eggs don’t become soggy, making them prone to tearing or ripping like they normally would with regular paint or straight watercolor.

Preschoolers may then glue (a dab will do ya) their eggs onto a bigger piece of construction paper. Add some Easter grass, and voila! This colorful finger painted egg is the perfect Easter decoration for any bulletin board or refrigerator.

MATERIALS USED:

– Construction paper
– Glue
– Our free printable egg template
– Scissors
– Easter grass
– Shaving cream
– Watercolors

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The Power of Play Dough

I thought it would be fun to set up a play dough bakery. I made some chocolate colored/scented dough and some lavender glitter dough. I also provided birthday candles, wooden flower decorations, colored beads (sprinkles), pie and bread tins, rolling pins, ice cream scoops, silicone cupcake holders, a serving platter with a doily, cookie cutters, etc.. I had everything ready to go before my class arrived.

This is Chloe. She is always so serious and straight-faced in the mornings, so I was thrilled to see her chatting and smiling while making her “special star cookie”. Some of the kids made birthday cakes and cupcakes while singing “Happy Birthday” to each other.

There are so many benefits to playing with this squishy substance.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Play dough allows preschoolers to come up with unique and creative ideas. Children often express pride in accomplishments when they use play dough in purposeful and meaningful ways. Social skills grow as they share space and materials.

FINE MOTOR SKILLS

Children use their hands and tools to pound, push, poke, shape, flatten, roll, cut, and scrape the dough. Through these experiences, they develop eye-hand coordination and control, dexterity, and strength; critical skills they will need later for writing, drawing, and other purposes.

LANGUAGE/LITERACY

Working with play dough helps young children to enhance their language abilities. They practice listening, understanding, speaking, and communicating skills as they negotiate roles and engage in conversations with classmates and teachers. Materials like play dough encourage preschoolers to describe and reflect on what they are doing.

SCIENCE AND MATH

As young children discuss what they are doing with the dough, they often engage in scientific thinking. They learn through tactile experiences, observing and reflecting on how materials feel and change (grainy, smooth, round, flat). Math skills increase as children compare shapes, measure sizes, and count.

It’s safe to say, NEVER underestimate the power of play dough.


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Shamrock Collages

Collages are a great way for children to creatively express themselves, and a simple way for mothers and teachers to incorporate learning. With these shamrock collages, descriptive words were used to point out various aspects of the materials. We talked about their colors, shapes, textures, compositions, and patterns.

There is an everlasting supply of collage materials. However, it is all about quality and organization. Whether if it’s in an activity or in an art center, a thrown together mishmash of miscellany is unlikely to a inspire a preschooler’s creativity. Be sure to use a method – for example, paper stacked neatly on a shelf, a container for glue bottles and sticks, a bin for recycled materials, and another for buttons and pom poms, and so on. Presenting these things in an orderly fashion will aid children in recognizing artistic possibilities. Here I’ve used a plastic compartment serving tray to display these green goodies.

MATERIALS USED:

– Construction paper
– Glue
– Scissors
– Our free printable shamrock template
– Fabric scraps
– Feathers
– Pom poms
– Tissue paper
– Sequins
– Sequin shamrocks
– Pipe cleaners/fuzzy sticks


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