June 25, 2013 11:51 am

Rhinestone ABC’s


I’ve been fascinated with the idea of providing tactile materials to play with en route to learning how to write. These chips are inspired by a simplified version of a sandpaper letter set from Inner Child Fun. I painted the wood chips red and blue partly to be consistant with montessori materials that call out vowels, and partly because I find this kind of thing to be relaxing and meditative. It could certainly be skipped, or handed over to the kids to enjoy.

We built up some muscle memory by getting into a routine of tracing each bumpy rhinestone letter repeatedly; practicing a few times before removing the sticker from the backing, carefully rubbing it onto the heart to make it stick, then rubbing it several more times to make sure it would stay.

Fourth of July and Canada day are coming up ~ Check out some past patriotic posts featuring fun foods and activities!

The Toys: (similar)


Crystal Alphabet

Heart Cutouts

Acrylic Paint
May 31, 2013 4:35 pm

Capillary Action

Believe it or not, fans of science, the bowl in the middle was 100% empty just moments before I captured this photograph.


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Using paper towel as ladders, we watched capillary action in real time as the colored water climbed and then mixed in the empty bowls to give us new colors! Capillary action and color mixing all in one fun experiment!

You can find a photo tutorial for this experiment at We-Made-That.com.

Linked up with other fun activities for kids at: It’s Playtime and The Kid’s Co-op.

March 28, 2013 11:41 am

Eggs and Tongs


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I found these wooden eggs, dishes and trays at Hobby Lobby the other day. I painted them and set out this little activity tray. The idea is to use the tongs to line up the eggs on their discs. Trickier than it looks!

Linked up at: It’s Playtime and Montessori Monday and Full Hands, Full Hearts

See more from Tinkerbean here!

11:40 am

Easter Sensory Bin


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The other day, we went on a hunt through the house to find all of our easter related toys… bunnies, eggs, chicks, etc. That night, I stuck those items, along with some new tactile letter discs (B for bunny, C for Chick, D for duck, and E for egg), into some eggs and buried them in a sensory bin for the bean to discover anew the next day. He really enjoyed this activity and spent a good long time digging for treasure!

Linked up at: It’s Playtime and Full Hands, Full Hearts

See more from Tinkerbean here!

The Toys:

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Ikea Storage Box
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Wooden Matching Game
March 20, 2013 4:57 pm

The Arctic and Antarctica

The bean and his friends have been enjoying Arctic Ice sensory play regularly since Allison McDonald shared her idea for this bin on her popular kid’s activity blog No Time for Flashcards.

Our simple set up included an Ikea toy storage bin and part of a bento container. I filled it halfway with water and froze. When you pop out the smaller container, it leaves a nice pool for the swimmers.

Sometimes the penguins populate Antarctica, even the ones that usually live in other regions.

An old shower curtain laid on the bedroom floor comes in handy for easy clean up.

We kept a reference book “Arctic & Antarctic” handy to learn a bit as we played!

This is linked up with other fun activities at It’s Playtime!

The Toys:

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Arctic Toob
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Penguins Toob
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Zoo Babies Toob
 
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Ikea bin (X4)
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Oval Bento
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Arctic and Antarctic
March 13, 2013 5:05 pm

Shamrocks and Rainbows

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This bento lunch features green grapes on top, and a shamrock sandwich made of 4 hearts with cucumbers on the bottom for St. Patrick’s day! The stem is just a bit of bread that I cut from the scraps.


The natural beauty of food is evident in this pepper shamrock! This was totally and completely by accident, and yet so perfect!


Getting in the spirit for St. Patricks day can be as simple as inviting a little rainbow into your day.


I set up a little activity on our felt board for the bean: one 4-leaf clover assembled, and the peices available for a second one.


Same game with a leprechaun!

Linked up with other St. Patrick’s day fun food ideas on BentoUSA and Bento for Kidlet, and other activities at Living Montessori Now.

The Toys:

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Square Silicone Cups
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Bento Cutters
 
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2 Tier Bento
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Elastic Bento Box Strap
March 9, 2013 8:56 pm

Forest Children


These forest children are adorable and a lovely toy for the children in your life. image
The bright rainbow theme make them a cute contender for a St. Patricks day surprise!

My inspiration came from seeing them at Dream Child Studio on etsy. I don’t see them for sale anymore, but if you’d rather buy than make, you may get lucky if you contact her! [Update: Amanda of Dream Child Studio let us know that she is planning to make more!) image
This photo depicts how to make these dolls stepwise from the red doll to the purple. Draw up a pattern for the cloak and hat and cut the felt using sharp fabric scissors. Hot glue the cloaks onto the dolls, then the star sequin “buttons.” Sew the hat. An optional step is to flip the hats inside out to reveal a cleaner seam (dark blue). Hot glue on the hats and they’re ready to play!

The Toys:

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Maxim TreeHouse
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Wood Doll Pins
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100% Pure Wool Felt
 
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Mini Thread
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Star Sequins
February 12, 2013 12:31 am

Valentine Stamp

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Valentine’s day is but a few days away and this easy do-it-yourself stamp simply requires a pipe cleaner and some twisting!

This post is linked up at JDaniel4’s Mom: Valentine’s Day Traditions link up

The Toys:

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Washable Paint
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Chenille Stems
February 7, 2013 5:32 pm

Pom Pom Characters

We’ve had a few days stuck in the house lately. Faced with the challenge of warding off cabin fever, I tinkered with the idea of bringing new life to an old toy by hiding the letter pieces from a word puzzle in a pom-pom filled sensory bin. It is great to experience a toy once again in a new exciting way.

But what is even better is when the activity I think I’ve provided goes in another direction altogether, inspired by a child’s creativity and joy. The spontaneous discovery that a face was emerging as two tiny white poms stuck to a huge turquoise pom pom led to a day-long project of creating characters, learning how to operate a hot glue gun, and estimating by eye where to thread a needle through the character to hang him at just the right angle for display.

It is not every day that we have the time and resources to follow a new idea through to a level of completion that we can be proud of, so it is extra special what it does work out this way.

The Toys:

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Pom Poms
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Puzzle
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Toy Storage
January 24, 2013 11:47 am

100 Acts of Kindness


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The 100 Acts of Kindness Project, organized by Kristina at Toddler Approved, challenges us all to keep track of the kind acts you experience and witness in your homes or schools. Fittingly, it begins on Martin Luther King Day and ends on Valentine’s day. In addition to keeping track of your acts of kindness, a specific kindness challenge is presented each week from various bloggers. The first kindness challenge is to LOVE THE ENVIRONMENT, presented by Megan at Coffee Cups and Crayons.

My family decided to keep track of kindness in a very visual way: by writing each act on a heart and hanging it in our home. In keeping with this weeks challenge of loving the environment, we decided to scour our mail and papers each day for ‘Valentine colored’ paper in which we could reuse for this project before it continues on to the recycling bin.

It is amazing to notice how much of what we do day to day is motivated by kindness, and it is beautiful to be reminded of it by glancing up at the growing collection of hearts hanging from our ceiling.

I also set a repurposed cereal box on the craft table with glue, scissors and the scraps from cutting our hearts as an invitation to the bean to explore.

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