Some days it helps me stay sane to remind myself that, in the not-too-distant future, my children will make recognizable things with @playdoh instead of just smooshing it all into mixed up blobs and demanding that I roll it into balls for them. 😅
At Coastal, we love a good sensory bin and messy play. Sensory bins aren’t just fun, they’re an important part of any early childhood learning experience and play development. Children learn best when they can touch and feel something—sensory play provides opportunities for children to learn in meaningful ways.
We know that children learn best with their eyes, ears, and hands. When kids can see, smell, touch, and even hear something – the learning experience is more meaningful to them, and therefore more effective, so sensory bins make perfect sense for both therapy and home play!
Sensory play is open-ended, meaning there is no clearly defined outcome of playing with or exploring the materials inside the bin. With it being summer, we have been doing water-beads, water and even ice cube play! However, you can use rice, beans, cooked noodles, dry pasta, etc.!
Children use their senses and creativity to explore the materials offered in a sensory bin on their own without the expectation of an end product. This makes it a great opportunity for all disciplines and home play! A child who struggles to express themselves with language, may explore a water bin for the first time and attempt to communicate how it feels. Oral-language development, functional play, peer interaction, creativity, overall sensory regulation with tactile input, fine motor coordination, bilateral coordination, etc., can all be addressed with sensory bins. What is your favorite thing to make a sensory bin with!?
So fun and hands on! Sensory activities are the best! from @mothercould - 👆🏽WRITING BAG📝
Shout out to this sensory bag for getting Nicky (4.9) interested in writing. Seriously one of my favorite sensory bags I’ve ever made and still use it almost weekly 🙌🏻. If you didn’t see this before, it is for little ones getting exposure to writing skills✏️. •
Here’s the original caption that still brings me chills 🥰➡️Last week we went on vacation and on the airplane ✈️Nicky (4.5Y) wrote her name for the first time by herself. I nearly cried🤧. It was so significant because Nicky isn’t interested 🙅🏻♀️ in letters or anything that has to do with them. So when she wrote her name it was like validation that all these little activities we play at home are enough 🤗. PLAY IS ENOUGH 🌈
-Gallon size freezer ziplock bag
-Hair gel (mine is from the dollar store)
*Optional: Alphabet cards
1️⃣Fill the ziplock bag with hair gel. The one I used was 14 oz. Any cheap hair gel works.
2️⃣Add a couple drops of food coloring and glitter to the bag.
3️⃣Seal the bag leaving no air inside and mix very well until the color is fully blended.
4️⃣Using strong tape (I use Gorilla tape), tape the top of the bag closed. Then tape the bag to the surface you’ll be using it on. 💡You can place the prompt card next to it like I show in the video or you can simply say, “can you write the letter A?”.
⚠️If you are going to try this with a baby, supervise very closely. The bag could tare and they will try to eat it 😝. #mothercould
These have quickly become a very popular #invitationtoplay in our studio space. Children of all ages have been extremely curious watching, rolling, exploring, and asking excellent questions. Don't you just love when an activity prompts great conversation? I do!
From a teaching standpoint, sensory bottles are a great tool to help kids self-regulate their emotions and/or responses to stress or anxiety. Their mesmerizing aspect offers a calming effect, bringing focus back to one place, serving as a momentary break from whatever is going on around a child. The slow movement of glitter, googly eyes, pearler beads, water beads, etc. falling and moving, or the separation of liquids, provides such a relaxing visual stimulus even to adults!
I have loved watching how beneficial these sensory bottles have been helping children transition into our art space. Shaking, swirling and even rolling, the bottles can be contagiously fun and captivating.
Our sensory space is inviting and so many students immediately gravitate toward these colorful bottles. It has been a wonderful tool to begin conversation, letting an unsure child slowly transition in and experience something fun and new right off the bat. They can simply stand and watch or manipulate the bottle themselves.
Sensory bottle can also be called "calm down" bottles just for this reason. In times of stress or anxiety, a calming experience like playing with a sensory bottle can provide a secure break from triggers and offer a tool for self-regulation. Surprisingly, occupational therapists often use them in their practice to help children decompress or manage emotion.
After seeing the awesome interest and benefit they have brought to the studio, I plan to make more and rotate them each week.
If you are wondering about the bottle itself... It is a hard plastic water bottle purchased in store from @walmart for .99 cents. Each bottle has a different filler that causes different effects; water/glue, water/hair gel, water/oil, etc. Then various glitters, beads, and fun loose parts go in too, to keep things interesting! Then the top is glued tightly with a hot glue gun.
The cats outta the bag... our collaboration with @tylerstreasuresshop
#1 The TAKE ME WITH YOU playmat
With an orange swirl satin for a sensory stimulation and interactive ribbon for use during tummy-time, it’s perfect for play.
Out and about but don’t want your little one to play anymore? Flip the mat to reveal blue on the other side! Blue is a calming colour, and calm is conductive to sleep.
Use code RICHTERKIDS18 fora 15% discount
With each of our prouducts purchased $1 from every order being donated to PANDA! PANDA (perinatal anxiety and depression Australia) supports women, men, and families across Australia affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and in the first year of parenthood.
We are super excited to be able to share a part of us in the term 3 toolkit @learningblocksaustralia .
We will be alongside other fabulous brands and resources in a school readiness kit designed to help prepare your child for school through fun, interactive and play based learning.
Thoughtfully and carefully put together with the aim to develop the 'whole' child.
Pre-order now @learningblocksaustralia before Sunday June 23 and save!!
Car wash station! We got my car washed the other day, which is a big deal because that rarely happens! Bebe has been talking about it ever since, so I decided to set her up a car wash station. I lined up several @greentoysinc vehicles and she had stations to spray, wash, rinse and dry them!
PLAY 》I was inspired by @the.small.folk to make some fresh playdough yesterday as it is my littlest wildlings favourite past time at the moment.
She loves to sit and create cookies, cakes and people all morning long, only stopping for kai or a little play outside.
I love watching her little hands mould the dough into so many wonderful things. Her quiet voice ordering her cookies to bake quicker, her little nimble fingers opening and closing her play oven waiting impatiently for them to "cook". Below is the recipe I used from @the.small.folk. The addition of cinnamon is amazing, adding another level to the sensory experience. I also added a few drops of wild orange essential oil, and it makes your hands smell so delicious after playing with the dough ✨
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 Tb cooking oil
2 Tb cream of tartar
1 Tb cinnamon
Few drops wild orange EO
2 cups boiling water (you can add a couple drops of food colouring to the water aswell)
Add all dry ingrediants to a bowl and mix.
Add cooking oil and essential oil.
Add boiling water and mix, mix, mix.
Once playdough is thoroughly mixed and has formed a dough, knead until soft 👌
Make a batch today and watch your little ones create x
When you buy the New Edition Handee Band Exercise Kit, everything you need is included!🎉 Here's what's you'll get: 👉1 Handee Band (4 Feet long, 6 lb Resistance Band with Hand Prints printed on the band) 👉15 Handee Illustrated exercises with easy to follow 5-step directions 👉Reusable Dry Erase Handee Checklist to track progress 👉1 Dry Erase Handee Marker 👉1 Handee Band Spinner Board Game 👉16 Stickers of each Handee Band character, to have fun with when taking a break from exercise!
Penguin slip and slide
How hard is it to get motivated when you are ill, and trying to still keep up with your little ones?
We have a bit of an ocean theme going this week. Mason has been enthralled with some David Attenborough documentaries about all the different water habitats and the animals that live there. He had great fun sliding the penguins through the 'waves' and 'ice', and washing them in the 'sea'. .
I haven't been well this week, which has really slowed me down, and led to some very fuzzy headed moments. One of those many moments was when I quickly grabbed some shaving foam that was on sale as I walked past it, only to get home and realise it's not foam, it's shaving GEL. But I think it turned out alright anyway, we found something to do with it, and the gel foamed up heaps once the water mixed in!! I'm not the only one who makes silly mistakes when I'm tired, right?
All smiles, and messy hands up, as we hosted a private play session last week at the @craftmnl studio! We had lots of paint smooshing, water play, digging and painting, as we carried over the Filipino Fiesta theme for these wonderful mommy (and daddy) friends and their little ones.
Thank you for playing with us! We hope to see you again at one of our sessions!
The kids loved this activity from @purpletwig. It was the perfect experience for our preschool kids today! 💜💙 It hit on so many of our play based experiences like;
Sensory Play: mixing shaving cream with glue for our puffy paint
Numeracy and Math Skills: counting our candles.
Color identification: asking questions like what colors are on our cakes?
And of course Creativity: Letting the kids choose exactly how they wanted to design, build, and craft their beautiful works of art.