Ice Beads- Lacing for Fine Motor

Have you ever seen one of these? Its a mold for making Ice Shot Glasses I bought mine at JoAnn Fabrics but I now can only find them at Walmart.
I filled the mold most of the way making sure I did not fill it completely. I wanted to leave the bottom open so that we could easily pass things through. It worked! Voila, Ice Beads!!!
I handed the kids pipe cleaners and let them get to it. They immediately started stringing the ice beads on the hanging planter rack I have above the water table.
Working the fine motor twisting and maneuvering.
Then they started to make ice bead chains.
Working hard.
I started asking them what they thought would happen when the ice started to melt.
It was a beautiful day and the sun was shining bright. The ice started melting very quickly.
They looked amazing hanging there.
I also froze some popsicle molds without putting the sticks in them. Kaia tied one to the bottom of her ice beads chain.
Watching the ice melt.

And the ice could not hold out against the sun. The first link melted.

I am going to make some Ice cups for another project. Stay tuned for that later…

Ice Cups and Water Bead- Fine Motor Exploration and Discovery

We have a mold for making ice shot glasses. I knew it would be perfect for water play in the summer. And I was right. So here is our fun water beads and ice shot fine motor tray. Liam played with this for over 20 minutes.

He worked hard at using the tongs to pinch and pick up the waterbeads and then place them into the colored ice cups.

I used what I had on hand and that was black water beads. When we do this again I think I will use a multi color pack and try and have the kids match the waterbead color to the ice glass color.
The older boys got a set as well to play with in the water table.

And eventually the ice shot glasses turned into ice beads. These are just awesome!

Making Scented Bubbles

I went to a craft store by my house and saw they were selling scented bubbles. I immediately put it on my list of things to make and then sadly forgot about it…until now. The kids have had the tummy flu and are still battling it which means we have been home and looking for things to do. I knew I wanted to do something easy that would keep them busy and enjoying some time outside. Cue the amazing and oh so pretty scented bubbles.

First check out my post on Bubble Recipes I have five fantastic recipes there. All of them can be adapted to add scent. Making your own bubble wands out of pipe cleaners is just extra credit.

So here it is super simple. I added a few drops between 5-10 of essential oil or extract add more or less depending on the strength of the scent you want. That’s it. I added food coloring to just to make them look a little different liquid watercolors would have worked as well. You can also scent your bubbles by adding a packet of ¬†Kool-Aid to your bubble solution.

Looking to make it even more simple. Buy your bubbles and just add some essential oil, extract or Kool-Aid to your store bought bubbles.

Another easy way to add scent if you don’t want to go the essential oil/ extract route is to buy scented dish soap when making your bubbles.


Predict, Measure and Pour

While searching for something to do on a boring morning at home. I came up with a simple project that was fun and completely free.
Here is what you will need:
something to pour- we used birdseed, rice would work, beans, waterbeads etc.
A container to keep your pouring material in
empty clean jars/ containers in different sizes, shapes and so on
a measuring cup or spoon
funnel to make pouring easier on small containers
a bin to contain it all or a table cloth/ mat something to make clean up easier for you

Use a marker, rubber band, or washi tape to make a mark on the jar. Ask how many scoops to make it to that point? Then how many more to make it to the top?

We did this project outside. Just because I like doing projects like this outside it could easily be done inside. I had the kids predict how many scoops it would take to reach the top of each jar. These were all jars I had saved from around the house. Some were the same volume containers just in different shapes to fool the kids. We used a 1/2 cup measuring cup to measure and pour. The kids got better about predicting as we went on.

There is real learning going on in this simple, and fun activity. We talked about which bottle they thought would hold the most birdseed and which they thought would hold the least.

So what did they learn? They learned how to measure, how to make comparisons. How to make judgements based on prior knowledge and based on assumptions. They were also developing hand eye coordination all the while.

Have you ever done a similar project with your kids? What did you do and how did it go? Leave a comment I would love to hear about it.

Noodle Forest

Mikey’s preschool had a bunch of pool noodles and did not know what to do with them so of course I immediately thought Pool Noodle Forest!

So I made the school their very own pool noodle forest. It was incredibly easy to do and the kids absolutely love it.

What you will need: Pool noodles lots of them in even numbers, rope (not string) scissors, a pen or Phillips screwdriver, and a weight I used a heavy plastic toy whale, and a tree or area to hang your noodles.

1. Poke a hole in your noodle straight through using the pen or screwdriver (I used a ball point pen and it worked great). I made mine about two to three inches down so it gave room for the kids to pull on it without ripping right through.
2. Take your rope and use the pen to push it through the hole you just made. Tie a knot at the top of the noodle.
3. Take your heavy object tie the other end of the rope around the object. Now throw your heavy object over a branch or whatever you are hanging your noodles on. (Make sure everyone is clear when your doing this)
4. The weight should make the rope fall easily down. now untie your heavy object and take the rope tie a knot twice. Make it as high as you can get it so when the kids run through and pull on the noodles they don’t pull it off the branch. Once that is done follow directions 1 and 2 on another noodle then cut your rope and start again. So each piece of rope has two noodles on it.

We played games
Can you get through the noodle forest without touching a single noodle. This is hard when its super windy.