Ice Play

Maya Ice

Here are some fun ideas about how to play with ice as we head into warmer weather!

-Use candy molds, muffin tins, baby food holders, or recycled food trays to freeze ice into different shapes

-Add food coloring (we learned it’s better to color the water instead of dropping colors directly into cups- this made the ice super dark)

-Add popsicle sticks to make handles for ice cubes

-Add different types of juices or make popsicles!

-Freeze ice in one solid block in a casserole dish with toys suspended in it. Might work best to freeze in several layers

-Add herbs or dried spices- edible flowers would be fun!

-Add frozen berries, peas, corn, or other fixin’s!

-Freeze different colors or juices in layers

-Compare how different liquids freeze (OJ with pulp vs. apple juice, for example)

-Pour water over ice to melt it. Experiment with hot and cold water. Have your child practice pouring with different pitchers/ cups.

-Sprinkle salt on the ice to melt it (may not be great if your kid loves to taste like mine does!)

-Use forks, spoons, and table knives to dig things out that are frozen in the ice

-Watch how colored ice cubes melt and mix to make new colors

-Use the ice cubes to build a world for plastic animals. Try wetting ice blocks and pressing them together to see if you can get them to stick

-Use tongs, eyedroppers, and/or turkey basters to pick up ice cubes, suck up melted ice and squirt it.

-Use a colander or toy net to scoop up ice cubes and plastic toys in the ice

-Play catch with ice and see if you can catch it even though it’s slippery!

 

Bread in a bag

We love a good cooking project and bread in a bag is an all-time favorite! Children learn and practice so many important skills and are fascinated how the different ingredients come together to make a delicious treat! Visit Busy Toddler for detailed step-by-step instructions with photos. Susie from Busy Toddler has so many wonderful play-based ideas and tips on Busy Toddler – we highly recommend checking out her site!

We hope you have an awesome time baking up this delicious bread with your families!

Building with Boxes

Are you swimming in boxes? We are. What with the lockdown, we are having more things delivered, which means more boxes around the house!

You can build a box tunnel to crawl through by opening the tops and bottoms on several boxes and sliding the flaps from one box into the flaps on another. (You may need to tape or clip the box flaps together so they don’t fall down on unsuspecting crawlers!) The tunnel can be part of an obstacle course activity to keep busy bodies moving if you can’t go outside due to thunder and lightening.

One of my favorite books is Roxaboxen by Alice Mclerran, illustrated by Barbara Cooney. It’s based on a true story of what happens when children, imagination, time, and the materials at hand come together to form something magical. Whether it’s a mud kitchen in your backyard, laundry basket turtle shells, or a set of boxes. It’s hard to predict what will happen.

Check out this read aloud version of Roxaboxen. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! If you’d like something shorter, see What To Do With A Box, by Jane Yolen and Illustrated by Chris Sheran or another great option is Not a Box, by Antoinette Portis.

If you don’t have large boxes, small boxes will work just as well: combine items that would normally go in the recycling like cardboard tubes, egg cartons, cereal boxes, oatmeal containers, yogurt cups, etc. with whatever art supplies you have at home. Maybe you want to build a house for your pet rock? Or a boat to sail in rain puddles for when the lightening stops? trash art

Here’s a picture from one of my boys’ birthday parties. A table with random boxes, scissors, markers, and other craft items from which to create!

Apparently I’m not the only one thinking in terms of building with boxes. See this recent article in the Washington Post about building forts. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/05/18/why-kids-love-building-forts-why-experts-say-they-might-need-them-more-than-ever/?utm_campaign=wp_on_parenting&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_parent

Nature Tic-Tac-Toe

It’s a lot of fun to put a nature twist on an old favorite game like Tic-Tac-Toe. All you need is:

  • a partner
  • four sticks
  • natural item playing pieces
  • Each player should choose about five similar items (stones, pinecones, seed pods, etc) that are easily distinguishable from their partner’s playing pieces. Then, set up the sticks to be the tic-tac-toe board and it’s off to the races as each player takes a turn adding a playing piece to a spot on the board. Three in a row wins the round!
  • We hope you have a blast adding a nature twist to this tried and true childhood game.
  • Nature crowns

    There are so many ways to make nature crowns! All you really need is a strip of paper or cardboard fitted to your child’s head and some glue or tape (a hot glue gun is helpful but not required). Take a nature walk and collect natural items that appeal to your child and then glue or tape them onto the strip of paper/cardboard. Voila!

    We love making nature crowns each season – they are always unique and special. This site has some great ideas and images to get you started. We hope you enjoy making your own nature crowns!

    Nature crowns

    There are so many ways to make nature crowns! All you really need is a strip of paper or cardboard fitted to your child’s head and some glue or tape (a hot glue gun is helpful but not required). Take a nature walk and collect natural items that appeal to your child and then glue or tape them onto the strip of paper/cardboard. Voila!

    We love making nature crowns each season – they are always unique and special. This site has some great ideas and images to get you started. We hope you enjoy making your own nature crowns!

    Name stick art

    We always have such a great time making art with sticks. Today we’re encouraging you to try making your names with sticks! Most of the time when we make stick art, we return the sticks to nature when we are finished; however, today we added glue and paint to our name stick art to make forever art. These extra steps are totally optional and many children are happy to create temporary art. It’s all about the process, not the product, after all.

    For stick name art, all you need are sticks of varying lengths and widths. Finding sticks that have natural curves is helpful too.

    If your child wants to glue and paint their name stick art, you’ll also need:

    • Hot glue OR twine
    • Paint and paintbrush/Q-tips
    • Cardboard

    Use hot glue or twine to attach the sticks into letter shapes. Then you can paint the letters and attach to a piece of twine to hang or glue to a canvas (we used cardboard).

    We hope you have a blast creating name stick art!