Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sensory Play from the Blogosphere

In our recent VBS class, our kids really enjoyed using the galaxy slime we made.

galaxy slime (Brick by Brick)

galaxy slime (Brick by Brick)

galaxy slime (Brick by Brick)

The recipe we used is similar to this one on Twodaloo.

Seeing how the kids explored this interesting substance reminded me of the importance of sensory play. In my church classroom we will explore pouring water or scooping barley, digging in sand or even seeking things in shredded paper. But I think I will be searching for more ways to provide sensory bins and other sensory activities.



Here are a few ideas I've gleaned from the blogosphere for sensory play.

Magnetic Slime (Little Bins for Little Hands)
Little Bins for Little Hands is one of my favorite sites for science and sensory activities. In fact, I think she has a recipe for every kind of slime you could possibly imagine. This slime is attracted to a magnet and will move when a magnet is placed near it. Really fun!


Animal Washing (Where Imagination Grows)
Sometimes the best ideas are basic ones. This sensory play experience uses soapy water and plastic animals. An easy set-up with basic resources but a really engaging exploration for all ages.


Sensory Bin Fillers (Pre-K Pages)
This post is a great resource for all kinds of ideas for filling a sensory bin. From birdseed and colored rice to kinetic sand and chickpeas...this post is full of inspiration. (And don't miss the related post of sensory bin tools.)


Shaving Cream Play (Teach Preschool)
I haven't used shaving cream with a group of kids for a long time. No particular reason; just haven't done it. But seeing this post again reminds me of the fun and learning that can happen. And you can spread out a thin layer of shaving cream on a table or tray and use your finger to write lines, letters, shapes, and designs.


Single Color Sensory Bin (The Chaos and the Clutter)
Thinking beyond just how something feels, this bin focuses on color as a theme. Check around your house and fill a bin with variations of a color. This can be a fun exploration in texture as well as color.


Plastic Straw Sensory Bin (Teaching Mama)
My kids love to string straws on chenille stems to make bracelets and wrist bands. We've used straws in the blocks center. But we've never just explored straws in a bin. I like this idea. I really like offering straws and scissors for kids to cut straws themselves for the bin. I'm seeing lots of possibilities with this idea!


Dirt Play Dough (Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls)
Play dough is the most familiar and probably most widely used sensory material in preschool rooms. I like this variation, which gives the play dough a sandy texture. I think I may need to make some dirt play dough for my kids soon.


What fun ways do you encourage sensory play? What materials have you used with preschoolers?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Exploring Nebula Painting

Nebula Painting (Brick by Brick)

Last week we had Vacation Bible School at our church. I taught in a room of 5-year-olds...kids that will begin kindergarten this fall. Our theme was a star-gazing theme and we explored all kinds of space-related activities in addition to the Bible stories about God and Jesus.

One of my favorites was nebula painting. The instructions called for painting on a mirror. We adapted a little bit. (Do you do that? I seem to adapt a lot!) We covered trays with aluminum foil and painted on the foil.

Nebula Painting (Brick by Brick)

Kids enjoyed mixing the colors and creating their own interesting colors and shapes. When the nebula was formed just right, we pressed a piece of manila paper on top of the painting to create a print.

Nebula Painting (Brick by Brick)

And the results were spectacular, just like real nebulae!

Nebula Painting (Brick by Brick)

Nebula Painting (Brick by Brick)

Painting on foil is a little different experience than painting on paper. The texture of the foil makes the paint slip around a little bit.

Nebula Painting (Brick by Brick)

The tray allowed children to explore as far as they wanted without "expanding" the nebula onto the tabletop.

My fives loved it. I think just about all of them explored this activity.