Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Learning While Having Fun

It is one of those things that you do not really worry about when you are pregnant with that first small bundle of joy. "How do I play with my kids?", is not really the top question on our minds. I would always tell my kids, "Ya'll go play with your toys. You have all those toys in there but yet you say you are bored!?"

Ian, my 2 year old, would get quiet all of a sudden and when I went hunting him he was standing on his stool in their bathroom playing in the sink- with water! I would fuss and tell him to get out. BUT THEN I came across my new favorite blog. But at first I thought this mom was a little crazy, I must admit. BUT THEN.... [...]
I experienced exactly what she promised would happen! FUN! It all started by accident. I came across a post that was talking about coloring beans. I thought it looked cool so I investigated a little further. Then I tried it.
I started with pinto beans as you see here. I did like was instructed except I used quart baggies. I did 15 drops of food coloring in the bag then dropped in the cup of beans. I sealed it up (with air still in the bag) and shook it aggressively until all of them were well coated. It was recommended to shake for 15 seconds but I shook them for more like 30-40 seconds. Then dumped them out in a single layer to dry. After several hours I stirred them up so they can all dry good.
I will say the pintos were not pretty when colored. The beans shown here are White Northern beans and they did great! I colored them once and let them dry for several hours. After they were dry to the touch I did the same process again. These shown here were the color after two "shakings". Arn't they beautiful!!??
 I will say I did keep the blue and green dyed pintos. They did a dark green and the blue created a teal looking color. This is them all together in their bin.
And here they are playing with them. They LOVE them!
All this started with two big bags of rice. She (I'll tell you who in a minute ;) ) said that rice was a good activity for kids. I had two big bags in my cabinet that I bought and we did not use. I don't eat rice either. So I got them out. I should have took it as a sign that they were playing with the bags before I even got them open!
 First they felt of it and dug into it...
 Then they had to step in it. (Remember this will only be used for play so its okay. :)
Then I sit Aaron down to watch. He is like, "hummm, what you got here?" Hahaha! Then he dug right in! (I had to really watch him so that he didn't put it in his mouth and choke!)
They all played for a while even with sand toys!
They sit forever and played in the rice. Aaron even sit right there near them and fussed at the big boys!  I even played with them. =) Aaron could not keep his hands out of it! I had to keep telling him "not in the mouth" but he finally quit trying. (Note- the towel was not big enough to keep the rice off the floor. That is why I bought a shower curtain to put down as you can see in the other pictures with the beans.)

The next night they wanted to play with the rice again. They sit down, this time with their dad, and did a treasure hunt. Dad would hide change in their rice buckets and whoever found the most won! They played with dad like that for at least an hour!
So after she was right 2 for 2 I decided she knew what she was talking about and I went out to the Dollar Tree to get the supplies she recommended to make my own "Sensory Kit". You see these activities are things the kids learn with by using their senses. Let me show you a couple more. I just love it!
 This was the shaving cream fun. I know my boys and I knew it would be a disaster without doing it in the bathtub and boy was I right! They played for ever with their army men in it then I had to throw them in the bath and wash them off. It was EVERYWHERE! Definitely one I have to restrict to the tub!
 Then we did the "coffee ground dirt". I found an unsealed pack of coffee grounds on clearance that worked perfectly for this. Then we got rocks and gems at the Dollar Tree to put in along with bugs. Looks real!

Then being boys they had to bring out the tractors!

Complete with tractor sounds!
You can not tell me this is not GREAT for their imaginations!

I got PLASTIC Slinky's for the baby- HE LOVED THEM!

 He is like what is wrong with this thing!!?? Ha Ha Ha!

And here is the funny part. We went to the store and I was getting all these things. My oldest kept saying we want to get something, we want to get something! I said, "Son, this whole buggy is for you!" He looked and did not see "toys" so he was getting upset. I said, "Trust me! We are going to go make a mess." Once we got home and started playing he said, and I quote, "You got all this stuff for us?" He LOVED IT once he seen how much fun we could have!!! He told me, "I love you mama, thank you!" SEVEN times while we were playing in rice- that was in an hour time period! You see it does not matter the price of the stuff what matters is they are having fun, using their imaginations and learning!!!
 We have all of our stuff stored in this big bin and in the beans, pasta, rice, and "dirt" in their own containers. (The Glad container keeps it sealed tighter and does not get accidentally dumped. I will get more to put the others in and do away with the shoebox.)

Ya'll- you HAVE to try this with your kids! They LOVE IT!! I want to give a very special shout out to Asia at Fun at Home with Kids for all of these WONDERFUL ideas! And they WORK! My kids LOVE them!! Keep the great stuff coming girl! I have you bookmarked and will be back for more!

Take time to play with your kids! Teach them how to play. Help them learn while you play. One day they will be grown up and you will miss it! I have had more fun playing in the last week than I have had in years combined. They keep asking me to play with the rice, beans and "dirt". It is so simple but it works! My oldest has put down the video games for the last week to play and he is using his imagination! The Cloud dough is a favorite too. More pictures of our fun to come in a later post! Stay tuned..... =)


  1. This is the sweetest post ever!!!!!! It makes me SO SO HAPPY!!!! Thank you, Kyliegh!!!!! :) :) :)

    1. Thank YOU for coming up with these great ideas!! :)