Color Identification/Matching

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When you ask Reagan the color that a specific object is, more times than not, she will answer ‘blue’. Is blue her favorite color or have I been slacking in the color identification aspect of life? I put together a small activity for Reagan and I to play this afternoon and she absolutely loved…eating the pieces to the game. Seriously though, this was a great activity and will be super beneficial in strengthening her color identification and color matching skills.

Materials

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Tape
5 pieces of white paper
One crayon of each color- red, green, yellow, purple and orange
Fruity Cheerios

Directions
On each piece of paper write the name of the color crayon that you are using at the top of the paper, draw a large circle, using the same color, and fill in the circle.
Tape down the pieces of paper to a flat surface, in a arched shape, so that each color can be easily seen and reached by your child.

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At this point, Reagan and I did various things.
1- I pointed to each color, one by one, and told her the name of the color.
2- I then pointed to the colors again, one by one, and repeated their names. This time I asked Reagan to repeat the colors name aloud.
3- I laid each color Cheerio in front of Reagan and one by one, I told her the color name of each Cheerio.
4- I then pointed to each Cheerio, one by one, and repeated their color names. This time I asked Reagan to repeat the color names aloud.
5- I then showed Reagan how to match the Cheerio color to the circle and name color on the papers in front of her. ‘ this Cheerio is red. Can you find the red circle that matches/is the same as this red Cheerio?’ We continued this activity for several minutes.
6- I then gave Reagan multiple Cheerios of the same color and had her group them together onto the matching circles. ‘ can you place all of the yellow Cheerios onto the matching yellow circle?’ Etc.

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Reagan definitely ate more Cheerios than she matched, but she was learning, having fun and eating all at the same time! Which, in my opinion, is a successful activity!
I folded back the pieces of tape and stuck them to the backs of the paper. I stacked up the papers and put them away for future use.
A super easy activity that your child will enjoy, if not the activity portion, at the very least, the Fruity Cheerios!

Have Fun!

Fluffy Stuff

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Most moms are going to think that I’m absolutely nutso for doing this sensory bin project in my house, but honestly it looks worse than it actually was.

It feels like it has been raining in Rochester forever and for a little girl who likes nothing more than to be outside; pouring rainy days are torturous. After yesterdays full day of shopping, Reagan was in desperate need of something fun and messy!

I pinned this Fluffy Stuff weeks ago and have been wanting to try it with Reagan. I added the ingredients to yesterday’s shopping list and today we fluffed it out!

Ingredients

20130611-141423.jpg2 boxes of corn starch

1 can of shaving cream

Materials

(I added different ‘tools’ to the mix as we played. Below is everything that we used. You definitely don’t have to use all or any of the ‘tools’ that we used.)

towel

large bin

wooden spoon with long handle

potato masher

ladle

plastic drinking cups

Measuring dish with handle

muffin tin

plastic Ritz cheese container with top

play mobile people

small plastic bowls

large plastic bowl

plastic cookie cutters

plastic rolling-pin

Directions

Place large towel on floor.  In a large bin or bucket pour two boxes of Corn Starch.

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Add in shaving cream and continuously stir.  We didn’t end up using the entire can.  I just kept adding until it reached a consistency that we were happy with.

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I kept introducing new ‘tools’ as Reagan became uninterested in the ones that she was using.  I didn’t take anything away, and she began to find new uses for each tool.

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The fluff is super soft and smells fabulous…like Barbasol!

After playing with the fluff for a while it turned into a consistency that was able to be somewhat molded.  With no cue from me, Reagan began singing Frosty the Snowman…love that she was reminded of SNOW!!

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Clean up was super easy…seriously…it was. We filled the sink with soap and water to clean all of the ‘tools’, I emptied the pink bin into the kitchen trash, folded in the sides of the towel, took it outside and shook it into the outside garbage.  The mess totally depends on how out of control you let the activity get.  I constantly reminded Reagan to stay on the towel and she did a pretty excellent job doing so.  Her pjs came off at the sink and went straight to the laundry basket.  As far as I know; corn starch and shaving cream are not harmful to clothing…AS FAR AS I KNOW!

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This was the longest activity thus far; lasting about an hour and five minutes from start to finish, including Reagan washing the ‘tools’ that she used.  Smaller batches can obviously be made by reducing the ingredient amount.  This could be an excellent table activity; using only half a box of corn starch.

 

 

Paint Stamps

I attempt to entertain Reagan’s requests to do various activities.  Lately, she has been asking to paint…’I paint’.  I’ve said this multiple times, but I really do need to get my butt in gear and get a variety of colors for my daughter to work with.  Blue and pink, although lovely, are getting a bit old.

Instead of pulling out the paint brushes, I decided that we would do some stamp painting with an apple, which turned into stamp painting with a potato, animal crackers and pretzels.  Who would have thought that food could be so much fun to paint with!  Our project got cut short, when daddy started watching a motorcycle race on the computer.  I was left high and dry by my 18 month old for her daddy and motorcycles… whatever floats her boat!

Materials:

The potato, animal crackers and pretzels were afterthoughts, so they aren’t pictured with materials.
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Paper

Knife

Paint- in our case…washable

Plate- or paint dish

Apple

Potato

Animal Crackers

Pretzels

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Reagan and I talked about the color of the outside of the apple and the various colors on the inside of the apple.  We talked about the stem and the seeds and how apple trees grow from apple seeds!  I then attempted to sing her the Johhny Apple Seed Song, which I butchered, thank god for youtube!  The apple that I used was small, so Reagan was able to hold the cut half in her hand.  I showed Reagan what to do and off she went!

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Earlier that day, I pulled out a bag of 6 or 7 potatoes that I had completely forgot about that needed to be trashed.  I brought one over to the table and talked to Reagan about why we couldn’t/shouldn’t eat the potato anymore.  I cut out different shapes and designs on various potato pieces to be used as stamps.

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Reagan spotted a few pieces of her left over snack on the table and asked to paint with them…’I paint pretzel and manimals’. So we painted with pretzels and animals!

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Reagan painted for about 20 minutes before she quickly moved to her daddy’s lap to watch motorcycle racing… a girl after her dads heart!

IMG_9214Excuse the random pizza slice…whatever it takes for Reagan to eat, even if it is while painting!

Chalk Paint!


It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood and I’m so lucky that Reagan LOVES to play outside! I have been eyeing various chalk paint pins on Pinterest and knew that Reagan would be head over heels in love with the idea of being able to paint the driveway! Today seemed like the perfect day to DIY some chalk paint and let Reagan display her artistic talents in a new and exciting way!

We headed to the dollar store to grab some paint brushes and a muffin tin. Pinterest suggested using a muffin tin to hold the paint. We ended up leaving with a coloring book, hot pink plastic plates, a neon yellow bucket, two plastic pink veggie trays, a ball- Reagan is just a bit obsessed with balls at the moment-, foam paint brushes and larger bristle paint brushes. I don’t think that there is a person in this world that can go into the dollar store and not find more than one piece of crap to buy. I bought multiple brushes and two veggie trays, to use instead of muffin tins, in hopes that some of the neighborhood kids would be outside and we could invited them over to play.

The chalk is super easy to make and came off of our clothes rather easily. I would still recommend wearing clothes that you don’t mind ruining, just incase. Reagan participated from start to finish with this project and really seemed to enjoy it. Unfortunately, the actual painting part of the activity didn’t really hold her attention for as long as I had hoped. You see, the chalk paint, when first painted onto the driveway was super light and got darker over time as it dried. This isn’t the best process for an 18 month old that is looking for instant gratification.

After about ten minutes of painting, Reagan ended up collecting rocks in a sand bucket and dipping them into different paint colors. I was ecstatic that Reagan, independently, thought up this extension to the activity that I introduced. She took what she knew about the paints and used the knowledge she had to create something new and different! Woot! Woot!

We cleaned up by washing out tools under the outdoor faucet.

Ingredients
(I tripled this recipe)
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup water
food coloring

Materials
paint brushes
veggie tray, muffin tin, something to hold the paint
Spoon
Medium sized bowl

Mix corn starch and water together until there are no lumps.

Pour into veggie tray spaces.

Add food coloring and stir.

Paint…or dip rocks, whatever works!


This is what we saw looking out Reagan’s bedroom window before nap time!

Flower Feeders


These bird feeders caught my eye when I saw them on Mommy Apolis a few weeks back. They seemed so simple, that I just had to give them a try. I totally blew the final finished product pictures…I didn’t take any. Oh- the holiday rush when both sets of families live in the same town.

I would definitely recommend a thinner cookie cutter. Our feeders took 48 hours to completely dry. After 24 hours they still were a bit soft to the touch.

Tons of cooking spray was used during this project…Several times I sprayed the inside of the cookie cutter, my fingers, and the metal tablespoon that I used to press the bird seed into the cutter. After making two feeders, I figured out that the back of a metal tablespoon was much more efficient, than my fingers, for pressing the seeds into the cutter.


Ingredients
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (2.5 teaspoons)
3 tbsp corn syrup
4 cups birdseed

Materials
large mixing bowl
shaped cookie cutter- I used a flower for Spring
nonstick spray
straw for making a hole
parchment or wax paper or tin foil
cookie sheet
ribbon

Mix flour, water, gelatin and corn syrup.

Add bird seed and stir- I added one cup of seed at a time. It was easier to stir with a smaller amount of seed. I used two different types of seeds, a sunflower mix and then the other seed is a mystery to me… but, both came from my dads bird seed bins. I ended up using two cups of each type of seed.



Use a cooking spray to coat the inside of a cookie cutter and to spray your fingers.

Set cookie cutter on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Spoon mixture inside of cookie cutter, pressing mixture firmly down into cutter. You want the seeds to be very compact, so that the feeder stays together. I began by using my fingers to press down on the seeds, but quickly found out that the back of a metal tablespoon worked so much better.

I used a sturdy plastic straw from one of Reagan’s sippy cups to make the hole for the string. I sprayed the entire portion of the straw that would be inserted into the seed. The mixture is super sticky from using the corn syrup, so I didn’t want the straw to stick. Twist and press down on the straw till you reach the wax paper.

Slowly lift the cookie cutter up and remove from seed. The cutter should slide right off, if you used enough spray.

My 4 cups of bird seed made five very thick feeders.

It took around 48 hours for the feeders to completely dry. The next time I do this project, I will definitely be using a thinner cookie cutter– quicker drying time and a lighter feeder to hang from a branch.

Reagan and I tied a yellow string through the holes of the feeders, so that our family could hang them in their yard for their birds, NOT SQUIRRELS, to enjoy!