We tried: Red discovery box

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Activity:  Box filled with an assortment of red and white items from around the house.

  • Candle
  • Plastic disposable plate
  • Ribbon
  • Monkey toy
  • Small colander
  • Clag glue pot
  • Cloth nappy

Success: 10/10 and NO tears.  She played with this for over an hour, and although she favoured one item she did go back to the rest a number of times.

Expected: I thought MT would gravitate to one item and play with that.  She did.  The ribbon.

Unexpected: Since a lot of the items are ones MT has seen before in various capacities I didn’t think they would hold her interest for long.

Outcome: A really great idea that I have seen many mums do with their kids.  MT was very interested in exploring the box and examining each item.   She was happy to play with this on and off for the entire week.  WIN!

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We tried: Baked Bean sensory play

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Activity: Two piles of baked beans on the highchair tray. One hot and the other cold.

Success: 6/10. Mild success tainted severely by the climatic tears.

Expected: A lot of mess.

Unexpected: The tears.

Outcome: This kept MT occupied for about 20min. She started slowly, carefully touching each pile. Going from one to the other until she took a big handful of the warm ones. She swirled them together and tried really hard to pick up individual beans and taste them, sucking the juice from her fingers. After swishing them around the tray some more, she began mushing beans into the tray, into her hair and onto her legs.

At this point she realised she was covered in baked beans (what the?!) and burst into tears.

Not quite the sensory experience we were looking for.

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Deb from Learn with Play at home has a list of the things baby might be learning during this activity.

http://www.learnwithplayathome.com/2012/09/baby-play-sensory-baked-bean-squish.html

We tasted: Strawberry Swirl Cupcakes

Tasty Rating: 10/10

You really NEED to stop everything and go make some.  Although if you are drinking a glass of wine, don’t stop, just pour another.  Because baking is always better with wine.

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You can find the recipe here Strawberry Swirl Cupcakes Recipe – Taste.com.au.

I don’t usually like cupcakes or strawberry flavoured sweets for that matter.  There’s always an exception isn’t there?

Easily the quickest cupcakes I have ever made and apart from the strawberries you will find everything else in your pantry and if you can’t, should you really be baking?

They are perfect little pieces of summery deliciousness.   Mud cake in consistency with a sharp burst of fresh strawberry flavour AND the vanilla butter cream…

**swoon**

Need I say more?

Maybe I’ll just repeat myself.  Go and make some. Then make some more and freeze them (they freeze really well).  Then pour yourself another glass of wine.

We thought: Pinterest Parenting

So I don’t know about you, but I feel that with the introduction of Pinterest, suddenly parenting becomes much more deliberate.

Montessori at home, sensory activities, messy play, home schooling, nature scapes, discovery baskets, exploration, imagination, focus, self expression, investigation, fine motor skills, co ordination, organisation, play, learning, growth, TEACH!!!!!

*breathe*

Overwhelming? Definitely.  Overambitious? Maybe.  Overrated? No.

While it can be overwhelming most of these ideas can be easily simplified and tweaked to suit your own situation.  Essentially it’s what parents have been doing for years.  Exposing their children to a variety of objects/substances to either

a) keep them occupied or

b) further their understanding and appreciation of the environment around them.

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If you want to know more about the benefits of Sensory Play there are a couple of great articles below.

Messy Play: The Benefits of Sensory Play | Citibabes | An Online Magazine for Modern Parenting,

A Handful of Fun: Why Sensory Play is Important for Preschoolers | Not Just CuteNot Just Cute.

These blogs are well worth following as a start.

http://www.theimaginationtree.com/

http://www.artfulparent.com/