More sensory bins

Blue gift streamers, big blue stones, and some tin cups.

Rocks, feathers, slimy snakes, and bowls.      Rice, measuring cups, funnels.

Acorns and cotton balls. Soft and hard.

I never knew how beautiful sand is

I just stumbled upon this new revelation that sand grains are tiny little works of art.  Isn’t our God amazing?!  This photo is taken from, and features sand from the beaches of Maui, Hawaii.  Simply unbelievable.

Busy Bags

I have heard about “Busy Bags” from many mama blogs.  You put a fun activity into a bag and give it to your child when they need something to keep them busy.  It can really be anything, but I have gotten many ideas from Walking by the Way.  I created 4 of my own busy bags this weekend.

The first is a “Go Fish” game I found here.  I bought some felt sheets from Michael’s, cut each color into 2 fish, hot glue-gunned these together and put a magnet inside, then I added googly eyes that I already had.  The fishing pole was made from a popsicle stick (that I drilled a small hole in all by myself!), with thin string holding a magnet.  This game was really fun for my son — however I need to get a stronger magnet for the fish pole because the felt has weakened the little magnets inside.

Next I made another felt project.  I saw this idea here.  This mom made popsicles, but I thought little flowers would be cuter.  I cut two flowers out of each, hot glue-gunned them together, all but one petal.  And my son put the matching colored stems on the matching flower!  Learning colors and using his hands!

Then, I decided to do some painting.  I got this next idea here.  I couldn’t find plastic (Easter) eggs this time of year, so I bought 6 little wooden eggs.  I painted them each red, blue, yellow, orange, purple, and green.  Then I put a little paint inside a cut-6-sectioned egg carton.  Woh-lah — another color matching activity!  (I like the wooden eggs better because my son is too young to put those plastic eggs back together and they would distract from the game.)

Last, another painted project.  I bought 6 little containers from Michael’s and painted the insides and tops six colors.  Now he has another matching game — and will learn to put tops on containers. Also, I bought these adorable, colorful shape buttons that he can sort as well!

I am very excited to find more (inexpensive) projects.  I know that many of them can be made with stuff from around the home.  I have heard of putting a large lock and key in a bag and letting your child learn to open the lock.  Also, using 4-6 travel plastic shampoo bottles and let your child practice put the tops on.  I found this idea here.

**I’d love more ideas.  Please link yours below in the comments!!

**I found more ideas at Making Boys Men and Second Story Window.

Pond Sensory Bin

I have become very inspired to continue with our Sensory Bins.  My son absolutely loved his time with my first try earlier this week.  I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, but I have been researching a lot of Themed bins and more inspiration has come from Totally Tots.  This mom has gone above and beyond with her bins and I hope to emulate some of her creativity and enthusiasm!  I have decided to try and create two bins per week.  Today I tried a “pond” bin.  I threw in some rocks that I already had, his bath toys, and some little green fish plants that I found at the grocery for $1 each.  I was not brave enough to add water.  But he loved moving the creatures around and dumping rocks with a couple plastic cups that I included.  Maybe I’ll try water next time.

Sensory Bins for Preschool

I am so privileged and honored to be home with my boy all day, every day.  We have so much fun together, and he is learning every day, just by witnessing the world around him.  I have been looking for more activities to do with my 2 year old.  Sometimes the days can go by without any deliberate exploration or play and I want to change that.

We have loosely started the Before Five in a Row curriculum — mainly we make sure to read the same book for a whole week and I try to make one good activity at the end of the week to correlate.  (Of course, we read many more books than that each day, but this one is deliberate.)  For example, after reading The Little Rabbit, he painted a picture of a rabbit, then glued some cotton balls on it.  And for Blueberries for Sal, he will color a brown bear cut out, then weave yarn around the outline.

We have separated his toys into 8 bins in our Expedia bookshelf from Ikea, which has really helped him get excited about his toys again, as we get out one bin every day (this cuts the toy mess down too!).  We go to friends’ houses at least once a week for a change of scenery.  We have errand days.

But I just discovered sensory bins — to add to our list of weekly activities.  He has had tactile exploratory time, mainly with rice or rice krispies with small toys inside a cookie sheet, but a mom from PlayCreateExplore has gone above and beyond with further examples of exploratory play that a child can have.  She has created an amazing Ocean Bin, complete with sea toys and colorful rocks; simply add water, and your child has a little ocean to explore!  Other examples include Dinosaur Land Bin, or Shaving Cream Bin (just add any little toys you want!), or Holiday Bins (such as Valentine’s Day, just add lots of colored foam stickers, puff balls, hearts, stuffed animals.)

I tried my first bin this morning.  It wasn’t as intense or thought-out as some of hers, but it was my first go!  I didn’t have to go to the store yet either!  I placed piles of lentils and beans in a tupperware container, along with some plastic, magnetic, colorful letters, and added a couple of tin cans and mini frisbees.  I put my son on a big red blanket and put the bin in front of him.  He had a blast!  By the end, he did have a hard time keeping everything in the bin, but it was easy enough to clean up.

Off to the store to buy more rice, bird seed, other small dollar trinkets, and we’re going to go exploring for some small sticks and acorns too.  Also, I will look in my recycling bin for plastic tubs, cardboard rolls, etc.  You can really use anything!

We are so excited to get started!  Check her site out and I hope you will find further ideas for your child!

DTaP (Tripedia) lists autism as a side effect in their package insert

In the package insert for Tripedia, a DTaP vaccination, autism is listed under possible adverse events.  This is a breakthrough, in my opinion; while all the vaccine manufacturers keep touting the safety of vaccines and “there is no link”, the Sanofi Pasteur Pharmaceuticals has listed the real consequences.  All symptoms for autism are listed as side effects for the other DTaP manufacturers, on their respective inserts, but this is without blatantly listing the word.  Here is the link to the FDA website, where the package insert is listed.  Simply type “autism” into the “Find” or go to page 11, towards the top of the page.  You will also find “SIDS” as a listed adverse event, as well.

Would you be more or less likely to choose Tripedia over the other (sole) DTaP vaccines for your child (Daptacel by Sanofi Pasteur or Infanrix by GlaxoSmithKline)?  Or would you choose a vaccine with even more vaccine strains?  TriHiBit by Sanofi Pasteur which includes Hib, or Pediarix by GlaxoSmithKline which includes HepB and Polio, or Pentacel by Sanofi Pasteur which includes Hib, HepB, and Polio?

Wildflower Ramblings