Glowing Creepy Crawly Sensory Bag

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I used a black light and glow-in-the-dark spiders for this novel sensory bag. I thought Veronika would be very into the glowing bugs, but it turns out the black light was too interesting and distracting! I had read online that tonic water glows under black light. It was hard to tell if this was actually true, but the project was still fun!

To set up, combine 1 bottle of hair gel (use clear or yellow) and about 1/4 cup tonic water in a large zip-top bag.

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Seal and mix, then open the bag back up to add your “creepy” stuff. I had glow-in-the-dark spiders, as well as a few googly eyes from the craft bin.

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Seal the bag, then place on the ground and turn out the lights. Turn on your black light and watch it glow!

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When the black light was on, the hair gel mixture was most evident. If we turned it off, the glow of the spiders became more apparent.

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Veronika loved poking at the eyes and bugs with a finger, and generally just squishing her hands all over it.

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But as mentioned, the black light was very distracting, so I’m going to think of ways to make a glowing sensory bag that doesn’t involve the light. Stay tuned!

Glitter Water Blob Sensory Bags

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Veronika has been having so much fun with sensory bags lately. What’s better than a rainbow array of bags to play with? Rainbow bags with glitter and bubbles inside!

To make these glittery bags, fill sandwich-sized zip-top bags about one-third of the way with water. Now add food coloring and glitter.

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They will look best if the glitter and food color are in the same family; so for example I used a purplish glitter in the red bag, gold in the yellow bag, and silver for the blue and green.

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Seal the bags (tightly!) and place where your toddler can come discover them.

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Veronika first just loved squishing her hands on them and watching all that glitter and water move about.  She seemed especially intrigued by the red one.

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Then we stood them upright so she could lift the bags and grip in two hands, which was good glittery fun. We talked about how sparkly they were!

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If you lay one bag over the other, as with blue and yellow, you get a color-mixing effect, too, although this was a bit lost on her.

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The most fun was when we shook the bags and produced bubbles inside – sometimes huge! – which she then chased around with a finger.

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These easily kept her busy for about a half hour, a big hit.

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Playing with Cups

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Let’s face it: sometimes a toddler can be in the way. Whether you’re helping an older sibling with a project or trying to get chores done, sometimes those little hands just need to be kept busy!

The easiest hack ever? Give them plastic cups to play with. Do you need to add anything to the cups? Nope, that’s it; just plastic cups!

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I handed Veronika this stack of clear cups when originally she wanted in on a messy project with big brother. But the moment she saw the cups on the floor, she was hooked.

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She sat surrounded by a pile of them and stacked them. Sometimes she stacked them upside down, and sometimes facing up (nesting).

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Sometimes one faced down and one faced up. Then she could topple them over.

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After a while, she had fun kicking and rolling them, and chasing after them. She even discovered that they made neat reflections when held in front of the shiny dishwasher.

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I may just give her cups to play with every day. We’ll have to try some in colored plastic for future variation!

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What’s your favorite toddler toy hack? Please share in the comments!