Warm Cooked Oatmeal Sensory Bag

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This easy sensory bag is similar in concept to others I’ve made for Veronika (a smooshy texture, great for squishing in her hands), but adds a new element: warmth!

If you have a bulk canister of oatmeal, just whip up an extra big batch. I prepared 4 cups of oatmeal and divided it among two bags.

I added blue food coloring to one just for fun, but there’s no need. Other than that, I simply sealed the bags and gave them to Veronika.

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“Hot!” she said, and also signed the word for it. I took the moment to reinforce the word and sign for “warm”, to differentiate the temperature for her. She soon was happily smooshing fingers into the bags, rearranging them, lifting them up to test how heavy they were, and otherwise having a grand time.

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I caught her trying to run away with them, my imp!

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Once back in the kitchen, we briefly tried to make squiggles through the oatmeal with fingers or spoons…

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…but I think the oatmeal would have needed to be thicker for the lines to stay visible. Still, a nice pause for sensory play.

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National Crayon Day

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Happy National Crayon Day! Travis, Veronika, and I celebrated this fun “holiday” with two projects, plus the perfect crayon book: Harold and the Purple Crayon.

While the kids were busy, I made a batch of purple crayon play dough. For this you’ll need:

3 cups flour

1 and 1/2 cups salt

2 tablespoons cream of tartar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 jumbo purple crayon

2 cups water

Combine the flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a bowl. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Remove the paper lining from the crayon and chop into pieces. Add to the oil and stir until melted. Slowly stir in the water, then add the dry ingredients. Continue to cook for a minute or two, until the play dough pulls away from the sides of the pot.

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Turn the dough out onto a cutting board. Let cool slightly, then knead a few times. It makes a fantastic dough, and it’s now ready for play!

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We read Harold and the Purple Crayon to set the stage, then got our hands messy with the purple play dough!

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I suggested recreating a few of the drawings from the book like the apple tree or a house with a window.

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Travis just loved making purple worms, which soon led to a very elaborate game in his head!

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Veronika loved pulling up bits of the dough.

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Oh no, she grabbed the “ocean” from under Harold’s boat!

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In other words, the kids had a blast. I thought they might play with it all afternoon.

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But we had one more crayon project to go. There was a collection of rocks on our patio thanks to a family walk on the beach last weekend, and I set a few of them in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. (Note: I’m told you don’t want to heat them much longer than that, or they may explode, although that could just be urban legend).

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Remove one rock at a time with tongs and place on foil or parchment paper on a table. Using jumbo crayons with the liners removed, I showed Travis how to press one against the hot rock. It instantly melts!

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This had big wow factor, and made for fun art.

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Travis loved watching big runnels of color drip over the rocks, although I showed him how to get a little more artistic and deliberate with his colors, too.

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These would look so pretty in a garden! Happy National Crayon Day.

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