No-Cook Squishy Bags

No-Cook Squishy Bag (4)

I’ve made plenty of squishy sensory bags for Veronika in the past, but never before lots at once! The purpose of today’s activity was more about comparing and contrasting, rather than focusing on the way one particular material (i.e. shaving cream) felt within the bag.

I wanted to use small, sandwich-size zip-top bags since I’ve found these are easier for her hands, but I was running low! Instead, I used 3 small ones and 2 larger ones. The bags contained the following:

hair gel (tinted with green food coloring)

vanilla pudding

body lotion

ketchup

mustard

fingerpaint

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I sealed each bag tightly. Here’s where the difference kicked in. Most of the bags were at room temperature, but the ketchup and the pudding were both very cold from the fridge. Meanwhile, I set the bag with lotion in a bowl of hot water until warmed through. (You can also microwave the bags for about 10 seconds, as I later did for the hair gel bag).

I presented them all to Veronika, and it was like a surprise each time she put her hand down. The lotion was warm! The pudding was cold!

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The lotion was still warm! The ketchup was cold!

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She loved moving her hands back and forth, and tended to ignore the ones that were just room temperature in favor of these two extremes.

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She wanted to pick some of the bags up and give them a “tour” of the apartment. And of course she enjoyed the process of squeezing and squishing them!

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This was a great game for talking about opposites in addition to being hands-on fun.

Silly Listening Ears (3)

Silly Listening Ears Craft

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As your toddler learns which organ is connected to which sense (we see with our eyes, we smell with our nose, etc.), here is a fun way to highlight the fact that we hear with our ears: combine a silly craft with an audio book!

I hope to get Veronika into audio books since we’ll be in the car quite a bit more now, doing school drop-off and pick-up for big brother. She’s on the young side for audio books, so today was mostly about familiarizing her with them.

I traced a simple ear shape on poster board to start, following an online template.

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Cut out and glue the ears onto construction paper in the same shape, only slightly larger. This adds a nice decorative edge.

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Tape the ends of a pipe cleaner near the top of each ear, then bend the pipe cleaner into an arc so it sits like a headband over your child’s head and ears.

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Veronika giggled when I tried the ears on myself first as a demonstration. In fact, I think she liked it more on me! But she did tolerate wearing it.

 

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(And occasionally pulled it off to look at it in confusion).

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Then we started up the audio book! I have a wonderful collection of farmyard stories from Usborne books, but any read-aloud of a children’s book would work for this.

Bonus points if you have a physical copy of the book so kids can also leaf through the pages, connecting images to sounds. Veronika particularly loved the vroom of the tractor or the sounds of the farm animals.

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She had a tendency to flip through the book, too, since she isn’t yet connecting the words to a particular page. But as I mentioned above, the idea was simply to introduce audio books today.

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We’ll be playing these stories out loud the next time we travel in the car, and wearing our silly listening ears, too!